How to Be a Good Short-Term Renter

lake tahoe rocks and water with blue sku

If you love to travel and love to do so by using Airbnbs and VRBOs then the one thing you want is to get a reputation for being a stellar guest. This will prevent you from missing out on wonderful rentals and will help to ensure the locals are happy to have you in their neighborhood.

It also ensures your hosts will be happy to have you back if you choose to use their rental again!

Leave no trace.

Act like you live there! If you wouldn’t do it in your neighborhood, don’t do it in a rental neighborhood, whether you’re at resort, like this Olympic Valley rental home, or in town, like at this Tahoe City rental property.

We’ve seen renters party at all hours, race down the street blasting their radio at top volume and trash properties. Treat your temporary neighbors with respect and use common courtesy.

Do everything you can do to blend. Fit in like a local. Live like a local. Respect the property like it’s your own and leave it just as nice as you found it.

Understand you’re in bear country now.

This is specific to the Tahoe-Truckee area. We have bears. Other areas of the country might have other local hazards or procedures you’ll have to account for. 

Most of your rentals in the Truckee and North Lake Tahoe area will have a bear box. This is a place for you to store garbage that literally locks up so bears cannot get in it. Most of your rentals will ask you to lock up and store your garbage in the bear box. These boxes are useful because they also block the scent of food.

Here are some other bear safety tips you should know. 

Know local ordinances.

Here in the Tahoe-Truckee area there are a number of ordinances that must be followed.

  • Recycling: you can put it all in one bag but more gets recycled and it is more cost-efficient for the owner and you if you separate it. You will be able to avoid any overage charges if you sort and separate!
  • Local quiet hours are from 10 PM to 7 AM. You should abide by them. No loud  noises after 10 PM! Take it inside for the evening.
  • Pay attention to light pollution. Turn off the house lights at night so everyone can enjoy the stars.
  • Parking is a tough one. It’s different in the summer vs. the winter. In the winter it’s illegal to park on the road (November through April) because it blocks the snow plow. If you don’t have a driveway to park in then you’ll need to carpool or find alternative parking that is not in the local neighborhood. Carpooling is best when you have 12 to 14 guests staying in the same home. Piling car after car at one home doesn’t let you blend. 
  • Plan ahead when you pack food. Be smart and don’t overpack your coolers! Less waste means less garbage. You can even shop while you’re here! We have plenty of lovely grocery stores.
  • Coordinate with your group to share important information. One person should be the point person for your rental. They can share the rules about checking in, checking out, and about local ordinances. 

Act with empathy!

flower and words that say "be kind" on pastel pink background

There are so many little things you can do to make life easier for the owner. For example, did you know that the cleaners usually only have five or 6 hours to address a property? Doing things like showering before you get into the spa to get sunscreen and sand off of you, keeping it out of the hot tub makes a huge difference.

Being on time for both check-in and check-out also makes a big difference to the owner’s logistics. 

Be kind. Right now we’re in the middle of a pandemic. Don’t call to scream and yell if you find one small thing wrong. Tight bookings mean we get just one cleaning a week. We always do our best to give our guests a great experience, but sometimes things happen. 

In the end, it all boils down to having some empathy for your homeowner’s situation. They’re taking a risk by renting out their property. Make sure it’s a risk they feel good about continuing to take!

Related: Our Favorite Places to Shop in Truckee