How guest screening helps secure your vacation home

A look inside Vacasa’s comprehensive guest screening


Key takeaways

  • There is no such thing as a risk-proof rental—but there are plenty of ways a trustworthy property manager like Vacasa can help protect your home.
  • Vacasa’s go-to guest screening procedures include setting minimum rental age restrictions, confirming guest-provided information, and flagging risky bookings.

While most travelers treat vacation rentals respectfully, unfortunately risky guests do exist—and they could potentially damage your home and prompt neighbors to complain.

When you manage your own vacation rental, you are the main safeguard against partying minors, fraudulent reservations, and all other potential risks.

At Vacasa, we have comprehensive protocols to help block these disruptive guests not just from checking in, but from making reservations in the first place. One of the most important systems is our combination of automated and manual guest screening. Consider it your first (and toughest) line of defense. Our security-first method helps to stave off potentially risky reservations, plus protects you and your home.

Here’s what we screen before confirming a guest’s reservation:

Minimum age

One of the ways we help ensure that only responsible adults stay in your property is by establishing—and enforcing—a stringent age policy. The minimum age to rent is generally 21, though some areas have different minimum age requirements. For example, Lake Chelan in Washington and Palm Springs in California require guests to be at least 25 years old, unless they’re traveling with parents or their legal guardian. If any guest is under the minimum age, they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for the entire duration of the stay.

These age restrictions are in place to ensure guests are staying responsible and prioritizing safety for everyone in the home.

If our Customer Experience agents have a reason to believe any reservation was initiated by anyone underage, they’ll follow up with a phone call to determine the guests’ ages. At times, we may even ask your local manager to stop by and greet the guests in person.


While extensive background checks aren’t typically necessary for travelers on vacation for a few days, we still have deliberate protocols in place to make sure those making reservations for your vacation home are who they say they are. As an additional layer against fraud for certain reservations, like those booked last minute or in high-risk areas, we partner with a third party to automatically verify the identity of any potential guests. Guests are prompted to answer questions about their personal history before being allowed to book the Vacasa home.

Potential concerns

We engineered our booking system to automatically flag suspicious reservations. It’s important to note: legitimate and responsible guests can also trigger these concerns, so we follow up with a phone call to make sure we’re still offering a warm welcome while sussing out the situation. Common reasons why bookings are flagged include:

  • A booking for a home with a large capacity, but only 1 or 2 adults listed on the reservation
  • An abnormally long stay at a property in a remote location or during an off season
  • A possibility that the home will be used for commercial purposes, such as garage sales or catering (these activities are forbidden by our rental contract and can violate licensing requirements)
  • A payment that has been declined several times
  • A request for several people to call in with separate payments
  • Credit card payments with a name that is different from the name on the reservation (our Customer Experience team will call the cardholder to verify payment)

No single screening approach can catch every ill-intentioned guest, but our several layers of prevention are key to keeping your home as secure as possible.

Important to note: We only evaluate potential risks and violations of our rental policy. Vacasa welcomes guests from all backgrounds. We are fervently against discrimination or bias of any kind, including those based on race, gender, or age (besides compliance with our minimum age policy).

Want to safeguard your vacation home and investment? Let’s discuss all the ways Vacasa protects your home.

More freedom. Better care.

Local, professional management that puts you and your vacation home first.

Vacation rental security FAQ

Yes. Even with the most careful guests and airtight safety precautions in place, accidents are bound to happen. First, make sure you’re protected by investing in liability insurance that covers your home as a short-term rental, not as a primary residence. In fact, our owner agreements require adequate liability coverage. Regular homeowners insurance isn’t sufficient. It only covers the home you live in, not vacation homes that guests stay in or that sit empty during the off-season.

For another layer of protection for your property and the belongings inside it, Vacasa homeowners have access to supplemental vacation rental damage coverage through our Accommodations Protection Program.

Smart locks are growing in popularity with vacation homeowners, and it’s easy to see why. They streamline the check-in process, and eliminate the need to leave keys in lockboxes or have multiple copies floating around. With so many options on the market and new technology each day, it can be confusing which smart lock is the best for your vacation home. Some features to consider: You can retrofit an existing deadbolt (allowing you to still keep your existing key) or replace your entire deadbolt system. There are also several ways to communicate with a smart lock, including via Bluetooth, WiFi, or Z-wave—each with their own pros and cons.

With Vacasa’s Smart Lock program, we’ll find the best smart lock system for your property and climate, then install it, program it, and take care of any ongoing maintenance. You just handle the cost of the smart lock itself.

Generally, no. It’s common to want to keep an eye on your property and protect your home. However, it’s just as vital to avoid violating your guests’ privacy. It’s generally unlawful to place cameras inside your home, where guests should have a reasonable expectation of privacy. This includes anywhere inside the home or in outdoor areas that are not visible from off the property, like decks, pools, and hot tubs. You can also use cameras in areas where guests aren’t allowed in the first place, such as a locked garage or storage shed. To maintain a trusted relationship with our guests, we disclose any cameras in your property’s online listing.

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California licenses
Vacasa Seasonals Inc.
California DRE #02160171

Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc.
California DRE #01523013

Vacasa offers property management and other real estate services directly through Vacasa LLC and through Vacasa LLC's licensed subsidiaries. Click here for more information about Vacasa's licensed real estate brokerage/property manager in your state. Vacasa’s licensed real estate brokerages/property managers include: Vacasa Alabama LLC; Vacasa Arizona LLC; Vacasa of Arkansas LLC; Vacasa Colorado LLC (Micah Victory); Vacasa Delaware LLC, 302-541-8999; Vacasa Florida LLC; Vacasa Illinois LLC 481.014072, Micah Victory Managing Broker Lic# 471.021837; Vacasa Louisiana LLC, Dana MacCord, Principal Broker, ph 504.252.0155 (Licensed in LA); Vacasa Michigan LLC, 602-330-9934; Vacasa Missouri LLC, Vicki Lyn Brown, Designated Broker; Vacasa Nevada LLC; Vacasa New Hampshire LLC,45 NH-25, Meredith, NH 03253, Susan Scanlon, Broker of Record; Vacasa Minnesota, Broker: Micah Victory, license #40877637; Vacasa New Mexico LLC, 503-345-9399; Vacasa New York LLC, 888-433-0068, Susan Scanlon, Real Estate Broker; Vacasa North Carolina LLC; Vacasa Oregon LLC; Vacasa Pennsylvania LLC; Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc., California DRE #01523013, Mark Graham, California DRE #00700720; Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Texas, Debra Brock, Designated Broker); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Washington, Robert Brush, Designated Broker); Vacasa Seasonals Inc., California DRE #02160171, Lisa Renee Stevens, California DRE #01485234; Vacasa South Carolina LLC; Vacasa South Dakota LLC; Vacasa Tennessee LLC; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Hawaii LLC, 69-201 Waikoloa Beach Dr. Ste. #2F17, Waikoloa, HI 96738; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Montana LLC, Terah M. Young, Licensed Property Manager; Vacasa Virginia LLC; Vacasa Wisconsin LLC; Vacasa Wyoming LLC. In Canada, this advertisement is provided by Vacasa Canada ULC, CPBC lic. number 75826, 172 Asher Rd. V1X 3H6 Kelowna, BC.