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  • Holiday Lets

    New to (Scottish) holiday lets ...

    Hello,

    So my Dad has came across a holiday let up for sale in the Scottish borders, I went to view it for him yesterday, sadly it was the cleaner showing me round and not the owner, i could have done to speak to the man himself and the agent is useless, its one of these online places and no one seems to know what the deal is.  Anyway this would be our first venture in to the property letting business, basically Dad works away from home and this would be his base when he comes back, we would only rent it out when he doesn't need it, he wouldn't need it that often.

    My query is how does this all work.

    This would be a cash investment so no mortgage to worry about meeting every month.

    would we need to register as a business?

    Is there a maximum number of weeks that we can rent out if he uses it as his "home" .

    We are based in Scotland - the Scottish borders, very touristy in the summer, the property is a 2 bedroom townhouse apartment. I think they are currently getting about £80 a night In the high season obviously you have your cleaners etc to pay each turnover, bills etc ….they currently use an online booking agent so they will charge a fee I would presume, after all this would it be worth it?

    Any other advice for a newbie would be greatly appreciated.

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    Hi Bonnie and welcome.

    No need to register this as a business and no restrictions on how long it can be let out or how much you can use it yourselves.

    This will assist you further:

    Guide to sourcing & setting up a holiday let 

    ​Don't hesitate to ask if you have any further questions and good luck!

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    We recently purchased a holiday let in Tenby in Wales and it is doing extremely well but my mother is managing it to give her some income and to save us on quite hefty agency/cleaning costs. I'd say just make sure you run your numbers and it makes financial sense, you'll make money no doubt even if you pay an agent and cleaners but it won't necessarily be any more profitable than a normal BTL venture if you can't do any of it yourselves - if that is the long term aim with your father in the future then that's fine as it will become worthwhile as soon as you take some or any of those responsibilities over.

    Costs we have seen locally:

    1. Agent fees are generally around 20-22% of bookings (at least where we are)
    2. For a 3 bedroom apartment, good cleaners want £70 each change over (best to get figures for cleaning now if you're considering purchase)
    3. Good bedding, towels costs more than you may think and you'll need at least double of everything so you can do a changeover same day
    4. Laundry costs should be factored in as well, all these little bits add up

    In terms of ways to save, agency fees I think are the easiest. Quite often their 20-22% is basically advertising and managing booking requests and coordinating with cleaners. Advertising on Airbnb is really easy, you can do it remotely no problem but I think you need someone local who can go physically to the property in case of issues. If you don't have that I think the agency route is the only way to go.

    If I could give one single bit of advice, take good photos. Wide angle lens is great to get more of the room in - if you can't take good photos it may be worth hiring someone who knows what they're doing. Dress the rooms, put out flowers, books, bottle of wine with glasses, make it look like a homely comfortable environment that people want to transport themselves to.

    One final thing, check local events out - we've been able to more than double our nightly prices due to some big events that happen locally and they get snapped up. Really helps the bottom line!

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