03-28-2014 12:07 PM Blog Category:
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Lots of people with second holiday homes obviously consider renting them while they are not being utilised from the owner, family or friends. This way they could cover a few of the costs involved with maintaining the house making yet another income. As it is well worth taking into account the experiences of those people who have trod this path before, i thought the information I collected below would be valuable to those considering renting their holiday homes. - Rental
Equipping Your Premises
When you initially venture to the holiday property business, it can be tempting to attempt to limit your initial set-up costs through providing the bare minimum of furniture and equipment. But the advice We have collected from seasoned holiday homeowners is...don't try and cut corners! Furnish and equip your premises along with you are able to possibly afford.
Obviously you're concerned about obtaining a good return on your own investment. The fear that some holidaymakers from hell will wreak havoc with your possessions might deter you from equipping your holiday house to a high standard.
Those who've been in the business for years have found that most holidaymakers take greater care with furniture and other more personal items if they can see these are things which the owner obviously cares about...it's human nature.
Most of the time people prefer - and expect - their holiday accommodation to become better than their particular homes. If they feel you have taken a lot of trouble to make them feel comfortable and welcome, they are more likely to look after your property.
Ensuring all the beds are comfortable is definitely an absolute must. Too little sleep is sufficient is ruin anyone's holiday. One owner advises: " Sleep in each and every bed within the place! I had several complaints about a bed during my 1st year of renting out - and when I next visited my property I realised the complaints were entirely justified."
Be aware that many holidaymakers regard certain items - such as a microwave oven, satellite TV and tumble drier - as essential in a holiday property, while they might not exactly have them in the home.
If you store personal things in the property which are not for the use of your tenants, it's not a good idea to keep them in a locked cupboard...it just makes people curious and they may try to wrench the door open! Many owners find a polite notice, asking tenants not to use particular items, works better. Generally, holidaymakers will respect the owner's wishes. A better solution, if possible, is to store personal items with friends during lets.
It's preferable to have washable and removable covers (or throw-overs) on your own three-piece suite - particularly if your property is one of the hotter parts of Spain.
As you house owner pointed out: "People come in from your beach or terrace and sit down covered in suntan oil. It took me ages to figure out why my suite was filthy every time I visited."
The same owner continued: "You'd be very impressed at what tenants are capable of doing. I've had pictures stolen, frying pans apparently used as hammers, your kitchen workbench (solid wood) used being a chopping board. Among my buddies had her portable barbecue lit inside the lounge, leaving a really black ceiling! "
This owner's motto is: Be ready for the worst...although it doesn't normally happen. In seven years of holiday letting, the vast majority of her experiences have already been positive!
Using Letting Agencies
Weigh up the pros and cons of using a letting agency to take care of your bookings. They generally deal with all the practicalities for you - from the booking enquiries and money transactions to the maintenance and cleaning of the property. That is the advantage of handing responsibility over to an agency.
This is great for owners who don't possess the time - or inclination - to deal directly with customers themselves.
The main drawback of using agencies is that they charge a substantial commission for their services, so reducing your profits - sometimes by as much as 25-50%.
Some agencies will guarantee a set income for certain kinds of property in high season (e.g a villa with private pool in a Mediterranean coastal resort in July/August).
Ensure you know exactly what price the agency plans to charge clients - and what commission they plan to take. Dissatisfied clients who feel they've been overcharged by greedy agents will probably cause problems within your property.
Also check just what services the company provides. Some provide different amounts of service, depending on how much you're prepared to pay as well as on whether there is a local manager handling certain aspects of your property letting for you personally.
after and before each let and does this incorporate a full inventory inspection, ask whether or not the agency inspects the home ? Will they check tenants into your property and explain how the many major appliances work? Are they going to organise running maintenance and repairs and provide written reports? Are their staff on 24-hour call-out in case of emergencies?
Ensure you know exactly what you're getting for your money - because the cheapest agent isn't always the very best or most trustworthy. Talk to fellow property owners in the area to see if they can recommend a good agency - or if they can advise you which companies to avoid.
Decide whether you want the same agency to take care of your property, swimming pool and garden. Many owners would rather hire a different pool maintenance company and gardener so there's another person keeping a watchful eye on the spot in their absence.
If the agency isn't doing its job, the gardener might be able to tip you off...and vice versa!
Appointing a home Manager
In the event you decide against employing an official agency - and you also don't live locally - it's vital to appoint a home manager. You want a responsible and reliable individual who lives within easy distance of the holiday home. It is possible to normally find a person willing to achieve this for a small fraction of a high street agent's fees.
Their duties ought to include a weekly check in the property, arranging for any thorough clean both before and after each selection of visitors, handing over and collecting keys and usually sorting problems. - Rental
Consider paying the local manager to perform extra duties, like shopping, gardening, writing welcome cards etc. Many property owners find this worthwhile since it lets them check up on the visitors - both to see that most is well off their viewpoint (and this all's well along with your property! )
Keep in close connection with your manager who must never hand over your house keys until because of the go-ahead by you.
Many owners have encounter difficulties after appointing friends as caretakers...complaints from dissatisfied tenants can cause friction between owner and erstwhile friend! Keep your property letting as businesslike as is possible.
NEVER under-estimate the value of this vital element of holiday letting. Wastepaper bins that haven't been emptied, sweet wrappers lurking in a far corner under the kids' bunk beds and greasy cookers all soon add up to an odious start to anyone's holiday.
It's essential to have good, reliable cleaners going to the house between lets - many owners send them set for a mid-week clean as well. Besides, going down well with your visitors, it gives you an excuse to keep an eye on things.
Don't expect your property to remain pristine condition following the letting period. There'll continually be visitors who leave a mess behind them, break things, trample your plants etc. It's all parcel and part from the business.
If they ever reapply, if you keep a record of addresses, names and phone numbers, you can turn down any "undesirables". Gradually you should be able to develop a loyal band of excellent customers who come back to you year in year out