***Please contact an AVRH Admin or firstname.lastname@example.org to report outdated information on this list***
❏ Business License
Calaveras County considers your vacation rental operation a business requiring a license. You can find the application and FAQ here: Business License (calaverasgov.us). If you have a contract with a professional property management company, ask them if you can operate under their license.
❏ Transient Occupancy Tax
All income received from vacation rentals is subject to the County’s 12% Transient Occupancy Tax (“TOT”). You can register and pay this quarterly tax online here: TOT (calaverasgov.us). If you have a contract with a professional property management company, ask them if you can operate under their TOT registration.
If you have questions about TOT or the business license requirement, you can contact Emily Goble at the Tax Collector’s office (email@example.com / (209) 754-6350)… she is very helpful.
You can choose to manage your vacation rental yourself, or you can hire a professional property manager. There are full-service property managers, who handle most of your rental operations and charge higher fees, and ones who offer less services for less expense. There are both local companies and non-local companies.
If you choose to manage your rental yourself, there are many online resources for this. One such resource is Vacation Rental Management System/Software (“VRMS”), which handles reservations and organizes property management operations, such as Ownerrez: https://www.ownerreservations.com/
❏ Local Assistants
If you self manage, you will need to hire someone to clean your house after each group of guests. You might also ask this person or company to open up your house before your guests arrive, turn on lights, water and heat, make beds and supply towels (if you provide linens) and ensure supplies are restocked.
In addition to a housecleaner, you should also have a snow removal company and handyperson you can call on when needed.
For recommendations, ask a realtor or search on Nextdoor and local Facebook groups
Some homeowner’s insurance policies do not extend coverage to short term rentals, so check with your insurance agent about options for including short term rental coverage.
You can also take out Damage Protection insurance for each guest. If you use Owner Rez, you can add this insurance to each rental and pass this cost along to your guests.
❏ Rental Agreement
Guests should sign a Rental Agreement to set expectations and protect against liability. There are many templates available online. If you self-manage, you can use your VRMS or an e-sign platform (e.g., DocuSign, Hellosign) to send your Rental Agreement to your guests for electronic signature.
❏ Marketing Online
❏ Independent Website: there are many ways to build your own site, such as Square Space (https://www.squarespace.com/), Wix (https://www.wix.com/) and WordPress. The least expensive way is to purchase a domain, an SSL certificate and a hosting plan (from a site such as GoDaddy or NameCheap), install WordPress and create your own site. There are many tutorials to teach you how to do this, such as WPBeginner (https://www.wpbeginner.com/).
❏ Houfy website
❏ StayInArnold.com (free, regional listing site; companion site to AVRH)
Online Travel Agencies
Keep up to date and synced among platforms (VRMS, Airbnb, VRBO, Houfy)
Professional pictures are highly recommended. Here are a few photographers who have helped members of AVRH:
Kevin Floerke: https://www.kevinfloerke.com/
Gabriel Deamicis (drone photography): (20+) Higher for Hire | Facebook
Request reviews from all guests and, if you have an individual website for your property, include your reviews there.
❏ Payment Methods
One payment processing option that is popular among hosts is Square. Square allows guests to use a credit card and feel protected when booking directly. Square offers an email invoice option that makes it very easy to send guests an invoice via email for secure payment. Square charges 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction.
If you sign up for Square using the referral link below, you can get $1,000 processed without fees. (The referral link owner, an AVRH admin, will also get $1,000 processed without fees.)
❏ Responsible Renting
Share and enforce compliance with the AVRH Good Neighbor Guidelines by including this document as part of your Rental Agreement rules and posting a copy at your vacation home. It addresses guest limits, garbage, noise/light, parking and pets.
Share information required by your HOA, such as CC&Rs and rules for Short Term Rentals.
Post visible signs so that neighbors and passerbys can contact you or your manager
- Window Sign
- Sign visible from street with a way to contact you (e.g., StayInArnold sign; PM sign)
If you are not local, designate a local, available contact to respond to urgent matters
❏ Recommended Resources
- Arnold Vacation Rental Homeowners: This is a private group. Please join once you are up and running.