Cabin Rental Dos and Don'ts If you're thinking about renting your vacation cabin or buying a cabin to rent, here are few quick and easy guidelines to help you get started. Cabin Rental Do's • Create a cabin rental agreement. Protect yourself and your renters by having a contract that clearly states what is expected of both parties. • Be aware of sales tax requirements in your area. Cabin rental owners in your area may be required to collect and remit sales tax from rental guests. Check with your local, county, and state tax authorities for details. • Know which amenities renters are looking for. In many mountain cabin markets (like Gatlinburg, TN or the North Georgia Mountains), hot tubs and pool tables are must-haves! However, when searching for a lake cabin (like Big Bear, CA or Lake Tahoe) many renters look specifically for amenities like docks, paddle boats, and water toys. • Consider accepting pets. Travelers with pets are a growing segment of the population and often look for cabins to rent on vacation. Don't miss out by excluding them. • Sell the cabin experience in your decor. Many travelers escape to a vacation cabin to get away from it all and appreciate rustic and cozy aesthetics like log furniture, quilts, and fishing decor. Cabin Rental Don'ts • Over-decorate. When equipping your mountain or lake cabin for rental, it's easy to go over-the-top with antlers, carved bears, and country décor. When it comes to rustic decorating, less is usually more. Too much décor can look cluttered and many potential renters associate clutter with dirt. • Underestimate the importance of photos. One of the biggest mistakes that cabin rental owners make is having poor photos of their vacation home on the Internet. When a renter is looking at cabins for rent, the quality of a property's photos is a huge factor in their decision making process. • Forget to change your insurance policy. When you start to rent your lake or mountain cabin on a short-term basis, you likely will need to change your insurance coverage. Check with your insurance company for details. These are just a few tips to get you started. The key to success in any endeavor is educating yourself before you begin. If you're thinking about renting your vacation cabin, definitely talk with other cabin rental owners in your area to get an idea of what to expect and to get advice specific to your area or region. Kristin Dorsett is the Assistant Editor of the HomeAway.com Owner Community a great resource for vacation rental home owners featuring educational articles, vacation rental news, owner polls, monthly newsletters, and a weekly internet radio show by bestselling author Christine Karpinski. Or if you're looking for a vacation home to rent, browse Cabin Rentals on HomeAway.com.