As a homeowner who rents out property for holidays, encountering damages caused by guests is an unfortunate but possible scenario. While it can be stressful, having a clear process in place for claiming damages can help ease the situation.
As part of our commitment to maintaining the quality and integrity of our rental properties, we would like to remind you of our policy regarding damages and lost items. It's important for homeowners to maintain detailed documentation of purchases, including photographs and receipts to support their claims effectively.
The Owner shall at all times maintain appropriate insurance cover (that must be adequate for the Property, the structure and contents) for the duration of any holiday rental with a reputable insurer.
We would like to emphasise the importance of having specified insurance coverage for items within your property, particularly if the value of certain items exceeds the breakage deposit we hold. In instances where the value of an item surpasses the coverage provided by the breakage deposit, it is imperative that homeowners have adequate insurance coverage to protect against potential losses.
It's crucial to ensure that homeowners are aware of the appropriate avenues for claiming damages, especially when it comes to larger or more expensive items. For items of significant value, such as large appliances, electronics, or furnishings, homeowners should rely on their insurance coverage to handle claims. Insurance policies tailored to rental properties typically offer comprehensive coverage for a wide range of scenarios, including damages caused by guests.
We strongly encourage all homeowners to review their insurance policies to verify coverage limits and ensure adequate protection for their rental properties.
Document Pre-existing Conditions
Before each guest arrives, thoroughly document the condition of the property. Take detailed photos and notes of any existing damages or wear and tear. Store this documentation securely, as it will serve as a reference point when assessing damages post-guest stay.
Conduct Inspections Before and After Each Stay
Perform a thorough inspection of the property both before and after each guest's stay. Document any new damages or discrepancies observed during the post-stay inspection. Use the initial documentation of pre-existing conditions as a reference point during the post-stay inspection.
What to Claim for
Here's a comprehensive list of items that owners can typically claim from holiday guests during their stay:
Linens and Bedding Damage
Damage to linens, bedding, pillows, blankets, and towels due to stains, tears, or burns.
Guests will be responsible for any additional costs should children accidentally wet their beds, this will include the change of bedding and professional cleaning and sanitising of the mattresses.
Any minor damage to the structure of the property, including walls, floors, ceilings, doors, windows, and fixtures.
Minor damage to furniture items such as chairs, tables, sofas, beds, cabinets, and shelves.
Damage to appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, microwaves, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, and televisions.
Damage to fixtures such as light fixtures, ceiling fans, faucets, showerheads, and toilets.
Damage to accessories such as lamps, mirrors, artwork, rugs, curtains, and decorative items.
Damage to kitchenware items such as pots or pans.
Costs of replacing damaged or broken items with new ones of similar quality and value.
Steps to Follow
The Owner shall within 7 working days of guests departure date provide LCE with a comprehensive list of broken / stained / damaged or misplaced, except fair wear & tear together with a quote for the reasonable replacement or repairs to be carried out.
When claiming we ask that all quotes are reasonable and not for small items such as missing cutlery, broken glasses etc.
These types of breakages are assumed as renting your Property holds an inherent risk.
Please note that we can not claim for cleaning costs at the end of guests stay. Only in the instance where additional cleaning is required due to the guest's negligence e.g mattress cleaning.
Should the Guest dispute the damages or associated costs, the Owner may be required to produce photographic evidence of the damages, if not already taken at check out by LCE.
For the avoidance of doubt LCE is not liable for any unsettled costs by the Guest should they reserve any charges associated with the damages
Follow these steps to effectively handle and claim for damages:
Communicate with Housekeeper & LCE Staff
In the event of damages, promptly communicate with the staff on duty. Provide them with a detailed list of the damages and any associated costs.
Provide Documentation and Evidence
Furnish the guest with documentation, such as photographs, inspection reports, and repair quotes, to support your claim for damages.
Transparency and clear evidence strengthen your position in the event of disputes.
In the event of damages, we encourage homeowners to exercise discretion when determining which items to claim against the breakage deposit. While the deposit serves as a safeguard for minor damages and easy-to-replace items, it may not fully cover the cost of repairing or replacing larger or more expensive items.
Obtain Repair Quotes
Obtain quotes from reliable contractors or service providers for repairing the damages. Ensure that the quotes are detailed and include the scope of work and cost breakdown.
Guests are not charged for small breakages, such as the odd wine glass, mug, plate, missing cutlery, broken glasses etc.
Small items such as can not be claimed for. These types of breakages are assumed as renting your Property holds an inherent risk.
Consider Insurance Coverage
Review your insurance policy to determine if damages caused by guests are covered.
If applicable, file a claim with your insurance provider and follow their procedures for reimbursement.
If you find it necessary to submit a quote for damages or lost items, we kindly request that you provide proof of purchase for the affected items wherever possible. Proof of purchase serves as essential documentation in substantiating claims and ensuring accurate reimbursement or replacement.
Should the damaged or lost item be of an older nature, and a direct replacement with similar quality is deemed appropriate, and we will ensure that the replacement item meets the standards set forth in our rental agreements. In such cases, a replacement item of comparable quality serves as sufficient proof, provided it aligns with the standards expected within our rental properties.
It's important to note that wear and tear of towels and linen, particularly if they are deemed to be old, cannot be claimed for. We appreciate your understanding in this matter, as wear and tear are natural occurrences with prolonged use, and it is our responsibility to maintain an equitable approach to property management.
By reserving claims against the breakage deposit for easy-to-replace items and minor damages, homeowners can ensure that the deposit remains sufficient to address routine maintenance and repair needs within the property.
We would like to offer some suggestions regarding the management of furnishings and linens within your property:
Protecting Valuable Items
We strongly recommend removing any sentimental, antique, or irreplaceable items from your holiday home. While these items may hold significant personal value, they can also be susceptible to damage or loss during guest stays. By safely storing these items away from the rental property, you can mitigate the risk of accidental damage and preserve their integrity for years to come.
Selecting Practical Linens and Towels
When it comes to supplying linens and towels for your holiday home, we advise opting for materials and colours that are easy to maintain and conceal stains. Consider choosing hand towels in dark colours or patterns that are less likely to show signs of wear and tear and make-up stains.
Additionally, select fabrics that are resistant to stains and can withstand frequent washing, ensuring that they remain in good condition throughout numerous guest stays.
Providing Table Covers and Coasters
To further protect furniture from liquid stains, we recommend providing table covers or coasters in areas prone to spills, such as bedside tables and coffee tables. These simple additions can help prevent unsightly liquid ring stains on table and furniture tops, enhancing the overall appearance and longevity of your furnishings.
Separating Guest Linens and Personal Linens
To maintain standards, we recommend keeping linens and towels designated for guest use separate from your personal linens. By establishing a distinct set of linens and towels specifically for guests, you can ensure that they remain in pristine condition and free from any personal wear or use. This practice not only enhances the guest experience but also simplifies the process of preparing the property for new arrivals.
By implementing these recommendations, you can help safeguard your valuable possessions and minimise the impact of guest usage on your holiday home.
Should you require assistance in navigating the claims process, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to support you every step of the way.