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  • Holiday Lets

    1st steps into holiday lets - starter q's

    Hi All,

    I currently have 1 student HMO and am looking at purchasing another buy to let property. However, I have started to read a little into holiday lets as opposed to buying another BTL property. I have the following questions,

    1. How can I find a holiday let property? currently I only purchase properties in my own city in the West Midlands via looking on Rightmove.

    2. What criteria is used to decide what is a good holiday let property and what is not? Here I only know the areas of my city and where the demand is for rental property.

    3. How hands on do you need to be? As i am based in the West Midlands we are quite some distant from costal areas. With my own Student HMO, I am there every summer, painting the walls, ceilings, getting rid of broken furniture, building new furniture and other odd jobs. I have an estate agent who collects the rent and deals with any issues in the house. Are there any companies who would fully manage everything for a holiday let? e.g. advertising, collecting money, fixing issues in the property etc

    Is there anything else I should know/consider?

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    All your questions and much more are answered here:

    Holiday let - every portfolio should have one

    Guide to sourcing & setting up a holiday let 

    Holiday lets are advertised frequently on the property portals.

    One way to pick them out, if they don't mention "suited to holiday letting" in the text, is to look at images where towels are neatly folded on the beds and there is no clutter of someone living there.  I can spot them a mile off! Smile

    You can have holiday lets managed by an agency who will undertake the bookings and guest management, collect payments etc.  You will need to employ cleaners to go into the property to clean it and change over the bed linen and towels after each stay.

    Both our holiday lets are over 100 miles away from us and we have no problem with outsourcing everything.

    Additionally, you will require a specialist mortgage and specialist insurance.

    Holiday let mortgages via John Charcol on 0333 363 6507

    Holiday let insurance via Alan Boswell Group on 01603 649736

    Hope that helps for starters?

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    We also have holiday lets, and find expectations much higher, as they are only there a week, they want you to fix stuff there and then, even down to changing a light bulb. Using an agent can vary in cost from 12% - over 20% and as Vanessa says you still have to source cleaners, factoring laundry costs.

    If you go for short breaks, as the likes of airbnb favour, this will be more. Some areas, like Falmouth, you loose your HMO licence if you let for holidays.

    Also, occupancy can be 50%. Hope that's not too negative.

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    Thank you. Your and Mr. PAYE's posts are both useful to me! I always want to hear the positives, AND the negatives, when I'm considering diversifying into something I know nothing about (which I am). If I know it all, I can make the right plans. So thank you both for sharing experience and views.

    I need to respond to V on another thread about my step into holiday lets, but I need the energy to write about my changing plans and hours and hours on rightmove.

    The city holiday let option sounds good, Mr. P, and I'm going to think about that, with your comments, jewellp, re maintenance and servicing the property. I had been thinking about doing BTL in Birmingham, funnily enough, as I was struggling to find a coast FHL anywhere around the south east and Wales that would tick all boxes. How about student lets in Birmingham? I'm sure I could self manage those with a team of servicing and support staff?

    All food for thought ...

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    Rachel 

    "Change is a prerequisite to longterm survival".

    The establishment is rigged so that the rich stay very rich, and the poor get poorer.


    Now I haven’t done holiday let’s, but am still considering it. However, there is no way i’d buy something 100 miles away and actually I don’t fancy something seasonal. Now I stayed in an apartment in Birmingham a few months ago for an event that wasn’t seasonal in the slightest. Birmingham that classic holiday location!


    Personally I think an investment in a city would suit me better. Year-round, closer to home, lots of different markets/ groups to rent to and buy...

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    Hi! We have a few clients who have properties which are located a reasonable distance away from their primary homes, and therefore they use other companies to manage the processes for them. There are some great companies out there, and clearly, some pretty terrible ones, so if you do venture down this path, really spend a lot of time focussed on finding the right company for your needs. Break down the costs, the service they provide, look for customer feedback, even ask to see the properties they manage. Lots of little additional costs can really add up so check everything! (I was badly stung by this trick before and found I was paying out the same as I was making thanks to these additional fees - the lesson has been learned!).

    How you do it really depends on you, because it doesn't suit some people to be that hands off and can get frustrated by not being involved. You need to decide if you're looking for a hands-off approach, and are quite happy to allow another company to take charge of your property, while you focus on another project or on another aspect of the business.

    For some of our clients, they have project managers and cleaners who live local to the property, but they manage the bookings and the marketing and finance themselves. Other companies are completely hands off, so a management company does absolutely everything, and hands them the financial statements and the profits at the end of each month. Yes there is a bigger cost for this, but it frees your time to work on something else.

    When you are considering your location, take a good look at the political situation there. In quite a few cities there is a backlash against holiday lets, and this can have a big impact on the options for your property. Some cities have limits on the length of time over a year that you can rent out a property, others are trying to shut them down all together. For this reason, most coastal properties which are standalone homes rather than flats may be the way to go to avoid this political situation. If you Google 'ASSC Council' you'll find an article by the Association of Short lets describing the situation happening in Edinburgh.

    I hope this helps. Kelly.

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