Unlike most of the rest of the vacation rental world, Cape Cod owners, for the most part, do not furnish vacation rental bedding and towels for rental guests. Vacationers either bring their own or rent them so they are at the property when the group arrives.  Naturally, most guests would love to find fresh linens ready to use when they start their vacation. So why don’t more owners throw in the sheets and towels? In most cases, it’s not the added cost, it’s the logistics of the typical, very hectic rental turnover day.

We’ve had owners provide the linens with the proviso that guests wash and dry them so they are ready for the next guest group. Trouble is, even the most organized and disciplined guests find it just about impossible to whip the house into decent shape PLUS run often multiple loads of laundry to get all the linens and towels washed and dried – and still get out the door by 10 am on their departure day. Of course, the bigger the group, the more laundry there is, and the more difficult the challenge becomes. Some owners have their cleaning service attempt the same feat, which generally doesn’t work out much better. Fact is, there really isn’t enough time on a turnover day to get the job done.

The only practical way to provide linens is to have at least two complete sets of everything so that the soiled linens can be removed from the home and laundered on a less frantic schedule, while arriving guests receive a separate, freshly laundered set. But who’s responsible for collecting and cleaning the dirty linens, as well as delivering clean ones each week? Sometimes it’s the cleaning service, sometimes it’s the owner and sometimes it’s a third party, acting as a sort of property manager.

If your property is a larger, more expensive rental, your guests are more likely to expect that you provide the linens. Guest may even ask to have the beds made when they arrive, which some linen rental services, such as our own, will take care of for a minimal additional per-bed fee.

Especially for what we call “Resort/Reunion” properties, including quality sheets and towels is a must. These are properties, often estates really, that sleep up to 12 or more and offer resort-like amenities such as a swimming pool, spa, kayaks, etc.

Joan Talmadge of WeNeedAVacation.com, offers some more tips for managing your bedding for vacation rentals:

 “Put plastic mattress protectors on your mattresses. (The regular mattress pad goes on top of this so that the plastic protector is not even noticed.)

 Put pillows into cotton protectors in order to keep your pillows stain-free.

 Be sure that all bedding is clean and stain-free. This includes mattresses, mattress pads, pillows, and blankets. Stained and dirty bed linens are a serious turn-off to tenants.

 Be sure to provide at least two sets of bed linens for each bed.”

See more at: http://blog.weneedavacation.com/2014/03/19/should-i-provide-linens-in-my-vacation-rental/

However you decide to handle linens for your vacation rentals, be sure to communicate the information clearly to rental guests long before they arrive. In our rental agreement, we not only state when linens are not provided, we highlight it in yellow so it’s hard not to notice. The last thing you need is to get a distress call at bed time from your just-arrived guests, who were sure their rental included sheets and towels. Whoops!