The 7 surprising things people will ruin or take when they rent your house

The 7 surprising things people will ruin or take when they rent your house

While we lived in an RV and traveled full time for two years, we rented out our house (our S&B or sticks & bricks, for those who want to know the #RVlife jargon) and hired a property management company. We already had a short term rental permit and had rented it several times while we traveled, so we were used to other people using our home… but there were a few things that got destroyed or came up missing and caught me by surprise.

If you’re considering the idea of putting your property up for short term rental, awesome. I love the shared economy! Beyond locking up the family jewel and important papers, here are some other things of yours people might misuse or take:

Your mop

“What,” you may wonder, “would a traveler want with a mop?” I wondered the same thing. I thought maybe the cleaning service picked it up by mistake. Whatever happened to it, I don’t know. But someone needed that mop with the telescopic handle, so I guess they decided to just tuck it in their checked baggage and scoot.

Your sheets

I’ll leave this one up to your imagination, but I will strongly advise you to get mattress protectors for each mattress. Also, our big decorative pillow sham in my daughter’s room is missing… I’m guessing it was the victim of vomit, but maybe someone just loved the pattern too much to leave it?

The pic in our listing confirmed my suspicion that we did have that sham when we left… 🤣

Your towels

Did you know that temporary blue hair dye might wash out of hair after a weekend on Broadway, but it decidedly does not wash out of bath towels? Weird.

Your bathroom hardware

Well, the hardware might survive, but it will definitely get ripped out of the wall. Not sure if people work on their climbing skills when they’re getting ready or if towels and toilet paper are just used with extra gusto when on vacay…. In any case, invest in some heavy duty dry wall anchors and spare yourself the pain of mudding and sanding and painting.

Your refrigerator door shelves

How many sparkling sodas fit in the shelves of our refrigerator door? I don’t know, but apparently there was one too many at some point. We left with three shelves and came back to two.

Knobs, dispensers, rails

If it moves, it will probably get turned or pushed or snapped the wrong way. This includes but is not limited to fancy soap dispensers, stove knobs, pocket door rails….

Your guitar

Sad, but true. Nashville is Music City, so maybe someone thought my guitar was a great souvenir? Or, part of me hopes that someone caught in a Moment was writing a song and couldn’t abandon the instrument of inspiration. Maybe we’ll get a shout out from a future chart topper?


I say this all tongue-in-cheek. It was a privilege to rent our home while we were away and also be able to stay in it whenever we wanted. We knew that damage was likely and we protected all of the valuables that we could. We are so grateful to our neighbors and friends who let us know when the grass was high or the contractors were there (even the anonymous neighbor who erroneously reported to the city that we were operating without a permit. Thanks for keeping an eye out and making sure we were following the law. We were!).

But when you rent out your house to bachelorette squads in It city, what can you really expect, right? Friend, I haven’t even told you about the goodies we inherited (e.g. the penile headbands and straws and #bridetribe plastic cups….)

Have you ever rented your home while you’re on the road? Did everything go as you expected?

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