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The Ups and Downs of owning a Furnished Holiday Let

How hard can it be to rig up a few festoon lights?
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I mean you can even do it for a Company Smoker when pretty much everyone is on the pop.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Since the beginning we‘ve always been hassled by necky journos, bloggers and what not.

If they have a big enough following or write for a reputable publication, we’ll always do our best to butter them up a bit with a free stay and scran. Over the years it’s worked wonders, we‘re regularly featured in all the broadsheets, plus a few of the rags as well.

Because journalists are lazy, they also recycle old articles. So chucking someone a free weekend, could potentially earn you 10 plus articles over the course of a few years. When you see those Times Magazine articles with “Our 10 best hotels for families“ or “Britain’s best boutique hotels“ it’s just the same articles cut and pasted over and over again.

Anyway, from time to time we’ll get some complete chancer who has a travel blog with 12 followers and has written one article for the Rutland Chronicle. You can always tell because they’re the ones who demand the most free shit. Fiona Duncan from the Telegraph doesn’t need to ask for dinner because she knows she’ll get it.

So imagine the hilarity this morning when we had some bloke asking for a 3 night stay, with meals, in the summer holidays, for him, his missus, 3 kids and his mother in law.

No thanks mate, I’m not sure the readers of Air Gambia in flight magazine would be that interested in our place anyway.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Had an interesting one this weekend.

Youngish wealthy couple came to stay. Didn‘t get up until gone 12 every day. Rude to staff, probably doing a lot of cocaine.

Asked reception to book them a taxi to “go and see a lake”. When asked which lake they replied “I don’t give a fuck, whichever is the best one.”

They were supposed to check out at 11 on the Sunday, but were still here at 3pm, having massively not got their shit together after another heavy night.

While they were hanging around, the receptionist (who happens to be my younger sister), walked in on them fucking in one of the lounges, over what was my father in law‘s desk.

Classy.

Pretty good drills to be honest. Not sure I’d have the balls to smash a bird at 3pm in a public room of a hotel.
 
Had an interesting one this weekend.

Youngish wealthy couple came to stay. Didn‘t get up until gone 12 every day. Rude to staff, probably doing a lot of cocaine.

Asked reception to book them a taxi to “go and see a lake”. When asked which lake they replied “I don’t give a ****, whichever is the best one.”

They were supposed to check out at 11 on the Sunday, but were still here at 3pm, having massively not got their shit together after another heavy night.

While they were hanging around, the receptionist (who happens to be my younger sister), walked in on them ******* in one of the lounges, over what was my father in law‘s desk.

Classy.

Pretty good drills to be honest. Not sure I’d have the balls to smash a bird at 3pm in a public room of a hotel.
the mans an utter cad,
 

Dark_Nit

LE
Book Reviewer
Blaggers!

Doesn't just happen in the hospitality industry. Some years ago we were informed that we would have to provide 5 days FREE engineering consultancy to a company just to get on the final selection list for a piece of work. As the total job was about 40 days, this was basically our entire profit on the job. we'd already spent 2 man days work preparing a presentation and various other documentation just to get to see the company.

We told them to FRO and walked.

Might have been understandable, but this was, and still is, a large multi-national company making many millions in profits and we are a small engineering consultancy.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Bump.

We reopened our cafe and gardens on Saturday, doing takeaways only, in line with social distancing and covid guidelines.

Sold 120 pizzas in the first two hours.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Good luck for a good summer mucker

Cheers.

We’re still pretty fucked where weddings are concerned. We’ve had to cancel 30 weddings so far.

Weddings account for 90% of our income across all our businesses (two pubs, hotel, restaurants, cafe, farms).

Things will pick up. Luckily we own the freehold on all our properties so no rent to pay while they’re sat empty.

Not really losing money, just not making any.
 
We decided to use my gratuity and buy a cottage on the N Yorks Moors (we now live in the Lake District) and turn it into a furnished holiday let, on the basis that it would pay for itself. It sleeps 4 and with a rollaway for a fifth guest. I read this thread and spoke to a number of people who had gone down this route (including my mate Crash who used to post on here and lived nearby). We bought it late last year and I spent all my spare time updating it and preparing it for let....from March. My partner enjoyed doing the furnishings and outfitting, mindful of what people had said.

Here we are at the end of June and still no income and a mortgage to sustain. Hopefully our first booking will be from 4 July, but we are questioning the viability of it. Since we got a cleaner sorted out, the 'Government guidelines' have become very onerous and our letting agency insists that we confirm we will adhere to them. The cleaning cost and time has doubled.

The sorts of things that will now have to be done because of CV-19:

  • No cushions, no books, no ornaments, no games etc, to reduce the risk of transmission and to ease cleaning.
  • Mattress and pillow protectors to be changed each week and commercially laundered.
  • Bedding to be stripped by the guests and placed in sealed bin liners (to reduce risk to cleaners).
  • Cleaners to be in full PPE including booties and to change gloves between each room.
  • All common areas to be wiped down with either bleach or alcohol wipes (door handles, switches, bannisters etc). Remote controls to be wrapped in cling film.
  • All crockery and cutlery to be machine washed between changes.
  • 'Approved' handwash and paper towels in all bathrooms. (1 ensuite and one family bathroom).
  • Sanitiser by all entry doors.
  • Signed statements from guests that they have no CV19 symptoms on arrival or departure.
  • No visitors allowed in the property.
  • ....etc.
Added to that it seems the pub in the nearby village may never reopen.

Bugger.
 
We have knocked this year on the head , refunded all the bookings from the outset , hopefully a couple of private visitors just to keep the place aired.
Second log cabin on hold.
 
My thoughts do go out to all in the hotel, B&B and hospitality trade. Despite all the measures you take you're only one Covid case away from losing your reputation whether from a chancer or someone who happena to catch somerhing wandering around the locality. Good luck to one & all.
 

Chef

LE
I've just read through this thread and it's a bit weird reading about holiday letting knowing that in ten months the lockdown happens. I hope it goes well for all of you.

We kept our old gaff and rent it out and most of the events recounted here have happened to us too from damage and the like to rent dodging. As we live in that there London the value of the place increases which is a useful asset. The rent covers the cost of the place and gives us a few readies each month.

Cleaners aside having trust worthy tradesmen is essential and we've been well served it that regard.

A friend of ours had a rental in Frejus and pointed out that it was a business and when they went at the end of the season they usually worked for most of the time redecorating and renovating the place for next year.

We did a while back consider buying a place to let in France, south of Nimes. We popped into an agency and according to them the only problem we'd have would RSI from carrying wheel barrows of money. When asked if there were properties for sale we were told several. When told that we'd come back in the winter, that was no problem as there would still be properties to look at.

With the. Frejus advice and some of our friends in our area pointing out that the season was more end of April to late August rather than March to September plus off season bookings were rare we decided against it

I think that from the outside it may look like running a pub. One long party where everybody's your mate. Nobody thinks of book keeping, early rises for deliveries, sorting out drunks, general handy man and having a party going on every night in your house. Holiday lets must have the same appeal, a nice earner (don't forget the running costs) and a cheap holiday spot. (but never in the high season when it earns the most).

Once again I wish you all the best and hope the season's busy without trouble.
 
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