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Hot Tips For Renting Your Holiday Home



Lots of people with second holiday homes obviously consider renting them if they are not being utilised through the owner, family or friends. This way they can cover a few of the costs associated with maintaining the home making an extra 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. - Accommodation



Equipping Your Property



When you first venture to the holiday property business, it may be tempting to try 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 cut and try corners! Furnish and equip your property as well as you are able to possibly afford.



Obviously you're concerned about acquiring a good return on your investment. The fear that some holidaymakers from hell will wreak havoc together with your possessions might deter you from equipping your holiday home to a high standard.



If they can see these are things which the owner obviously cares about...it's human nature, those who've been in the business for years have found that most holidaymakers take greater care with furniture and other more personal items.



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 welcome and comfortable, they are more likely to look after your property.



Ensuring all of the beds are comfy is surely an absolute must. An absence of sleep is sufficient is ruin anyone's holiday. One owner advises: " Sleep in each and every bed inside the place! I had several complaints regarding a bed during my first year of renting out - and when I next visited my property I realised the complaints were entirely justified."



Keep in mind many holidaymakers regard certain items - like a microwave oven, satellite TV and tumble drier - as essential in a holiday property, though they might not exactly ask them to in your own home.



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 if you store personal things in the property which are not for the use of your tenants! Many owners find a polite notice, asking tenants not to use particular items, works better. Generally, holidaymakers will respect the owner's wishes. If possible, is to store personal items with friends during lets, a better solution.



It's wise to have washable and removable covers (or throw-overs) on your three-piece suite - particularly when your premises is probably the hotter parts of Spain.



As you property owner noted: "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 each and every time I visited."



The same owner continued: "You'd be very impressed at what tenants can perform. I've had pictures stolen, frying pans apparently used as hammers, the kitchen workbench (solid wood) used as a chopping board. Among my buddies had her portable barbecue lit within the lounge, leaving a really black ceiling! " - Accommodation



This owner's motto is: Be equipped for the worst...though it doesn't normally happen. In seven years of holiday letting, the majority of her experiences have already been positive!



Using Letting Agencies



Weigh up the pros and cons of employing a letting agency to handle 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 perfect for owners who don't have 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 fixed income for certain types of property in high season (e.g a villa with private pool inside a Mediterranean coastal resort in July/August).



Make sure you know precisely 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 create problems within your property.



Also check exactly what services the agency provides. Some provide different levels of service, for the way much you're willing to pay as well as on whether you do have a local manager handling certain aspects of your property letting for you.



after and before each let and does this include a full inventory inspection, ask whether or not the agency inspects the house ? Do they check tenants in your property and explain how the many major appliances work? Will they organise running repairs and maintenance and offer written reports? Are their staff on 24-hour call-out in the event of emergencies?



Ensure you know exactly what you're getting for the money - as the cheapest agent isn't always the very best or most dependable. 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 would like exactly the same agency to take care of your property, swimming pool area and garden. Many owners choose to use a different pool maintenance company or gardener so there's somebody else keeping an eye on the place in their absence.



The gardener might be able to tip you off...and vice versa if the agency isn't doing its job!



Appointing a home Manager



In the event you decide against utilizing an official agency - and you also don't live locally - it's vital to appoint a house manager. You need a responsible and reliable individual that lives within easy distance of your own holiday home. You are able to normally find someone willing to get this done for a small fraction of a high street agent's fees.



Their duties should include a weekly check from the property, arranging for a thorough clean before and after each group of visitors, handing over and collecting keys and customarily sorting problems.



Consider paying your local manager to perform extra duties, including shopping, gardening, writing welcome cards etc. Many homeowners find this worthwhile since it allows them to examination in the visitors - both to view that most is well from their point of view (which all's well together with your property! )



Stay in close contact with your manager who must never hand over your property keys until given the go-ahead on your part.



Many owners have encounter difficulties after appointing friends as caretakers...complaints from dissatisfied tenants can lead to friction between owner and erstwhile friend! Maintain your property letting as businesslike as possible.



Cleaning



NEVER under-estimate the significance of this vital aspect of holiday letting. Wastepaper bins that haven't been emptied, sweet wrappers lurking within a far corner underneath the kids' bunk beds and greasy cookers all add up to an odious start to anyone's holiday.



It's important to have good, reliable cleaners going into the property between lets - many owners send them in 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 always be visitors who leave a mess behind them, break things, trample your plants etc. It's all part and parcel from the business.



If they ever reapply, if you keep a record of names, addresses and phone numbers, you can turn down any "undesirables". Gradually you will be able to build up a loyal band of excellent customers who return to you year after year