We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

Success! You're on the list.

I must admit: with all the stories I’ve posted about inauguration rentals, I’ve started to mull over the process myself. And I quickly realized there was a lot to contemplate—-and a lot to do. And a lot to worry about never seeing again: my furniture, my plates and glasses, my many sizable collection of sweatshirts (winter’s here—-I need them!). The Washington Post‘s Elizabeth Razzi took some time to consider all the things renters were doing poorly, and probably would do poorly in the future. I’ll do a roundup:

  • You’re probably not putting enough time and effort into your advertisement, and no one’s paying attention to it: “There’s no excuse not to post interior and exterior shots of the home, including the all-important bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchen. Craigslist doesn’t charge for posting photos, so I can’t fathom why so many people advertising their inauguration rentals haven’t bothered to include them.”
  • The photos in your advertisement are likely terrible anyway: “Take some of the knickknacks out of the shots so it doesn’t look like renters will be crashing at grandma’s house for 20 grand.”
  • You may have already posted your actual address in your Craigslist advertisement in which case people know about your big screen TVs and fancy appliances—-and about the fact that you’re not going to be around for a week to properly lock up. “That’s a big mistake.”
  • If you’re smart, you’ll call your home insurance company. That’s never entirely pleasant.
  • You may have to negotiate everything: “If you object to your renters hosting a weekend bash, for example, spell that out in your ad and include it in the lease. Your expectations about smoking, pets, additional guests and trash removal need to be detailed.”
  • Before guests arrive, you’ll need to clean out the fridge.