How to Get a House Ready to Rent for Winter

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Have you ever considered leaving the New England cold behind one winter, and renting your property out while you’re away? Then you need to know how to get a house ready to rent for winter.

Discover the keys to transforming your space into a haven of warmth, safety, and comfort for guests. You’ll discover easy ways to elevate your vacation home, ensuring it’s not just winter-ready but the perfect setting for creating cherished memories for guests.

Continue reading to turn your New England home into a winter wonderland you can rent out for the season.

How to get a house ready to rent
Discover how to get a house ready to rent as a winter rental property.

CONTENTS — In this article, you will discover how to get a house ready to rent for the winter, including:

How to Prepare Your Rhode Island Vacation Home (or Elsewhere) for the Holiday Season

Preparing your home as a winter rental can be a big project on your winter to-do list before the holidays. And if your property is in Rhode Island, nestled amid the beautiful New England scenery, your cozy retreat requires special attention. You want to make it the perfect winter haven for guests.

You’ll need to prepare your home for the holiday season so guests enjoy warmth, safety, and comfort against the idyllic snowy backdrop of Rhode Island.

Here’s how.

1. Decorate for the Festive Season

Transforming your home into a winter wonderland is part of the magic of the holiday season. Start with the exterior by hanging lights along the roofline and wrapping them around outdoor trees or shrubs. Put them on an automatic timer for no-hassle maintenance.

Then, adorn your front door with a festive wreath to welcome guests with holiday cheer. Inside, choose a theme that complements the natural charm of your Rhode Island home.  Rich plaid accents, evergreen scents, and twinkling lights will create a cozy atmosphere.

These decorative touches are not only visually pleasing but also create an ambiance that enhances your guests’ overall holiday experience.

2. Ensure Safety and Security Measures

home safety
Make sure your rental property is secure.

Safety should never take a backseat, especially during the holiday season. Your Rhode Island vacation home may be more vulnerable to safety issues due to extreme weather or increased occupancy.

Be sure to check all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are functioning correctly. Install fresh batteries if needed.

Inspect the heating system and ensure the fireplace is clean and safe to use. These are critical steps toward providing warmth and comfort throughout the colder months. 

Also, consider installing a smart security system if you haven’t already.

You can monitor these systems remotely and they can provide instant alerts to any unusual activities. You’ll want to respect your guests’ privacy, but also be ready to act swiftly to secure your property when you’re not there.

It’s a good idea to hire someone to keep pathways and driveways clear of snow and ice to prevent accidents. Also, stock up on eco-friendly ice melt and sand for traction.

Taking these precautionary measures not only protects the property but also ensures that the holiday season is merry, bright, and accident-free.

3. Get Rid of Potential Pests

pest control
Guard your holiday haven against pests.

Another step you’ll want to take before renting your home is to make sure that uninvited guests of the critter variety aren’t a problem.

You’ll need to conduct a thorough inspection of the property, looking for signs of mice, insects, and other pests that might be seeking shelter from the cold. If you’ve had guests vacationing at your property or stayed out of town yourself, you’ll also want to check for bedbugs before new guests arrive.

Consider hiring a professional pest control RI service to help eliminate potential infestations and safeguard your property. Getting rid of bugs will provide you with peace of mind and prevent any unwanted surprises during a holiday stay.

Just imagine your guests trying to enjoy a warm mug of hot cocoa while dealing with an uninvited mouse scurrying across your kitchen counter. Eek!

Related: How To Bug Proof Your Home While You’re Away: 5 Expert Tips

4. Stock Up on Supplies and Essentials

When preparing for guests or personal stays during the holidays, it’s a kind gesture to stock your rental property with all the necessary supplies.

Ensure your pantry is filled with staples such as crackers, pasta, canned goods, spices, and ingredients for baking to allow for impromptu holiday meals or treats.

Hot beverages like tea, coffee, and cocoa mix are must-haves for cold days. Remember to replenish essentials like toilet paper, paper towels, and hand soap.

Also, keep a supply of extra bed linens, blankets, and towels on hand for the comfort of your guests.

Having all these essentials readily available means spending less time running out to the store and more time you can enjoy the holiday festivities yourself.

