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A Sample Seasonal Rental Agreement with Download

written by: Noreen Gunnell•edited by: Jason C. Chavis•updated: 4/26/2011

Questions about how to rent a second home may seem insurmountable at first. Do you need a rental agreement or lease? Is it a seasonal rental or short-term, and how do I know the difference? This article contains a sample seasonal rental agreement and a sample short-term rental agreement to help.

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    What is a Seasonal Rental?

    A seasonal rental is a property that is primarily rented during a specific season. This does not mean that the property can only be rented during one season, rather, that it is more suited for a certain season. Seasonal rentals usually bring the biggest draw during that particular season and therefore rates will vary from season to season. A property listed in a ski-resort area will naturally charge higher rates during the winter months, while one available in a beach community will generate the most income between (and including) the Memorial Day and Labor Day holiday weekends, at least in the US.

    Seasonal rental agreements are not traditional rental agreements in that they do not take the form of a lease with a rental fee due each month. A seasonal rental agreement is basically a vacation rental agreement in that the time-frame covered by the agreement can range from a weekend to several months. For shorter rental periods, they usually include check-in and check-out times and a cleaning fee.

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    What is a Short-Term Rental?

    Short-term rental agreements are similar to seasonal rental agreements except for the rental period covered. A short-term rental agreement generally covers a rental period of three to six months.

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    Seasonal Rental Agreement Basics

    • Seasonal rental agreements can be as short as a weekend or as long as an entire season (i.e. summer or winter, typically three months). A seasonal rental is often a also considered a vacation rental.
    • These agreements clearly define check-in and check-out dates. Much like a hotel, seasonal rental agreements specify times for arriving and departing. This is especially true for short rental periods but may not be included in a rental agreement for the entire season.
    • Seasonal rental agreements include a housekeeping or cleaning fee either separately or added to the rental fee.
    • Usually require a refundable security deposit. However, travel insurance companies offer home owners alternatives to collecting security deposits on seasonal rentals. See resources below.
    • List rental rules and terms of use as to amenities available with the property.
    • Explain the amount of deposit needed to hold the reservation.
    • Define a cancellation and refund policy.
    • Includes a pet policy and pet security deposit if necessary.

    A Sample Seasonal Rental Agreement is available in the Media Gallery. It is not a legal document and meant as a guide only.

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    Short-Term Rental Agreement Basics

    • Short-term rental agreements are usually less than six months.
    • A seasonal rental agreement for an entire season (i.e. three months) can also be considered a short-term rental agreement.
    • List a defined rental period but do not usually specify a check-in or check-out time.
    • They do not typically include a housekeeping or cleaning fee.
    • Require a refundable security deposit.
    • Specify rules as to how the property and amenities can be used.
    • Short-term rental agreements detail how the rental fee is to be paid, and if a deposit is required.
    • If rent is collected monthly, a short-term rental agreement would become a lease.
    • Includes a pet policy and pet security deposit if necessary.

    A Sample Short-Term Rental Agreement is available in the Media Gallery. It is not a legal document and meant as a guide only.

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    When establishing a rental property, either seasonal or for a short-term, it's important to remember to make everything legal and obtain necessary signatures from the renters. Using these tools as a basis for the rental process will help you maintain a professional standard of business.

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    Home Away,

    Realty Times,

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    877 etravel,

    Home Away,