Thinking of letting out a house as a holiday let – what should I know?

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  • Thinking of letting out a house as a holiday let – what should I know?
  • Premier Icon geoffj

    MIL’s house on the edge of the lakes (Kendal).
    I understand what is required for a normal let, but never done holiday let before.
    Thinking of using AirBnB to market it. Need a company to do changeovers.
    I understand the tax situation is different – need to look into that.
    Anything else to consider?
    And no, this isn’t really a stealth advert, because it’ll be a couple of months at least before it’s ready.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash

    Business rates – but almost certainly below the relief limit so should be ok.


    Probably the main thing is how you market it as to who you want staying there.

    Premier Icon bruneep

    Probably best to let the MIL know of your intentions


    Don’t do Christmas and new year the chance and cost of damage is too high.
    Cleaning is very important so if you are not doing it yourself get a good one.
    Beware how star ratings work. We went up a level just. By fitting a few thermostatic rad valves to some rads upstairs that didn’t have them.

    Premier Icon geoffj

    Probably best to let the MIL know of your intentions


    Thanks guys. The Christmas one is a good one – I think we’d probably want to go there ourselves then anyway.


    use a reputable company and they will organise all the cleaning and so on. Trying to use air bnb will leave you with organising cleaning and new linen for every tenent.

    I’m on my iPad so can’t type too much but give me an hour and I’ll do you a long winded reply from my pc. I’ve had a holiday let for about 6 or 7 years so have a bit of experience.


    Hopefully this won’t happen with yours but my parents lived in a small courtyard development in Alnwick for a while. if I recall correctly there were about 6 houses and 4 of them were holiday lets.
    They moved out in the end because of the problems caused by the holidaymakers making noise, coming into their back garden (shared rear path along the back of 3-4 gardens) parking where they liked and eventually verbally abusing my retired mother.
    All I’m saying is think of the neighbours, if any.

    As an AirBnB user for business trips, I’ve come to expect a higher standard than maybe I’m used to at home. For those letting, I guess that means a lot of laundry and cleaning, for fairly minimal return. Not so bad if you are doing weekly lets, but a lot of effort for a one night stay.


    Avoid short stays if you can afford to as your guests will treat your property like a B&B and you’ll get through bedding, towels etc much quicker (due to washing). Be prepared for your instructions for things such as heating (which they will have set to max / 24hrs), stove and cooker to be ignored.


    think of the neighbours, if any.

    This. In our rush to use property as a way to ‘easy’ wealth now it’s clear the economy is broadly screwed for at least a generation there’s very little consideration IME of the impact of property no longer being seen as a home, and instead as an ‘investment’ and the impact this has on mental health and destruction of healthy local communities.
    See the law on local ownership being changed in Cornwall as one e.g. and both middle classes and the poor being exiled from London as another… Friends of mine in the Lakes will tell you the same tale of the outside money pushing locals out of the National Park, breaking up communities as they go…

    On this note, I wouldn’t assume the tax situation around holiday lets will remain the same – just as BTL has been deliberately broken, so will holiday lets as people trying to game the system re-categorising their properties. it’s also an easy political target at a time when we’re desperate for more tax income (see NHS for e.g.)


    There is a chap on laymyhat forum with a kendal let. Surprisingly he is called kendal cottages. I would look at the economics carefully, kendal is a prime example of where the holiday let income would far exceed the local long let market so the risk is priced in.

    Be prepared for lots of eyeball rolling and practice your I have never seen that before expression.

    Good luck btw

    See the law on local ownership being changed in Cornwall as one

    i’m sorry but seriously this is a pile of rubbish and is very much a two sides story with common sense by council’s and government being the issue not home ownership. more so its actually a ‘vote’ argument used by MPs and councillors.

    you will probably find that in cornwall the benefit scroungers that decide they want to live here and descend expecting everything given to them are more of a housing issue than second homes. and before anyopne accuses me of daily mail/express exaggeration i live here and i personally know many examples of exactly that.

    sorry to offend anyone but this ‘second home owners are the scum of the earth’ attitude does drive me mad, i’m not saying it is not a problem, but its not THE reason no-one can afford anything in cornwall like its made out to be.


    Make sure your let qualifies as a furnished holiday let for tax purposes.

    Btl is far from a broken model.

    to answer the op..

    sorry there is a lot of rubbish in the replies above.

    you do not need business rates for a start, check the regulations and you will find there is a certain amount of time you can short let for. local authorities may vary.

    that ‘people wreck the place’ is also rubbish. you will get damage, people will destroy stuff and not tell you, but 95% of people are brilliant. we go out of our way to personalise the experience in the hope people care a bit more. we actually find that the worse people tend to be at the height of the season and are paying the most cash. but again, most people are lovely and do look after the place.

    do hire peak season and key holidays, thats when you make your money for goodness-sakes.

    the thing you have to remember is that people now expect better than their home, the days of cheap furniture and a 50p leccy meter are long gone.

    i would honestly advise using an agency for the first year to get a feel, expect to pay about 20% commission although when vat etc are added its more like 25% of the total rental. i actually do not rate agencies, but at first its good to have someone who can sort problems for you. do shop around though and speak to as many as possible. also via an agency you will see what your cottage is worth. we still use a price band based upon the last company we used.

    a cleaner/changeover person will cost you maybe as much as £150 (wife’s freind has a small business doing cottages and that is her rate for a fully managed changeover), some totally hands off cottages down here actually make a loss of winter short breaks but then its all tax deductible.. again the agency can help with this.

    airbnb is a nightmare for a holiday let, the pricing system is based around single nights and is hard to do weeks especially as the prices increase in the year.

    i would also advise setting up your own website, its quite easy to do the seo so that you can be found for people doing a very local search.

    thats it really, its a good little business if you get it right but self managing does take a lot of time and patience. my email is in my prof if you want any more advice and i’ll be happy to give you my website and otrher links we are on.


    I’m currently looking into the same with the FIL’s house in North Devon, we’ve had someone round from a holiday let agency and she said about gas/electricity safety certificates, PAT checks, insurance cover, and having someone local on call in case of problems.
    WiFi was one thing she said was a must have.

    And as for house prices in Devon and Cornwall, it must be all those ridiculously overpaid Devon (average wage £20,200 pa) and Cornish workers (average wage £18,354 pa) driving up house prices after all. 🙄

    Premier Icon Tiger6791

    What “gavtheoldskater” said

    Premier Icon Tiger6791
    Premier Icon Tiger6791

    Wrong thread doh!


    💡 Friends of ours have a business with mutltiple properties as holiday lets, they’ve now shifted their focus from holiday lets to accommodation for workers away from home, less hassle, clients are less needy & they earn more.


    Old thread but … my sister used to holiday lets in Devon but in the end went fir a long term year round contract as less hassle due to no changeovers. Given “dead time” it worked out slightly better financially.

    Premier Icon ampthill

    I’d start by seeing if one of the big Lake Disctrict holiday agencies will take it on. I’m sure they’ll charge a large % but in return I’m sure you’ll end up learning loads about the market. Also being in that colour brocher that comes annually through my mother door will increase your % occupany. The Lakes market is amazing and people get close to being lt all year round

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