Introduction – When you let out your holiday home or cottage, it is vitally important that you provide your tenant with some form of Holiday Letting Agreement. The agreement needn’t be complicated, in fact the simpler the better, however many holiday home landlords still believe they can simply collect money and allow people to occupy their property. You can buy holiday let contracts from good book shops, make you own or you may like to ask for the advice of a solicitor. The following notes apply to holiday homes in the United Kingdom, property in France & Spain and other European countries have their own rules and regulations and you will need to seek local advice. A contract for letting will help your business run as smoothly as possible, if everyone knows what is expected of them at the start of the contract, it makes everything so much easier.
Holiday Home Letting Contract – should include at least the following information:-
The address of the property that is being offered for let. The name and contact details of the landlord The name of the tenant The term of the holiday let, the commencement time and the time and date that it finishes (you will need to tell the tenant at what time they need to quit the property by) The deposit The inventory as agreed with the tenant. The above provides the basic information but other information should also be included and the following are some guidelines.
Checking Your Holiday Rental Contract – should include at least the following information:-
Make sure your agreement states that the property is being provided for holiday purposes only. This is particularly important with longer lets as in the past courts have dealt with cases where there was confusion between a holiday let an an assured short hold tenancy. It should be pointed out to the tenant that the agreement confers no protection to them under the Housing act 1988 You must make clear to your tenant that the property is rented to them and them only, the maximum number of occupants should be specified on the contract. The tenant needs to know that they are not entitled to the sub let the property.
The agreement needs to specify the rent and the dates on which it must be paid, it is a good idea to also include what will happen if payment is late. If you intend to charge interest on late payments, you should specify what rate of interest you intend to charge.
Make your tenant aware that they are responsible for the interior of the property and that it should be kept in a good clean condition at all times. If they damage the property, they also need to be aware that they will be responsible for damages. Some tenants assume that everything that is broken will be covered by holiday home insurance, this is not the cases and certainly wilful damage will not be covered. Normal wear and tear should be expected and allowed.
You must advise your tenant that they re not allowed to alter the property in any way, some landlords have taken repossession of their holiday home only to find evidence of redecoration. You must advise your tenant of the importance of swap over times, this is very important during period of short term holiday rental, incoming tenants will have arrived for their holiday and they will want to occupy the property as quickly as possible.
You must make the tenant aware that have a right to enjoy the property uninterrupted but you must retain the right to inspect the property if necessary. Also if scheduled appliance or maintenance checks need to be carried out during a tenancy, you must talk to tenant and keep them informed. Make sure the tenant is fully aware that they should not cause a nuisance to near by properties and that they must not do anything that may prejudice a claim under the insurance policy.
Some people want to take their pets on holiday and you will need to be clear if you find this acceptable or not. It is best practice to exclude pets from rental properties although you may like to waive this requirement subject to circumstance.
The above are some basic guidelines for dealing with UK holiday home rental, however probably the biggest headache to landlords is caused by Tenants deposits, these cause more flashpoints than all other problems put together. The landlord should make clear that he will hold the deposit and return it to the tenant at the forwarding address provided at the end of the tenancy agreement. It is a good idea to mention the time it will take to do this. You should allow yourself reasonable time to asses the condition of the property and if you intend to make deductions from the deposit, they should be reasonable and you should detail them in a letter. for longer periods, amounts deducted from the deposit should be made up by the tenant to restore the deposit to the required amount. A word of caution here, if the tenant decides you have deducted too much from their deposit and court action follows, you may find that the court are more sympathetic to the tenant than the landlord. Be fair and reasonable with your charges and you should not have too much trouble.
Assetsure provide Holiday Home Insurance contact our office.