5. Plan for Holiday Activities and Entertainment

thoughtful entertainment
Elevate holiday joy with a thoughtful this of things to do in the area.

While ensuring the comfort and safety of your vacation home is paramount, offer a plan for holiday activities and entertainment to your guests.

You might create a festive itinerary that includes visiting local holiday markets. They are perfect for picking up unique gifts and enjoying seasonal delights, especially for out-of-towners.

Create a list of scenic drives, best restaurants and take-out places, and other area attractions. Also create an emergency list, with fire, police, and someone to call with smaller household emergencies.

For at-home entertainment, gather an assortment of classic holiday movies, board games, and books that guests of all ages can enjoy. 

Don’t forget to craft a holiday playlist with timeless carols that set a merry atmosphere.

If your property has an outdoor space, consider setting up a fire pit for guests to gather around under the stars with some hot apple cider, sharing stories, and making s’mores.

These thoughtful touches will not only keep your guests entertained but also foster cherished memories they’ll carry long after the holiday season ends.

6. Communicate with Guests and Property Managers

Communication is key when it comes to ensuring a seamless holiday experience for both yourself and your guests to get more clarity about your rental agreement. Here are some important tips.

  • Well in advance of their arrival, reach out to your guests with all the necessary information about their stay.
  • Provide them with detailed instructions on accessing the property, operating home appliances, and adhering to any specific house rules.
  • Inform them about the weather conditions they can expect in Rhode Island during their visit and suggest appropriate clothing.

Likewise, maintaining an open line of communication with your property management team is essential. Share with them your schedule and any particular preferences you have for the maintenance of your vacation home during the holiday season.

Communication with guests includes arrangements for snow removal, emergency repairs, or any special preparations that need to be done before the guests arrive.

Strong communication will help you avoid misunderstandings, ensure clear responsibilities, and ultimately contribute to a stress-free holiday period for everyone involved.

7. Maintain Your Property

Getting your house ready to rent also requires keeping your Rhode Island vacation home in pristine condition. This is essential, particularly during the harsh winter months.

Regular maintenance checks are key to preventing any long-term damage caused by cold and moisture. As you prepare for the holiday season, ensure that your roof and gutters are clean and free of debris to prevent ice dams and water damage.

It’s also wise to have a professional inspect and service your heating system to avoid any failures during the coldest days.

Inspect and repair any insulation or seals around windows and doors to keep the warmth in and the chill-out, which will also be energy efficient.

Pipes should be insulated to prevent freezing and potential bursts. Finally, arrange for a reliable local service to promptly clear snow and address any icy conditions on your property.

Proactive and regular maintenance not only preserves the longevity of your vacation home but also ensures that the holiday season is a time of comfort and joy for everyone.

Final Thoughts How to Get a House Ready to Rent

In conclusion, preparing your home to rent for the holiday season requires a combination of proactive measures and thoughtful touches.

From pest control to decorating, ensuring safety and security, stocking up on supplies, planning activities and entertainment, communicating with guests, and regular maintenance—the list can seem endless.

However, by following these helpful tips, you can ensure that your guests’ holiday experience will be nothing short of magical. They’ll create lasting memories with loved ones in your cozy New England retreat.

Now, you know the answer to ‘how to get a house ready to rent.’ And that means once your home is ready and rented, you can head off for a warm-weather vacation yourself!

Jackie Gately at the beach

About Jackie Gately, editor-IN-CHIEF

I'm Jackie Gately, your travel confidante and the creative force behind Enjoy Travel Life, awarded the "Best Casual-Luxury Lifestyle Blog (USA)" in Travel and Tourism by LUXlife Magazine for four consecutive years.

With 25 years of published expertise, I'm a seasoned writer, editor, and photographer curating inspiring travel guides and lifestyle tips for empty nesters. I hope to kindle your spirit of exploration, encouraging you to overcome obstacles and turn your dreams into reality.

Learn to minimize your pre-travel angst and maximize the joy of exploration with insights from my experiences. Let's make every adventure a celebration of this exciting phase of life! 

Follow my social channels for more inspiration.

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