With increasing demand for holidays in the UK, more and more resourceful homeowners are deciding to let out their homes for a small proportion of the year. And why not? If you have the space and the time to make your home ready for guests, it can be a good way to earn some extra money. However, it is not necessarily easy money. Before renting out your home, you need to find out if you need to declare the income, check with your mortgage provider and insurer that you can let it out, and get your home visitor ready.
Having paying guests is not the same as having your friends to stay. Here are some tips for getting your home holiday rental ready.
Those pictures and nik-naks that you love may add character, but if you are planning on people paying to stay, you need to be a little bit more objective. Grab a box and some bubble wrap and take a good, objective look around your home. Remove anything that is either personal (photos, personalised items), precious/ sentimental (wedding gifts, family heirlooms – anything you would be sad to be lost or broken), of questionable taste (that kitsch gift bought by a friend and loved by you may not be loved by all). Be ruthless – the box(es) will be stored for the rental duration and you can always get the items out again later – or maybe you will enjoy your new, clutter-free space. If you are happy for your photos to be up and out, then feel free to leave a few – they can act as a gentle reminder to guests that this is, in fact, somebody’s home. Likewise, feel free to leave games and books out for guests to use, but if you don’t want your books to go walkies, it may be a good idea to leave a note asking for them to be left behind…
Think about when you stay overnight in a holiday home or hotel; your tolerance of dust bundles and the odd mirror smear suddenly disappears, and you expect everything to be immaculate. The same goes for people paying to stay in your home so, if you want to get top payment, you need to make sure that you give it a deep clean. This means windows, carpets, and behind furniture. If the task is too daunting, a professional cleaning service can do the job for you; it may eat into the profits slightly but will be worth it.
The dodgy boiler, leaking cistern or oven that fuses your electricity now and again may be quirks that you have accepted and grown to love, but it’s not so great for guests and nor is it ideal for you to be getting calls every day. Get in a handyman to snag all those minor niggles to make your guests’ (and your) experience stress free.
Preparing your home for guests may seem daunting, but by getting in a specialist you can get the jobs done in no time. The best bit is that all those annoying jobs will be done for you to enjoy, too. For more tips and advice, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.