Summer Vacation Rental Tips
Going on vacation this summer? Make sure you're ready for your home to be unattended. Three Days Before -Suspend mail and newspaper delivery. Contact the post office (usps.com) to hold your mail. Or have a trusted neighbor collect mail, packages and newspapers while you're away so they don't accumulate at the front door, a sure sign you're not home. -Provide friends and neighbors with itinerary and relevant phone numbers and the names of those who have keys, etc. to enter your home. One Day Before -Set timers. To keep your house from sitting dark all evening, install plug-in timers ($4 to $10 each at home-improvement stores) on lamps in several rooms. Set them to turn on and off at different times. Consider putting a radio and a television on timers, too. -Discard perishables. Don't return to a smelly refrigerator. -Adjust the refrigerator temperature. Make sure the thermostat isn't on the supercool setting. This will keep the refrigerator from blowing a circuit while you're away. Three Hours Before -Adjust shades and blinds. Leave them partially open so your house looks lived-in. -Leave a car in the driveway (if you have one). If you're talking yours with you, ask a neighbor to park their car there while you're away. -Set the air-conditioner. If you have central air-conditioning, raise your thermostat so that it's set about 10 degrees below the average outside temperature. But don't turn it off. Without the help of air-conditioning, mold and mildew can develop in houses in humid climates.