How can you prevent Late Check-outs?

Let’s imagine the following scenario: your guests were supposed to leave at 11 a.m. You have new guests arriving at 3 pm. Your guests take their time and don’t come out until 2 p.m.

That leaves you with having to prepare the property in less time or delay check-in for the next arrival. Either way, it is inconvenient for you and can result in two negative reviews in the same day.

If you already had a bad time with guests who do not meet the stipulated departure time, you will know what we are talking about. Here are some ideas to help you prevent such scenarios:

Make clear house rules
House rules are a professional way of designing the grounds for all guests who enter your property. They give you the opportunity to clearly establish: what you expect of them, what they can and cannot do, and what penalties will occur if these rules are broken. When you give your guests a clear picture of what is allowed and forbidden, you will feel much more in control.

Typical house rules include the following: noise, smoking, pets, trash, parking, visiting, etc. Setting the departure time in your vacation rental rules is extremely important and essential. You should also implement the exact check in- check out time on your vacation rental website and any other OTAs you work on.

Charge additional fees for Late Check-out
You can even take more steps to prevent your guests from checking out late by implementing an additional fee as a penalty. There are many ways to do this, you can charge them by the hour, for example, $ 50 an hour, or even charge them for a full day. These additional costs could prevent a late check-out, and if it does, you will at least make money from it.

Again, you can enforce this additional on your vacation rental website and major OTAs like Airbnb, VRBO or HomeAway. Remember to include departure fees in your rental agreement, which guests will need to sign upon arrival.

Communicate with guests
Communication with your guests probably starts as soon as they book their vacation rental, but it also continues as they prepare for their arrival. You must inform them about the registration procedure, who will be present to greet them, ask what time they will arrive, etc.

If you want to save yourself the trouble of charging your guests or taking part in their deposit, you can solve everything before taking any negative action. Just asking them what time they will be leaving! There is absolutely no harm and it can actually prevent problems.

If they confirm that they will be out later, this is the time when you should tell them that it is not possible. Then, offer them solutions, like staying a few hours but charging them $ 50 per hour after the stipulated check-out. Or, you can offer to store their luggage for them on their property or recommend a local location.

Alternatively, you can be flexible. If you don’t have new reservations for that exact day, you can consider being forgiving and letting them stay a few hours free of charge. In turn, it could lead to an extremely positive review and recommendations, resulting in more bookings overall!

Send a reminder the night before
The night before check-out, send your guests a friendly reminder of the check-out time. A simple text will do. Here is an example you can use:

Hello (guest name), I hope you enjoyed your stay at (rental name). Just to remind you that departure is at (departure time) tomorrow. We wish you a safe trip back and hope to see you again soon!

You can also inform your guests that your cleaning crew will be arriving at check-out time and that you have new guests coming in.