Make your home work for you on your holiday

So you’re planning that dream holiday, trying to fit weeks and months of travelling into your budget. But since you’re going to be away so long, why not boost your savings pot by making your house work for you while you’re away? The market for holiday lets in Britain is strong – both from foreign visitors and Brits looking for a break.

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It’s not as easy as simply handing over your keys and setting off – there are some things you have to consider – but it isn’t a difficult thing to do and can be very lucrative if you get it right. Here’s our guide to the things you need to think about when renting out your property:

Who will take care of the letting?

You can advertise and search for tenants yourself, or you can employ the services of a holiday lettings firm such as Rent My Cottage. If you choose the former you’ll receive all the rental money, but will be faced with all the admin and organising that comes with it – things which can be hard to keep on top of if you’re travelling around the world. By sacrificing a small part of that income, you could have a dedicated service that takes care of finding tenants and will be a point of emergency contact for guests, as well as putting able to put you in touch with recommended  local companies who can take care of cleaning and maintaining your home in-between guest visits.

If you decide to go it alone, it is worth looking for long-term tenants rather than many short-term lets. You’ll be able to tie them into a fixed contract and won’t have to worry about maintenance. You will have to arrange for someone local to be a point of contact while you are away, but you may be able to find a friend or family member to take care of this.

What price to ask for?

As with house prices overall, the location and size of the property need to be taken into account when setting a rental price. However, with holiday lets the location will be more valuable if it is near attractions and tourist areas, rather than transport networks and schools that make permanent residences more valuable. Look around for similar properties in your area for guidance, but be prepared to lower your expectations depending on response – some income is better than none!

Presentation and belongings

Your house should be presentable and free from clutter to attract tenants, while all repairs need to be done to ensure tenants are safe (on that note – liability insurance to cover any accidents is a must). You will be taking security deposits to cover damage to your furnishings, but it may be worth removing and storing pieces with sentimental value which cannot be replaced.