Owner Frequently Asked Questions

We are committed to supporting the owners of Western Australian holiday homes and other short term accommodation. Do you need some help navigating our site? Want some more information about the listing process? We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you out:

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How do I list my property?

  1. You will need to create a owner profile on our website, logging in and accepting the terms and conditions.
  2. Below is a check list of what you will need to list your property as quickly as possible:
    • Driver’s licence and a certificate of holiday home registration from your local council, if required. If not your drivers licence and rates notice.
    • Knowledge of how many guests you can accommodate, number of rooms, bathrooms and beds there are in your property. This includes the bed configuration ie. How many king beds/queen beds etc.
    • Property’s address An understanding of what facilities are in your house, what attractions are nearby and what “theme” your house would best cater for ie. Family/luxury etc.
    • Photos of your property.
    • A description of your property that sells your property to your potential guests. What is it about your house that makes it special? What can you tell your guests to make them want to stay at your property? You can copy and paste these descriptions from one website to another if that is easiest for you.
    • The name you want for your house. This will be what your guests will know your house by.
    • Have an idea of what rule you want to set for your property ie. Children welcome, smoking etc.
    • Know how many days notice you need before a guest can stay at your home.
    • What is the earliest check-in time and the latest CHECK IN time guests can check in by.
    • What cancellation policy you want for your property
    • Minimum and maximum nights you want your guests to stay
    • Base price you are wanting to rent your property for. Any periods you would like “special pricing” to be charged and what this pricing will be. There is no limit to the number of special pricing periods you add for your house.
    • The cleaning price you want to charge your guest (if any)
    • The bond you want to charge your guest (if any)
    • Any discounts you wish to provide for weekly/monthly stays
    • Any instructions you have for your cleaner
    • Decide if you would like your guests to be able to book instantly or not. Or whether you would prefer they have to contact you first.
    • Understanding of local laws/tax implications for your holiday home
    • Your Australian bank details where you wish to receive your rental income.
  3. Press “create a listing”
  4. Select what type of property you are listing: – house or bed and breakfast and hit the next button
  5. Select how many guests are able to stay at your property. If you are required to register with your local council, this will be no higher than the maximum number of guests you are registered for. Then press the next button.
  6. Select the number of bedrooms your property has, then hit the next button
  7. Select the number of beds available to your guests and write the number of each bed type ie. King Bed 1, King Single Bed 3, Single bed 4. Please note you don’t have to enter a zero value in these bed fields. Only enter a number if you have those beds in your house. Hit the next button once these fields have been completed
  8. Select how many bathrooms are available and hit the next button.
  9. Enter your address and select from the drop down options. Double check to ensure it is the right address ie. Suburb and Australia.
  10. Move the location pin slightly to confirm your address. A green banner will appear when the pin has registered, hit the next button.
  11. Go through and tick the boxes that best reflect your property’s amenities that your house offers. Headings include:. Outdoor, laundry, kitchen, heating/cooling, pools etc. Then hit the next button.
  12. Tick the boxes that best reflect the amenities nearby your house. We suggest these attractions be no more than 10minutes away. All tick the boxes, under “themes” that reflect the best type of holidays your house caters for. Then hit the next button
  13. Hit continue button under “set the scene”
  14. Upload your property’s photos. The easiest way to do this, if you have listed on other booking platforms is to visit the other site, download your photos and then upload them on to our website. Guests love to see the bedrooms, kitchen facilities, living areas and gardens of potential homes, so they know what to expect when they get there. The more attractive the photos, the better. The more photos you have the better it will be for your guests.
  15. Choose which photo will be your profile photo. This photo will be the first photo potential guests see of your property. It should be eye catching and appealing.
  16. Write a description for your property. What is it about your house that makes it special? What can you tell your guests to make them want to stay at your property? You can copy and paste these descriptions from one website to another if that is easiest for you. You should personalise it for our website to ensure Google doesn’t pick it up a “copy and paste job”, press the next button.
  17. Enter your house’s name. Then press next button.
  18. Hit the continue button under the “Get ready for guests” button.
  19. Read the review guest requirements, hit the next button
  20. Tick the boxes of which house rules apply to your house, hit the next button
  21. Read how the guests can book instantly (if you choose this option), hit the next button
  22. Select the number of days notice you need before a guest can stay at your property. You will also need to check the earliest time guests can check in to your property and the latest check in time. Hit the next button
  23. Select your booking calendar preference ie. Do you want your dates unavailable by default? What cancellation policy suits your home? Make sure you read all three cancellation options to choose the best one for your house, hit next button.
  24. Select the minimum and maximum nights guests can stay and hit the next button.
  25. Enter your base price amount for your property. This will be the nightly charge for your property unless you enter special pricing information.
  26. If you want to charge guests more at certain periods in the year ie. Summer school holidays and April school holidays, you can enter some “special pricing”. To do this you press on “special pricing”, enter the first day you want to start the special pricing from and then select the last date for your special pricing period. Enter the amount per night you wish to charge your guests during this time. To enter more than one special pricing period, just press on the “add special pricing” button again and repeat the process. There is no limit to the number of special pricing ranges you can create for your house.
  27. Enter the amount you need to charge your guests for cleaning (if any), and the bond (if any). We would suggest that your bond be no higher than the excess of your insurance policy. Just enough to give you peace of mind in the result of damage by the guest. Then press the next button.
  28. Decide if you want to offer any discounts for weekly stays or monthly stays. Enter these percentages in the field and press next.
  29. If you have a cleaner and wish to leave instructions for them, please do so here. These are static instructions for all stays. If you want to change the instructions per stay, you will need to log in and change these on the website.
  30. Select if you would like your guests to be able to book instantly or not and then press next
  31. Familiarise yourself with the applicable laws and taxes that apply to your holiday home. It is very important that you make yourself aware of any local laws governing holiday homes in your area and the tax implications of holiday house rentals. Once you have understood this information, press next.
  32. Payment information – you must enter your Australia bank account details where you wish to receive your rental payments. We cannot transfer funds to an international bank account.

