Matthew Breitenbach | February 19, 2022

How to Use Your Hamptons Home as a Vacation Rental

You love your secondary Hamptons home, but you don’t utilize it often, and it’s collecting dust. Instead of leaving it empty and unlived in, spruce it up and transform it into a vacation rental! You adore the community amenities and sunny beaches that come with Hamptons living, so why not share the experience with tourists while turning a profit? The short-term accommodation industry is booming, making it the perfect time for Hamptons property owners to partake. 

There are many considerations when chasing this pursuit, and guidance is needed. Investing some time, effort, and money in your rental will significantly impact your profits and create a seamless experience for you and your guests. Here we will dive into the tasks, permits, and everything required to rent out your Hamptons property to eager travelers. 

Acquire Necessary Permits

First thing’s first. You need to make sure you can legally rent out your Hamptons home. There are numerous levels of laws and restrictions that could affect rental properties in your area. Be sure to research ASAP to avoid paying hefty fines in the future.

You have to obtain proper licenses and permits for your state, county, and city. The timelines for this varies by municipality. Here you can find rental registry information for East Hampton, Southampton, and other rental permit laws and rental permit expediting services here

Handling the permits independently is an option, but this is one area where having a vacation rental manager comes in handy. Vacation rental property managers are well-versed in local permit processes and can aid in dealing with associated taxes, overcoming unexpected obstacles, scheduling inspections, and assisting with required documentation. It’s in their best interest that things go smoothly on the business front, so you know property managers will be thorough when it comes to ensuring your Hamptons home is properly licensed. 

In addition to rental permits, you’ll need to have rental insurance in case something goes awry. The last thing you need is guests damaging the property, or worse, getting injured! Talk to your insurance company about turning your home into a vacation rental and what additional coverages you will need.

Prepare Your Home

The best way to create a home-away-from-home for your guests is by designing a neutral setting that still possesses comfortable and homey elements. There are several tips to help prepare your Hamptons luxury real estate for rent.

1. Remove all family photos. It is difficult for guests to feel comfortable in a home adorned with someone else’s family pictures. Having a clean slate in which guests can create their own memories is vital for having a fantastic experience.

2. Keep the necessities. When you decide to transform your home into a vacation rental, you have a leg-up over those starting with a completely new space. Don’t make the mistake of not supplying necessities. Surely you have bowls, flatware, and some pans in the kitchen cabinets, but be sure to provide other essentials, such as:

  • Pens, pencils, and paper
  • Scissors
  • Extra blankets and pillows
  • Basic cooking utensils such as spatulas, tongs, a chef’s knife, etc.
  • A collection of take-out menus
  • Food storage containers
  • Antibacterial wipes, paper towels, dish soap, and sponges
3. Give the home a deep clean. A thorough cleaning is much more than washing the sheets and scrubbing the counters until they sparkle. You need a top-to-bottom wash of the entire property. Refer to these vacation rental cleaning checklists to ensure you get every nook and cranny so you can accumulate five-star reviews. 

You’re welcome to clean the home yourself, but if you aren’t confident that you’ll do a thorough enough job or you simply won’t be around enough to make it work, hire a professional cleaning company. Hire a company to do the initial deep cleaning and cleanings between stays. Get cleaning service recommendations from other neighboring property owners or find one with excellent online reviews.

4. Hire a landscaping service. Hire a landscaping service to handle routine lawn maintenance and care. Like cleaning service and other maintenance costs, this service is tax-deductible, plus a manicured lawn and blossoming garden are more likely to get good reviews and repeat visitors.


There are specific items that will make renting out your home significantly easier. Dedicating some funds to these features will help guest-proof your vacation rental house, exude a professional appearance, and save you from future headaches.

