Holiday letting and how it can work for you

Carl Stanger

There was a very interesting article in in yesterday’s Sunday Times – highlighting just how lucrative holiday lets can be versus traditional buy-to-lets.

Here at Exclusively Eastbourne our purpose in life since 2010 has been been to help owners make the most of their precious properties in and around Eastbourne and East Sussex  – and the mainstream media has gradually been revealing one of the best-kept secrets in property.

Many of us yearn for a bolthole by the sea, an escape from our busy lives when we look to restore life’s balance, rejuvanate and head for the hills, beach, countryside. Who can resist gazing in the window of the local estate agent as we potter back to our holiday apartment from a trip to the beach??

The good news is that it is now so easy to get all the help you need to make this happen:

  • More and more lenders are offering mortgages specifically for holiday homes – Leeds, Furness and Market Harborough building societies can provide finance for holiday properties.
  • Favourable tax treatment – owners of holiday lets can still deduct all mortgage interest from tax liabilities and claim back all the costs of furnishing a holiday home, unlike traditional buy-to-lets.
  • Letting websites such as airbnb, HomeAway and target holiday-makers in search of a self-catering property and secure bookings for this huge new dynamic for holidays
  • Find a local concierge agency such as Exclusively Eastbourne and be amazed at the depth of services on offer to really bring the benefits of holiday rentals to life

Please be mindful that not all agencies offer the range of support services that you as an owner of a holiday property might require – many owners live several hours from their property or even overseas and simply don’t have the opportunity to look after guests, fix leaking washing machines and clear up between guests. Even those owners who live close by are unlikely to have the inclination meet the exhausting demands of today’s holiday-makers, who are unlikely to remain patient when the broadband goes down or the TV remote refuses to play ball.

Operators such Pass the Keys provide support from 15% commission for a basic package whilst others such as Sykes Cottages and Holidaycottages offer access to a support manager, but our experience tells us that nothing beat boots-on-the-ground at the local level to enhance the guest experience – not just because they are fully immersed and live in the local area and so can recommend things to do and places to go (and avoid), to instantly react when issues arise (and they certainly will) and to be that essential filter between you and the guests.

Here at Exclusively Eastbourne we insist on face-to-face check-ins for guests and whilst this is extremely time-intensive (and therefore expensive for us) it’s an investment we feel is essential – to allow guests to feel at ease and relaxed upon arrival, know how to make the most of their holiday rental and their precious time away from home. This feeds into very high repeat booking levels and therefore happy owners.

We can take care of the cleaning, providing crisp, white linen and towels, toiletries and dishwasher tablets, access to trusted tradesmen, gardening services, interior design and practical recommendations on how to furnish a holiday rental.

Many locations, especially those on the coast, can be quite seasonal, so think about how you can fill your bookings calendar in the quieter months. Our sister site, Exclusively Short Lets, targets those in need to short stays and serviced accommodation, such as corporate clients or perhaps those having renovations or emergency repairs at home, and the two sites combine perfectly. We also have close connections to national companies and large insurance organisations (who have clients in need of emergency accommodation after flooding or other mishaps at home).

Here’s some helpful information for those who are interesting in starting a holiday let and we are more than happy to offer our feedback on individual properties you are considering buying.

The decision to buy a second property should never be taken lightly so choose your location carefully and your property with a meticulous understanding of the local market and guest needs. The decision of which support agency provides the guest bookings and support services is arguably the most important of all. Talk with them, preferably meet face-to-face and get a feel for how they can meet your needs and those of potential guests.

I do hope you find this article helpful – if you’d like more advice please call us on 01323 40 60 90 or email for more information.


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