How to Use Custom Vacation Rental Agreements with VRBO and airbnb

Laying Down the Law

Christopher Charles

Written by Christopher J. Charles, Esq. and Special Guest Writer Andy G. Anderson


Well drafted rental agreements help prevent disputes and protect the owner’s legal interests when disputes do arise – especially in regard to vacation rentals. Carefully drafted vacation rental agreements provide owners with considerable safe guards and protections. For example, without an express vacation rental agreement, many vacation rental relationships will be governed by the Arizona Residential Landlord Tenant Act and not the Inn Keeper Statute. For good reason, investors prefer for the relationship to be governed by the Inn Keeper Statutes. See Vacation Rentals and the Super Bowl, October 15, 2014,

And so, prudent vacation rental owners should certainly upload their custom vacation rental agreement to their VRBO or airbnb account. As discussed in the above-referenced October article, any vacation rental agreement should at a minimum expressly state that the parties recognize and agree that the agreement constitutes an “innkeeper relationship” and is exempted from the Arizona Landlord Tenant Act. And further, the agreement should expressly state that the owner may perform non-judicial lockout in the event that the guest willfully holds over post conclusion of the rental term.

Instructions for Uploading Custom Vacation Rental Agreement to VRBO

First, the owner (or property manager) should visit the VBRO website and log on to the owner’s VRBO account. Then click on the rental property that you want to edit; then click on the “Settings” tab; next click “Rental Agreement and Cancellation Policy”; finally, click “Upload Rental Agreement” and then upload your form vacation rental agreement. Note that the rental agreement must be saved as a PDF file.

     A. Beware of Property Use Restrictions

Even with the right short-term lease provisions, local ordinances or your community’s covenants, conditions, and restrictions (“CC&Rs”) may restrict short-term rentals. Consequently, before you market your property for rent to the public on websites like VRBO and airbnb, you should consult with a real estate attorney to confirm any legal prohibitions in your area.

     B. In Closing

A smart short-term lease minimizes your risk exposure in this new and uncharted Sharing Economy — and will help you share your condo, mansion, Igloo, or Yurt with that globetrotting couple with whom you connected on Airbnb.

Enjoy the adventure, along with this new revenue stream you’ve uncovered!

If you or someone you know needs help drafting a vacation rental agreement or wants to position their real estate for short-term vacation rental, please call or email today.


Christopher J. Charles is the founder and Managing Partner of Provident Law, PLLC. He is a State Bar Certified Real Estate Specialist and a former “Broker Hotline Attorney” for the Arizona Association of REALTORS® (the “AAR”). He is also an Arbitrator and Mediator for the AAR regarding real estate disputes; and he serves on the State Bar of Arizona’s Civil Jury Instructions Committee where he helped draft the Agency Instructions and the Residential Landlord/Tenant Eviction Jury Instructions.


Christopher is a licensed real estate instructor and he teaches continuing education classes at the Arizona School of Real Estate and Business. He can be reached at or at 480-388-3348; 14646 N. Kierland Blvd, Suite 260, Scottsdale, Arizona 85254.


Andy Anderson is an attorney with Provident Law, PLLC. He serves businesses and individuals, counseling them as they form, operate, and protect their companies. He is a graduate of the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona and the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. He is on the Board of Directors of the Christian Legal Society and serves on a subcommittee of the State Bar of Arizona tasked with revising the Arizona Limited Liability Company Act. Andy can be reached at or 480-388-3343.