What methods of payment are accepted?

Our site accepts Mastercards, Visacards and American Express credit cards only. For Australian credit card holders guests will be charged a flat 5% booking fee that includes any and all credit card charges. For non-Australian credit card holders guests will be charged 6.5% booking fee that includes any and all credit card charges.

Can I view the invoices for my bookings?

Sure. Log into your profile on our website. From your dashboard you can view your current and previous invoices. Click on the relevant invoice and print out your booking information.

How do I review a guest?

  1. Once the guests have checked out we will send you an email with a link asking you to submit a review of the guest.
  2. When you have clicked on the link you may leave a star ranking from one – five stars (with one as the lowest ranking of satisfaction with the guest and five as the highest level of satisfaction)
  3. You may also fill in the other fields that are requested to give the guest more information about the reasons for your review.
  4. We would always suggest contacting the guest if you are unhappy with something about their stay, when you first notice it. This gives them an option to explain themselves.
  5. The guest will also have a chance to review your property, in the same format (a 5 star rating system and comment).
  6. Even when reviewing each other, we have strict requirements that require you approach the review in a respectful way. Explicit language, personal insults and other derogatory comments will not be tolerated. If your review breaches our content guidelines, your review will be removed and you will be asked to no longer use our site. We take a zero tolerance approach to abusive behaviour. If you have been unhappy with the guest, we invite you to voice this in a respectful manner so the guest can change their behaviour for future trips.
  7. Guest reviews are published on their public profile page. Property reviews are visible on the home’s listing page.
  8. Please note you cannot change your review after it has been submitted.
  9. You can only write a review for guests that have stayed at your property.
  10. Reviews should not disclose the address of the property.
  11. You may not post a review to blackmail or extort guests for any reason (including for the purpose of financial gain/refunds etc). The review process is to help future owners make an informed decision about the guest. As mentioned in Q16 point 6, reviews that breach our guidelines will be removed and you will not be welcome to use our site in the future.

Listing Questions

What are the listing guidelines?

You are not allowed to put the following information on your holiday home listing:

  • Website information
  • Contact information such as email, phone numbers or addresses (unless specifically requested in form)
  • Any company names
  • You must also follow our content guidelines (ie. No profane, obscene, inappropriate material/photos etc).

What nightly rates should I charge for my property?

This is an interesting question. You need to do your market research about properties close- by that have similar attributes. What do they charge? Look into several properties until you feel like you have a good price when compared to your competitors. Take note of the special seasons noted for different listings. What do they increase the price to in this period. Then evaluate what would be best for your house.

How do I improve my holiday homes listing ranking?

  1. Listings are currently on a first in basis. The sooner you list your property, the higher up the rankings it will list for your particular area (within 8 miles/13km of the search area).Where your home ranks also depends on whether it meets the search criteria entered by the guest. This ranking system is subject to change and we will notify you, if we change the ranking system.
  2. Regardless of listing rank, there are a number of things to ensure you maximise your houses appeal to guests:
    • Respond to your guests within 24 hours (the sooner the better)
    • Once you have made a booking, honour it. Do not cancel on guests
    • Accept all booking requests (where practical)
    • Describe your property accurately, so guests’ expectations are met when they stay at your property.
    • Set your property price at a reasonable level given comparable houses and season rates
    • Do extra small things for your guests, to show you care and encourage the highest possible reviews.

Do I need to charge a bond?

No you do not have to charge your guests a refundable bond. The refundable bond is to protect you in the event of your guests damaging your home. Although it is refundable, it is advisable to keep the bond to the minimum amount you require to ensure you are covered in the event of damage. We suggest the bond amount reflect the excess payable on your insurance as a general guide. It should be commensurate with the amount you are charging though. So if you have a large excess on your insurance policy you may find a smaller bond amount is more appropriate for your home.

