You’ve found the perfect guests – that’s great! Now it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty: the details of your agreement. They’re too important to be left to casual phone conversations and email messages. Successful transactions are based on good communication, trust, mutual consideration – and written agreements.
A written agreement is optional – although highly recommended – for a home exchange, but it’s essential for a rental. The agreement can be as simple or as detailed as you want. What’s important is that you put key details in writing: things like arrival and departure dates; responsibilities and commitments; any restrictions; and, for rentals, the amounts of the deposit and rent.
Disclaimer: This Not Legal Advice!
I’m not an attorney, even though my parents probably wished I were. The information on this site about exchange and rental agreements is not meant as legal advice. If you want to be sure your agreement will stand up in court, you’ll need to consult a real lawyer.
A few pointers
- Don’t wait until the last minute to decide what to include in your rental or exchange agreement. It doesn’t hurt to jot down key points as soon as you list your home so you’ll be ready when it comes time to get down to details.
- Reduce the chance of misunderstandings by keeping your agreements simple and writing them in plain English.
- Use “boilerplate” contracts with care. Many listing sites include agreements you can use, and there are lots of fill-in-the blank contracts on the web. Just make sure the form fits your situation – it may include language you do not need and omit details you want to include. Instead of simply copying a standard agreement, you might want to use it as a guide for preparing your own.