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Cottages, Hotels and B&Bs in the Lake District

A Guide to setting up a self catering holiday accommodation business - maintenance, insurance, accounting and health and safety

A light hearted look at setting up and running a holiday cottage

Setting up and renting out a holiday cottage - continued


Please note the views expressed in this article represent the views of the author and in no way reflect the official view of Escape2LakeDistrict.com or Helvellyn Consulting. If you are looking to set up a holiday accommodation business and are in need of guidance, please seek professional assistance.


The right location - Take on or Start up - The right size of property - Equipping your cottage - USPs - Pricing - Agency or self-manage - Advertising - Terms and Conditions - Maintenance - Insurance and accounting - Health and Safety - Grading - Dogs - What to do next.


Maintenance


For an agency managed holiday property they will almost certainly offer a service (at a price!) to do the basics of maintaining the property, fixing things and doing the weekly cleaning and turnaround. Do not underestimate the effort involved in all of this. You might think that cleaning a 2 bedroomed cottages once a week will be easy, and some weeks it will, but you will find that occasionally hell has been unleashed in your precious holiday cottage and it takes you hours just to put it back together again! You will also need either a good local person who can fix things on a Saturday when you do your changeovers, or you need to become a dab hand with plumbing, basic electrics, and general handywork.


Do not make the mistake of thinking that people will always treat your property with the same care and attention you would. The name says it all. It’s a holiday home, and if people treat their own home badly they will do the same to yours. Things will break/go wrong/need fixing with alarming regularity. If you’re lucky your guests will tell you the minute the problem arises. If not you will only find out when you venture into the property on Saturday morning to clean it up.

There is no need to go down the full agency route just to avoid getting hands on yourself and there are many good cleaners around, as well as professional laundry and maintenance companies who specialise in holiday properties. Again the internet or other local owners will be a fountain of useful knowledge.


One final thought in this area. In our experience it makes a real positive difference if you are able to hand over the keys to your guests in person and show them around the holiday cottage. It often helps to form a personal relationship which could be invaluable if that radiator starts leaking on Monday morning! Also whilst key safes or hiding the keys under a flower pot may seems like a good idea, when its pouring with rain and pitch black outside, your guests will not start their holiday in the best of moods if they’re fumbling around trying to get in!


Insurance and accounting


You will need to take out proper insurance for your home as a “holiday let” rather than a primary residence, and again this need not be prohibitively expensive. Likewise you should seek professional assistance on the tax and finance implications of your business – which again should not be that expensive. Single holiday units can currently be completed on your own personal tax return (as at the time of writing this article!). If in doubt ask the experts!


Health and Safety


Again the rules vary but common sense should prevail. You need to have an adequate fire system, with wired (rather than battery operated) heat and smoke detectors and alarms. Your local fire service will probably offer a free assessment. You should also provide clear emergency instructions for your guests in terms of escape routes and emergency procedures and contact numbers (local doctors etc).



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The right location - Take on or Start up - The right size of property - Equipping your cottage - USPs - Pricing - Agency or self-manage - Advertising - Terms and Conditions - Maintenance - Insurance and accounting - Health and Safety - Grading - Dogs - What to do next.


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Sykes Lake District Cottages

Great Range of Holiday Cottages in the Lake District from Sykes Cottages - Click here for details

Sykes Holiday Cottages in the Lake District

Stephen Dixon Joinery Limited in Cumbria

If you’re looking for high quality Lake District Joinery, then Grasmere based Stephen Dixon Joinery Limited offers a highly competitive high quality service right across the Lake District. His joinery services include:


Bespoke Furniture

Kitchens

Replacement and New Windows

Wooden Flooring and Stairs

Roof Joinery

Bathroom Wall Panels


Please contact Stephen today for a reliable, honest and competitive service.