Bachelor(ette) groups in your holiday rental

Rules for party-friendly holiday rentals

  • Preparing your property for stag and hen weekend escapes
  • Creating a rental contract for stag and hen groups
  • The importance of a holiday home security deposit
  • The aftermath of a stag or hen party
  • The importance of insurance

January 2024

Stag and hen parties. Four little words that can strike fear into the heart of even the most seasoned holiday rental owner. The truth is that bachelor and bachelorette parties offer an incredibly lucrative market. If you’re willing to tap into it, you could be handsomely rewarded – but before you go there, it’s essential to lay down the ground rules.

Preparing your property for stag and hen weekend escapes

There are thousands of horror stories floating around about bachelorette or bachelor parties gone wrong. You may even have personal experience of the kind of wild shenanigans that can take place on one of these crazy weekends. It’s all fun and games when you’re a stag or a hen – but it can be devastating for the holiday rental owner left picking up the pieces.

As a property owner, you’re under no obligation to accept stag and hen parties. In fact, many holiday lets in the UK don’t let these groups come at all – along with other risky customers like students celebrating graduation. This means that if you are willing to take stag and hen groups, you might be able to charge a premium.

If you’re going to take the risk, then one thing’s for sure: you need watertight terms and conditions.

Creating a rental contract for stag and hen groups

All guests should sign a rental contract when they book bachelor or bachelorette accommodation with you. This document outlines your expectations. It should be reasonable but firm. Some of the clauses you’ll probably want to include will be:

  • Maximum occupancy. Be explicit that you will not permit any additional visitors.
  • Smoking rules. If smoking is not allowed, be clear. You don’t want to deal with lingering smoke and cigarette burns. You should also explicitly state that guests may not use illegal drugs on your property.
  • Guests are not allowed to move the furniture or soft furnishings from one room to another or to take any indoor furniture outside.
  • Guests should close windows and lock doors when leaving the property and switch off heating, lights and appliances.
  • Safety rules. This should cover the swimming pool or hot tub if you have one; for example, guests are not allowed to dive into the pool.
  • Guests should not engage in antisocial behaviour. Be clear that they need to keep noise to a minimum between the hours of, say, 11 pm and 8 am.
  • A damage deposit. This is crucial, so we’ll talk more about it in a moment.

These are just a few examples. In order to successfully navigate having stag or hen parties in your holiday rental, you’ll want to lay out all the ground rules very clearly. Have some friends or colleagues look over your contract for you. They might be able to spot something you’ve missed.

The importance of a holiday home security deposit

Charging a security deposit, also known as a damage deposit, is good business practice. If a wild stag party does end up trashing the place, you’ll have to splash out on repairs and replacements. Your security deposit will soon become your best friend.

There are two ways you can charge a security deposit. The first is a fixed sum that guests must pay, no matter how long they stay; the second is a percentage. Check to see what the standard rates are in your area – what are your competitors charging? If you’re running the only holiday rental in town that accepts stag and hen dos, you may be able to charge a premium rate.

You should collect the security deposit after your guests have signed your rental contract. Remind them that they should read it thoroughly – this is not a document to sign blindly! If everyone is on the same page, then you should have fewer potential problems with disputes.

The aftermath of a stag or hen party

The worst has happened: a group of stags or hens have damaged your precious property. Now what?

You might think that this is as easy as refusing to return their security deposit – and, in an ideal world, it would be. However, guests may not be happy to give up their money. Some will engage in disputes, try to get chargebacks from their banks, complain to the booking platform, or leave negative reviews online. Luckily, there are a few tips to help you handle these stressful situations.

Remember that prevention is better than cure. That means you should inspect your property before the stag group arrives. Take photos of absolutely everything and keep them safe. In fact, as a good business practice, you should be doing this before every new set of guests arrives. You never know when someone will try to start a dispute.

You’ll also want to take photos immediately after the group departs. The idea is that you’ll have a set of before and after pictures that you can compare. Make sure you do this as soon as possible: if the group leaves on a Sunday at 10 am, and your photos are dated Monday at 5 pm, they might argue that someone else could have been in the property in the meantime.

Remain polite and professional throughout the dispute, even if your guests are attacking you all over social media. If you’re withholding all or part of the security deposit, you’ll need to explain exactly why you’ve chosen to do so. Send the guests an itemised list of everything that has been damaged, clearly outlining what has gone wrong. This will make it harder for them to argue.

The importance of insurance

In the most serious cases, a security deposit may not cover all the damage to your property. That’s why savvy holiday rental owners always take out insurance. Before you sign any kind of holiday letting insurance policy, make sure you’ve read the fine print. Some policies don’t cover all kinds of potential damage.

If you’re going to court the stag and hen party market, then you’ll need a watertight insurance policy and set rules for your holiday rental. With luck, the groups of bachelors and bachelorettes that pass through your doors will be polite, respectful and just looking for some relaxation and an early night – but you should always be prepared for the worst-case scenario. When you’ve got the right systems in place, you should be able to run a successful stag and hen holiday rental business.

Bachelorette party

Other posts in this category:


Legal requirements for the management of holiday rentals in Murcia


Make your holiday rental pet-friendly


Design of outdoor space for holiday rentals


Using renewable energy sources in your holiday home


Art and crafts in holiday rentals


Organising workshops or seminars in your holiday rentals