How to Create a Rental Home Check-Out Checklist

Communication is key to running a successful vacation rental home. After your guests have enjoyed their stay and are ready to leave, it's critical to provide them with a check-out checklist to ensure nothing is amiss for the next party. Whether you're creating a list for the first time or updating an old one, here are a few tips on how to make sure everything is covered.

Checklist Placement

The placement of your checklist is up to you. You can either print a large checklist and pin it to the wall in the entryway or break down the checklist and place each section in the appropriate room. Just ensure that your guest knows where to locate the checklist. You might consider laminating the list or providing multiple copies in case of accidents.

Kitchen Checklist

A set of trash cans in a kitchen.

You can be as detailed as you want in the kitchen, but try not to go too overboard and overwhelm your guests. The most important things to include on the checklist are taking out the garbage, removing leftovers from the fridge, turning off coffee makers and other small appliances, and making sure any used dishes are cleaned and put away. You can also have guests wipe down surfaces, but this will depend on how much you want to clean between stays.

Clear Labels

Your checklist should be written as clear as possible to avoid any misunderstandings. Some of the instructions might require labeling on your part, such as light switches, appliances, dishes, and thermostats. Remember, your guests are not familiar with the home and won’t always know how to turn things off and where items should go. Small labels can go a long way in helping guests finish the checklist and will help avoid any major mishaps. Just don’t go too crazy with the labeling as this might affect the look of your rental.

Bathroom Checklist

White towels on a tan tiled floor.

The bathroom is a little easier than the kitchen. The guests should make sure the garbage is empty, all the faucets are turned off, and any personal items, including clothes, are removed from the space. It’s a good idea to have guests pile the towels on the bathroom floor to make them easier to find for laundry day.

Other Rooms

The checklist for the other rooms in the house is pretty straightforward. Furniture should be returned to its original state, lights turned off, and all personal items removed from drawers and closets. You can also have your guests remove pillow cases and sheets from the beds and pile in a corner for easy access. All windows and exterior doors should be closed and locked before leaving.

Outside Checklist

A BBQ on a wood deck.

Don’t forget to include the outdoors on your checklist, especially if you have a pool or barbecue. This checklist will vary depending on your situation, but make sure guests leave the space free of garbage and ready for the next customer. If applicable, state that pool toys should be returned to their storage areas, and chairs and other furniture returned to their original locations.

The Basics

There are a few basic items you need to include on the checklist. This includes making sure the garbage is taken out, the lights are turned off, the doors and windows are closed and locked, and the thermostats are set at the appropriate temperatures. Beyond these simple tasks, each room of the home should be broken down into its own section for better understanding and task management.

Be Specific

You want to be as specific as possible when writing out the instructions. Leave little to no wiggle room and make sure your guests know exactly what is expected of them. Just be careful not to sound too demanding. It’s always good to sound a little extra polite rather than threatening. You can even have a little fun with the instructions and present them in a more humorous manner.


At the end of the day, communication is the most important part of the rental home checklist. Make sure your guests are aware of the checklist when they book your home. You can even email them a copy of the checklist as part of the rental packet to ensure they get a copy.