1. Wi-Fi Locks: If you’re concerned about your combination-lock codes falling into the wrong hands, purchase a Wi-Fi lock you can control remotely and/or open with a key. This added security measure is an extra safeguard in case the combination lock is compromised, in addition to being a way to lock up if your guests forget to. This SCHLAGE Z-Wave Deadbolt with Built-In Alarm offers a combination and Wi-Fi lock in one. It can be locked via code, smartphone, or Amazon Alexa. If you’re still unsure about which entry system to go with, check out this guide that analyzes the pros and cons of various keyless locks and entry systems.
2. Basic toiletries: Don’t be the host that skimps on small details. Affordable bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and soap in the showers are lifesavers for forgetful travelers. Mouthwash, hand soaps, and other bathrooms items are a nice touch. Buy travel-sized toiletries in bulk and leave a charming basket of goodies for your guests in the bathroom. 

3. App-enabled garage door opener: For those who own a garage and plan on offering it to guests, owning one of these is key. You’re bound to forget to close the garage door now and then, and your guests could easily do the same. This Remootio 2 WiFi and Bluetooth garage door opener works with iOS and Android. Opt for this pricer Chamberlain garage door opener for a model with a built-in secure view camera for added security. 

4. A safe: Keep small items you will need at your vacation home in a safe, including spare keys, tools, and valuables. Another option is to reserve a closet or cabinet for your belongings and anything you need to maintain the property that you don’t want guests to have access to. Having a safe or dedicated closet for expensive or sentimental goods means not having to bring personal items back and forth with every stay while knowing no one is tampering with it. 

5. Home monitoring system: Keep track of what’s happening on your property when renters are or aren’t there with a home-monitoring gadget. Install security cameras outside to give you peace of mind. 

Create an Availability Calendar

Deciding to use your Hamptons property as a vacation rental can be a bit daunting. Ease your stress by taking some time to map out an availability calendar for when guests can rent it out. Birthdays, family weekends, graduations, and other times you’ll want to use the property yourself should be blocked out. 

If you’re worried about renting out your home and not having the freedom to visit whenever, start out overestimating how much time you’ll spend there so that you need not worry about guests booking it during those times. If you aim to profit as much as possible, block out your calendar minimally. It could be challenging to give up your Hamptons beach home during the Fourth of July or Christmas at first, but keep in mind holidays are when you can make bank. 

Set House Rules

Setting rules for your vacation rental is a crucial task, though not an easy one. You want to set a few standards without making guests feel like they have little freedom on their vacation. When creating rules, picture yourself in the guest’s shoes. Think about the basics they will need to know about the rental and the neighborhood. 

Consider these things when setting house rules:
  • Will you allow pets? If yes, do you plan on charging extra per pet, and what types of pets are allowed? If not, will you charge a penalty fine for guests who bring pets?

  • Should doors be locked or closed at all times?

  • Are guests allowed to use the washer and dryer?

  • Is there a protocol for trash, dishes, or sheets upon check-out?

  • Are there neighborhood quiet hours?
Post house rules on the fridge or an obvious area. Include the rules in a welcome book as well. 

Take Photos, Write a Description, & Market the Property

Consider hiring a professional photographer to capture the best angles of your rental home. Photos are the first thing potential renters will see when skimming the internet for vacation rentals, so provide some high-quality pictures to show off your unique Hamptons home! 

Follow up photos with a description of the property. This is your chance to highlight amenities that aren’t obvious in the pictures. Showcase any special features, including custom-built mahogany cabinets, a whirlpool jacuzzi, a swimming pool, or any added luxury that will attract renters. Additionally, talk about any outstanding neighborhood features, including local landmarks, exceptional restaurants, shops, etc. 

Once you’ve gathered some beautiful photos and an enticing rental description, list your property online. You can use Craigslist, Airbnb, or Each site offers different services and clientele. Some sites offer free initial listings and charge reservation fees, while others charge an annual subscription fee. Scope out all your options to find the best one for your objectives. 

Using your Hamptons home as a vacation rental is lucrative and doesn’t have to be a stressful and challenging undertaking. Incorporating all of these tasks and tips will ensure that you get a stacked calendar of guests and rake in a multitude of five-star reviews in no time!

Contact the Breitenbach Advisory Team today if you are in the market for Southampton houses for sale or Sag Harbor real estate. Leading Hamptons’ broker Matthew Breitenbach and his esteemed team of professionals will show you the ins and outs of purchasing real estate in various coveted New York communities.

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