Before renting your home out for a holiday let, please take the time to read our checklist, to ensure that you have everything in place before guest arrive;

Firstly, you must get permission from your mortgage lender and insurance provider to ensure that you are allowed to use your property as a holiday let under their policy with you. Amend your policy if necessary. We recommend insurance companies that specialise in holiday lets, such as www.gsi-insurance.co.uk or www.leisuredays.co.uk.  It is important to note that these insurance policies include public liability.

It is also important to mention that after a given period of vacancy, which is normally 30-45 days, insurers typically restrict or remove cover. You will need to know how long this is and if there are any special precautions you need to take to help minimise the risk of loss or damage whilst the premises are unoccupied.

Work out how much the running costs of your property will come to. This will include things such as Council Tax, utility bills and broadband.

It is also important to pay for your TV license, as guests, even though on holiday, do like to watch TV, however, this is optional. If no TV license is in place and guests decide to watch TV, there is a chance that they will get a fine, which will not be welcomed news when you are on your holiday.

Fire risk assessment – please see the link for more information https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/11085/payingguests.pdf. Professional companies who tend to do these assessments charge between £200-350 +VAT, but we are in contact with a company that if you use our services, they charge £180 for any size property.

Be sure to test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and replace if necessary, to ensure the safety of your guests.

For information about furniture safety please see this link – http://www.firesafe.org.uk/furniture-and-furnishings-fire-safety-regulations-19881989-and-1993/

Gas Safety – we can recommend plumbers that charge an average of £60 for a gas safety certificate and then around £10 for every other appliance. Please contact us if you wish to use our recommended plumbers. Having a Gas Safety Certificate is a legal requirement.

Also, for electrical test reports, we can recommend trusted electricians. Please contact us at info@westbeachproperties.com for more information.

It is advisable to get an accountant in regards to financial responsibilities. Income tax is payable on any earnings in the UK, so don’t forget to declare your profits to HMRC.

When your property needs photographing for advertising purposes, we can put you in contact with a photographer that charges £75 for 12 photos of a 1-2 bed property, for example.

If your property consists of top performing holiday home features, make sure to advertise it! These include things such as; sea views or being within 5 miles of the beach, swimming pool or a hot tub (which can add a touch of luxury), internet, an open fire or if your property is dog-friendly.

Check that all of the appliances that you are providing are working correctly, for example kitchen appliances and heating systems.

Ensure the outside of your property is well maintained. Fix broken roof tiles and clear the entrance to the property for great first impressions.

Choose the dates for which your property will become available.

Arrange a cleaner, we have cleaning companies that we can put you in touch with that charge around £15 an hour (min. 2 hours). They also do a laundry service, charging £10 for a single bed clean and £12 for a double bed clean (including pick up and drop off), this service would be suitable for those who would prefer not to have the hassle of having to go to a launderette. Some owners include cleaning within their price structure, and others charge guests between £35-45 cleaning fees.

It is important not to forget to leave basic essentials for guests, this could include; a first-aid kit, cleaning supplies, torches, a hair dryer, ironing board and a full-length mirror, for example.

Try to make the property as modern and appealing as possible, avoid using out-of-date furnishings and furniture.

It may be useful to consider having an inventory, because without this you may not notice if anything goes missing.

Review the security of your property, installing security lights and an alarm would be beneficial, guests would appreciate these as a precaution too.

It is advisable to leave a welcome pack for new guests. This should include things such as; details on how to use the heating system and internet, any security information such as locking windows and doors, there should be a list of emergency contact details, this will have your number (or the property managers) and the numbers of emergency doctor’s and dentist’s for example. The pack should also include information on the local area and its amenities, such as local attractions and restaurants.

It isn’t essential but it would also be a nice gesture to leave a welcome hamper for new guests. This could include the basics such as milk, tea, coffee and sugar. Or it could be more extravagant and include a selection of local produce, providing the guests with food and drink so they don’t have to run out to the supermarket as soon as they arrive.

Consider those in neighbouring properties. Make it as easy and unobtrusive as possible for them.

We hope you have found this checklist helpful.

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