Caring for your Holiday Home
Introduction – the purchase of a home for holiday letting purposes can carry an increased work load over and above that required for a property that has simply be obtained for long term letting. There are different issues to be taken in to consideration to run this type of operation and make a profit.
The purchase of the Property – the first thing to bear in mind before you purchase a home for holiday letting purposes, is why would anyone want to rent it from you in the first place. People primarily go on holiday to relax and have fun, and the location of the property will play a very large part in determining how many bookings you will exactly receive. Traditionally property by the seaside always rent well as do properties that are situated by tourist attractions, in the countryside or some other area where the renters can engage in activities.
Buying Abroad – you can check all this information out prior to purchase, in the United kingdom it is fairly easy as most people know the location of all the popular holiday resorts, abroad it can prove to be more of a problem. France & Spain are popular for holiday homes but if you are looking to buy to rent, you would do well to actually visit a few areas yourself before you decide on a property. If you have visited an area and had a good time yourself, chances are other people will as well. Make a list of all the local sights and activities, including good places to eat and drink and when you come to advertise your property, you can make good use of this information. Try to think of the profile of the person that you intend to want to rent to, if you property will be aimed at the family with children, you will need to include information ( and prices) that they are likely to find appealing.
Getting ready to rent your Holiday Home – many people are simply renting their own holiday property out, to help cover with the expenses. Letting to members of the public carries certain requirements that you cannot overlook and you will need to address these prior to letting. As mentioned above, most people go on holiday to relax and enjoy themselves, they won’t expect your property to be a palace but they will expect it to be clean tidy and safe. In the UK you should check that the gas and electrics and any furnishings are all compliant with current regulations. Abroad, it would be best if you engaged either the services of a local letting agent or in Spain for example a Gestor may be able to alert you to all local requirements relating to let property. Don t assume that the laws on the continent are the same, they are not, in France for example recently enacted legislation covers the use of private swimming pools., you will need someone to help you with issues such as this.
Holiday Home Insurance – you should obtain suitable holiday home insurance which will cover you against a wide range of perils for both buildings and contents and will include and extension for liability insurance. It is not normal to be able to cover your guest’s effects under your own policy, they will need to arrange their own insurance for their own personal possessions. With regard to furniture and decorations, bear in mind that you hope to have a steady influx of guests and they may not agree with your own personal choice of colors. Simple is best and this may also apply to your choice of furniture and remember that it is likely to experience a good deal of wear and tear. Try to make your holiday home as welcoming and as easy to use as possible, include all the guide books for the cooker, central heating, televisions, gas etc, include a torch, spare plugs and fuses etc along with a list of all the essential information such as what to do in an emergency, local police and hospital numbers etc. Include as many local guide books as you can find and pamphlets advertising attractions, if your guests enjoy themselves whilst staying at your home, they are likely to come again and to recommend you to their friends.
Running the Holiday Let – now that you have. prepared your holiday home for rental, it should be insured and all the necessary legal requirements carried out. Now you must proceed to advertise the property to obtain bookings, and decide if you are going to let and manage the property yourself. There are a large number of websites dedicated to rental and these are a good starting point, remember though that most of these are booking portals only, they won’t manage the property for you. Including a good description and photos is essential. When searching for a property to rent as a holiday home yours has to stand out from the rest that the site is advertising. People tend to search using fairly broad terms, so if someone types “ Holiday Home Norfolk”, you need to include it in your description all the reasons why your property should be considered above all others in the area. People that have been established for many years seem to be able to rent their property on recommendation alone and this is certainly the most effective way, you may also consider using a local letting agent. If you use a letting agent abroad, research their credentials first, they are likely to charge you a fairly high percentage and you need to be confident that they will actively market the property for you.
The Keys to the property – if you live many miles from your holiday home ( maybe even overseas), you are going to need to find a way to hand over the keys to your guests as and when they arrive. If you are not going to use the services of a local letting agent, trying to find a local you can trust is the best option. This is usually quite easy, it you strike up a relationship with locals, they are usually willing to help out. You will also need to make contact with a local cleaner to make sure that the property is professionally cleaned between each visit. This is absolutely essential, first impressions really do count.
Dealing with Problems & Upkeep – niggling little things can happen throughout the course of the year, you will of course be issuing your tenant with a short term rental contract, you may take a deposit and usually, you are only dealing with minor breakages. As well as the cleaning, you will need to make sure that taking in to account breakages etc, the property is sufficiently kitted out and all things like the kettle etc work. Don’t rely on the last tenant to tell you this, whilst some like to complain, others don t but, they may not want to stay again. As well as the internal contents and fixtures & fittings, you will need to make provision for the gardens to be kept neat and tidy and all rubbish removed from the property on a regular basis general repairs such as making sure locks and windows are working correctly also need regular attention As stated above, create the right impression and your home will pay dividends.