Though the weather outside has now become frightfully cold this winter, we are gearing up for a very busy summer rental season. This is the time to plan ahead and get your property "rental ready" so that your summer tenants enjoy their vacation experience. We've included a basic checklist below that you can follow to ensure that you've covered all bases regarding the licensing, maintenance, cleaning, and the marketing of your rental property.

Prepare now for a successful summer vacation rental season! Call us if we can be of any help.


It's that time of year again - time to get your shore property ready for a busy summer ahead. Given the recent fall and winter storms that battered our coast (Hurricane Sandy in particular), there may be some additional steps you'll want to take this spring to make sure your property is 100% "rental ready". We've outlined a few key preparation steps below, with links to more extensive lists you can visit, print and keep for future reference. Keep your tenants coming back each year by planning ahead and creating a wonderful vacation experience for them. A happy tenant will visit year after year!


  1. Check outlets and circuit breakers. Plug in lamps and turn on lights to make sure your electricity works.
  2. Check your fire extinguishers to make sure they are in proper working order.
  3. Check indoors and out for any water damage and/or mildew which might have been caused by leaks or storm damage. Be sure to examine outdoor showers, crawl spaces and outdoor storage.
  4. Check HVAC systems to ensure they are in good working order. Change the filters.
  5. Check windows and screens for damage (warping, broken panes, holes or rips in screens).
  6. Check the water supply and plumbing (indoor and outdoor showers, sinks, and hoses).
  7. Check the hot water heater for leaks and damage or corroded pipes.
  8. Check all major appliances (stove/oven, dishwasher, fridge, garbage disposal) to ensure everything is in good working order. Check outdoor grills too!
  9. Check and replace all batteries and light bulbs that are not working. Don't forget the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors!
  10. Check all dishware and glassware for breaks, chips or cracks and replace as needed.


  1. Make sure your property is adequately equipped with cleaning supplies, such as a vacuum cleaner with bags, a broom, a mop, sponges and buckets. Tenants are more likely to use them if they can find them!
  2. Schedule with a housecleaning service, or perform yourself, a thorough "spring cleaning" prior to first use, including windows, vacuuming, floorboards, closets, drawers, cabinets, dryer vents and heating/cooling vents.
  3. Check mattresses and pillows for cleanliness. Wash bedding.
  4. Replace any chipped or worn-out dishes, flatware, pots/pans and cooking utensils.
  5. Clean all outdoor furniture and wash deck, if applicable.
  6. Check your outdoor shower(s) for cleanliness.
  7. Check furniture for damage and/or stains. Make sure any sofa beds or futons work properly and are comfortable.
  8. Check blinds and drapes to make sure they are clean and working properly.
  9. Check showers liners and bath mats for rips, tears and cleanliness.
  10. If possible, arrange for cleaning between each tenant stay. This will also provide an opportunity to check the property on a regular basis.
  11. Ask your tenants to "straighten" before they leave.


  1. Make sure you have an adequate number and required types of trash cans and recycling bins for your township/municipality, each marked with your street address.
  2. Take a basic furniture inventory and replace or repair missing or damaged items.
  3. Check blinds and drapes for damage; be sure to place opaque window coverings on rooms with a public view as well as sleeping rooms.
  4. Purchase a backup propane tank for the outdoor grill, if applicable.
  5. Be sure to have a backup supply of extra light bulbs, batteries for remotes and smoke/CO2 detectors, candles, and vacuum cleaner bags.
  6. A King or Queen bed is recommended for the Master Bedroom; twins or doubles are recommended for other bedrooms.
  7. Bathrooms: provide clean shower curtains and liners for each shower in the property.
  8. Wastebaskets: provide several metal, plastic or wicker wastebaskets in each bedroom and bathroom.
  9. Bedding: provide pillows, blankets and comforters for each bed. Examine for rips, tears or stains and repair/replace as needed.
  10. Living Room/Family Room: provide comfortable seating for the number of persons allowed in the unit. Adequate lighting and tables should be factored into the furniture plan.
  11. Kitchen: check glassware and dishware for cracks, chips or breaks. Check cooking utensils and flatware for rust, bent or loose handles, or corrosion. Enamel or Teflon coatings on pots and pans should be intact and not scratched or chipped. The kitchen should include at least 1 set of steak and 1 set of carving knives. The sink should have a garbage disposal with a wrench to unclog. The freezer should contain ice cube trays or the fridge should have an icemaker installed.
  12. Provide a minimum of 2 TVs (19" color) that have remotes and are cable-ready. Make sure there is at least 1 DVD player in the property.
  13. Have an ironing board (clean, no holes or scorch marks) and iron available for tenants.
  14. Leave instructions for all appliances in an easily accessible location in the kitchen, utility closet or living/family room.


  1. Make sure all TV, cable and internet services are ordered, turned on, set up and in working order.
  2. Create a "Tenant Notebook" (binder or folder) and include any internet passwords or special instructions for the TV, internet, cable, phone, alarm system, etc.
  3. Ensure that all utilities are turned on (gas, electric, phone, cable).
  4. Make sure to let us know if you want any weeks taken off for personal use.
  5. Review weeks and rates (open and rented) with your agent.
  6. Check the FDRE web site at and review your pictures/tours. Let us know if anything has changed or is not pictured accurately.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Prepare now for a fun and memorable summer rental season. Here's to a wonderful summer at the shore!