With travel abroad still being so difficult and rules on which are the latest quarantine countries changing almost daily, staycations are big business. It is undeniable that there has been a surge in people holidaying in the UK this year and that trend looks set to continue. You might be thinking of getting in on the action by investing in a holiday let. Before you do part with your cash, read this article from Wallace Accountancy and Bookkeeping for advice.


Can you really afford it?


Firstly, if you are thinking of investing in a buy to let property then there are many financial decisions you will need to make far beyond the initial “can I afford it” question.


You will need to consider how much you will need to pay out on a monthly or annual basis to keep your new business running. Costs such as insurance; contractor fees; utilities; income tax; council tax; furnishing and décor; and wear and tear will all need to be factored into your calculations when you are working out whether you can afford to buy a property in the first place as some will need to be paid before you even start taking bookings. They will also need to be factored into your calculations when you are working out how much to charge people to stay there.


What you need to think about.


When you take the plunge and invest in a holiday let property you may need to seek planning permission or apply for a change of use. Some councils are not currently allowing these so make sure you check all this out before you sign on the dotted line. Your solicitor will be able to advise on this.


Once you’ve done it and bought your property, you will need to seriously think about insurance and also taking security deposits. Many holiday let owners will tell you tales of pets or worse, guests, causing untold mess and damage to their properties so ensure you are fully protected before you welcome your first guests.



Jack of all trades.


When you become a holiday let landlord, you will need to make sure that you keep your accounts in order, a good bookkeeper can help you with this. You will also need to be a cleaner, a laundrette, a gardener, a handyman, a decorator, a marketer, an administrator, and an all-round font of knowledge.


It is unlikely that you will have all these skills at your disposal, and you may not have the time, energy, or inclination to do so. Getting a team of people on board to take on some or all these roles is a brilliant investment. This doesn’t mean you will also become an employer; it just means you can employ the services of self-employed local businesses to relieve some of the burden.


You may also wish to appoint a holiday letting agent to handle the booking admin. Make sure you research all the options thoroughly first as some such as Sykes, Air BnB and all have mixed reviews.



What really counts as essential.


Not too long ago, in fact just last year, wi-fi was not considered essential. How quickly we realised that it is! Having wi-fi, particularly good reliable wi-fi will definitely work in your favour.


If you don’t have wi-fi then you run the risk of receiving bad reviews, if you make sure you have wi-fi in your property then your guests can make the decision themselves whether or not they use it.



Is white alright?


During peak season you are likely to have new guests every single week, possibly more if you are offering mid-week and weekend stays. This means that things like towels and bedding will be getting washed a lot and even with the most careful washing, whites are unlikely to stay white for long. Factoring in pets and children, muddy walks, accidental spills and heavy usage you are likely to be replacing your linens often so buy ones that wash well, won’t fade and have some kind of stain reduction technology. Try to avoid white linens if you can but if you have your heart set on white for that fresh and crisp feel, make sure you buy extras and are prepared to replace them more often.



If you follow these tips when embarking on being a holiday let landlord then you will get off to a flying start.




Top Ten Tips:


Appoint a  bookkeeper to manage the financial side of things.



Take security deposits, especially if guests are bringing pets



Have clear rules and make them available to your guests before, during and after they have booked and in their arrival pack.



Don’t have white linens, they will end up filthy.



Have a professional cleaner give the property a thorough clean after every guest and before new guests when there has been a gap in bookings.



Get the grass cut and the gardens tidied once a week during March to September to ensure it always looks tidy.



Make sure you have reliable Wi-Fi. One thing that quickly became apparent in 2020 is how essential good Wi-Fi really is.



If you have complicated tech such as induction hobs or smart thermostats, make sure that you have user guides easily accessible to your guests.



Make sure you review your utility costs annually to ensure sure you are on the best rates.



Make sure you have good insurance in place to protect yourself and your investment should anything happen.


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