Anyone renting out their property for short periods needs to walk a fine line; you can't risk alienating or annoying tenants by constantly nagging them about cleaning, but neither can you let the place get messy enough to disappoint the next people coming through the door.
With this in mind, you need to be able to make sure your short-term tenants will keep the property presentable without having to hound them all the time to make it so. Here are the four rules that you need to follow.
1. Put It in the Contract
The first thing you need to do is make sure that renters are contractually obliged to clean the property. This is something that many short-term landlords feel odd doing when the rental term is so short, often only as long as a few nights. However, you need to keep in mind that the property they are living in probably represents a significant portion of your livelihood. Some landlords will even dictate that a professional cleaning company must be used, though usually only if the stay is longer than a few weeks.
2. Take a Deposit
Okay, a contract provides protection, but nobody wants to go through the bother of having to leverage the terms set out. This is especially true of short-term lets; the trouble of making your tenants actually stick to the terms if they are determined not to can be considerable and not something you'll want to go through every couple of weeks. To make sure the terms are stuck to, take a deposit from your tenants. This can be paid back in full if the property is left clean, but you can always deduct from the total if further cleaning services will be required.
3. Provide the Proper Equipment
It's often startling just how many short-term landlords are desperate to have their tenants keep their properties clean yet don't provide the necessary tools. You'll want to make sure that the property contains a vacuum cleaner and a dustpan and brush, and don't forget to keep an array of wipes and common cleaning agents around. People only staying for a couple of days are unlikely to go out and buy these products themselves.
4. Make Your Property Easy to Clean
If you're still in the process of renovating your apartment, think long and hard about what you use to decorate. Light carpeting, for example, will be much harder to keep clean than basic wood laminate, and lots of decorations along your shelves will make dusting tougher. Remember that practicality is going to beat appearance in this regard.
It's also a good idea to have a standing relationship with local cleaners to give your property a clean sweep after every new tenant vacates.