Do we automatically refund bonds to guests?

We hold the guests for 7 days after the last day of your guests stay. If you wish to withhold the bond you must let us know before this time, as soon as possible so we can stop the automatic bond refund from occurring. We do not mediate in bond disputes. You will need to contact the guest directly to inform them of why you wish to keep the bond. Return of the bond amounts is based on the your (the owner’s) terms and conditions and your inspection of the property after your stay.

When do I get my money?

WA HomeStay is committed to helping holiday homeowner’s cash flows. We will be distributing deposits and full payments into your account within 48 hours of receiving the funds. This ensures you have access to money that is rightfully yours. However, as you have now received the money for the booking, you will have to organise refunds if your guests choose to cancel as per your cancellation policy.

Should I have a rental agreement?

Sometimes people can interpret things in different ways. Having a rental agreement, which sets out clear instructions on what you require from the guests, can help lessen the chance of miscommunication. You can forward these rental agreements to your guests once they have booked.

How long does it take for changes to appear on our website?

Changes to your property details etc will be reflected immediately.

What fees am I charged for listing on your website?

There are no upfront booking fees for our website. You pay on a “pay-per-booking” basis. For every booking you receive we will charge you 5% from your nightly rates and additional extras ie. Cleaning etc (except for bond).

Can I sync my calendars to other booking sites?

YES! You can sync your calendar with ical calendars eg. Trip Advisor, Air BNB, HomeAway, and Expedia.

Reservations Questions

What booking fee do you charge guests?

  1. We think it is important to be upfront about the charges on our site.
  2. Our booking fee for guests is 5% if you are an Australian credit card holder and 6.5% if you are a non-Australian credit card holder.
  3. This service fee covers your customer support, providing you with local information via our social media accounts and calendars and general upkeep of the website.

Are there risks for renting out my property as a holiday home?

Yes. There are a number of risks. Guests may damage your property (willingly or unwillingly). We strongly advise all of our holiday home owners take out insurance to cover themselves in relation to these risks. This will give you some peace of mind.

Can I choose who stays at my holiday home?

Yes. By not selecting the instant booking option, you have time to determine if the guest is going to be the right fit for you and your home. We do not condone any form of discrimination. However, we understand that your homes are important assets and you should have the right to determine which guests stay at your property.

When should I provide the guest with check in information?

We require you to contact the guest 7 days before check in to provide them with check in information.

What happens if my host cancels my reservation?

  1. You are free to book another property that is available for the same dates.
  2. When a Host accepts your offer to rent certain Premises placed through the website, and the required non-refundable deposit is paid, a binding contract is formed between you and the Host of the Premises.  No contract or other legally binding arrangement is formed between WA Homestay and you by placing a booking through this website.
  3. If the host cancels and you are due to stay at the property within the next 48 hours, please contact us on 0419 793 285 or via email admin@wahomestay.com.au. Although we are under no obligation to do so, we pride ourselves on our customer service and will do what we can to assist you.
  4. If the property you have booked stops advertising on our website, you will need to contact the property owner/manager via their contact details which is accessible on your guest profile on our website. If you are unsuccessful contacting them and haven’t heard from them within 48 hours, please contact us.

Do you have a resolution process?

When you accept an offer to rent your Premises through the website, and the required non-refundable deposit is paid, a binding contract is formed between you and the guest.  No contract or other legally binding arrangement is formed between WA Homestay and you by a booking through this website.

However, we pride ourselves on our customer service so if you need help, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0419 793 285 or via our email address admin@wahomestay.com.au

I want to complain about a guest. How do I do it?

  1. We first require you to contact the guest to discuss the issue.
  2. If you cannot resolve this satisfactorily, you may contact us and put your complaint in an email to admin@wahomestay.com.au. We will then pass this email on to the guest. WA HomeStay does not mediate in disputes. However we do take them seriously, retain documentation and encourage guests to deal with the dispute appropriately.

What is a strong password for my account?

General tips are for your password to be:

  • longer than 8 characters
  • a mixture of numbers and letters
  • don’t use consecutive numbers/letters
  • don’t use commonly used passwords such as “password” or “password123”

How do I set up a guest profile?

  1. For all bookings you need to sign up as a guest to our website. This can be done via Facebook, Google or via Email. You will need to provide your First and Last names, email address, create a password and note your birthdate (to ensure you are over 18 years). When signing up you will also need to check that you agree to the Terms and Conditions. It is very important that you read through the Terms and Conditions, so please do so. Once you have ticked the Terms and Conditions box, you can complete your sign up.
  2. Once into your guest dashboard, you can do the following:
    * Write a small bio about yourself, so homeowners know a little bit about you.
    * Upload a picture of yourself
  3. In your dashboard you have access to your inbox, where owners may message you about your planned holiday
  4. Details about your trips are stored in the “your trips” tab. Here you can access your upcoming and previous trips.
  5. Your profile information can be accessed and changed at any point via the Profile tab
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