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Best Practices for Happy STR Neighborhoods

by Kathy Bartnick

Good communication starts with your local permanent neighbors! Introduce yourself and create a relationship so they know you care. Share your ideas about the neighborhood and your STR with them so they can see you want to add value to community. Let your neighbors know you have a Community Guideline Manual and share it with them! Ask for their input—this goes a long way to show your intent to have a happy neighborhood.

Here are a few best practices you can follow with your guests:

1. Be Proactive: Be proactive with all the potential problems before they turn into a complaint that you will have to react to. Remind them to be a GOOD NEIGHBOR!

2. Parking: What are your rules and are the spelled out clearly? Should you include a map? How many cars can you host? What happens if they block sidewalk or neighbor’s driveway? Is there a secondary area to park? Will you have security camera on the parking areas to monitor?

3. Noise: Have you communicated your “quiet hours” clearly, in more than one way? On a sign upon entry? Check-in checklist on the counter? Welcome phone call? In your community rules and guidelines for a happy stay? Can they have parties? What defines a party? Are guests limited? What is the maximum occupancy? Will you have an on-call person to respond to noise complaints in a timely manner? Do your neighbors have your on-call number?

4. Trash & General Cleaning: Do you have house rules or guidelines? Signage for this? Check-in checklist to show expectations for both? Will you have recycling bins and post rules? Will you share trash pick-up day? Will you have penalties for either during or after their stay? Will you have someone monitor trash bins daily?

5. PETS: Do you allow them? Do you have clear rules and guidelines in your STR community rules or manual? Will you remind them of the leash law and ask them to prevent excessive barking? Will you provide doggie pick up bags? Will have an extra dog leash?

6. EMERGENCY CONTACT: How will you communicate who to contact with an emergency? On check-in checklist on counter? Community rules and guidelines? Sign on the wall? Will you have a first aid kit and clearly state where it is? Include local police and fire department as well local med stations near by?

Communication is the first step to avoiding complaints so that your guests, your neighbors and your staff have a happy experience staying, living and working with you!

Article written by Kathy Bartnick.

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