If you’re just starting on your journey as a holiday let owner, there are so many things to consider...
During the winter months the number one complaint we have is the house was cold on arrival or the heating does not work. We understand that breakdowns occur, but regular yearly maintenance of your systems should help reduce the chances of a breakdown.
By law you are required to have your gas appliances checked every 10-12 months, if these aren’t up to date, then it can be illegal to let the property.
The quieter months, which are considered the end or the beginning of the year are an ideal time to get your systems checked so that they are ready for winter when they are needed the most and are ready for the year ahead.
Or purchase a home heating kit such as Hive where you can control the heating remotely. A nice warm welcome is the perfect way to start a holiday, especially on a cold, winters evening! Why not consider keeping it on a timer too, so the house stays warm even when empty, and of course this reduces the risk of pipes freezing and damp forming in the property.
Ensuring your public liability insurance, fire risk assessments and all electrical and gas safety compliances are up to date is very important. Make yourself a note in your diary each year when this is due. Lakelovers have a dedicated Quality and Compliance team based in Windermere, please get in touch if you need any help or advice.
Step back from your property and have a good look at how it appears to a new guest. Give the windows a good clean, along with a power wash of the exterior paintwork and driveway. Sort out the garden furniture, clean it down and keep it dry and covered over for use if needed, or for storage if weather is poor. Clear the gutters of foliage to avoid blockages and leaks.
With winter months generally being quieter, take time to consider what maintenance work needs doing following a busy holiday season, perhaps some paint touch-ups are needed or a full repaint, even re-decorating a room, or power-washing of the outside areas. Consider an upgrade of appliances, furniture and bed linen is required if worn or tired.
A thorough deep clean is essential at least once or twice a year, especially for kitchen appliances such as oven, fridge & freezer, windows, and paintwork. Make a note for a good time to book this in. It’s good practice to check the bed linen and towels too, replace if thining, bobbly or mis coloured.
We’d recommend you get chimneys swept and flues looked at and any servicing required done during the summer, when they are not needed. Then they’ll be in perfect working order for your autumn and winter guests to snuggle up and get cosy!
Many of our properties supply guests with a welcome pack, i.e some bread, milk, juice or a cake and even some wine will make visitors feel welcome on a dark winter’s evening. It’s always nice to leave the first bag of fuel or wood for the fire/wood burner, and information about where to buy more locally. Also ensure you leave instructions for appliances, WIFI code etc is all up to date.
Images sell properties! If anything has changed, please let us know and we can arrange for some new photos to be taken, so guests know what they are booking and your property looks refreshed and welcoming.
Please check with us that we have the correct arrival times and travel directions to your property. As guests will be arriving in the dark throughout winter, it’s helpful if all the information we have is up to date to make things easy for your visitors if they don’t know your property or the area well. We recommend they bring a torch too.
We suggest having an inventory of what is in your property, and reviewing this once a year, so guests have everything they could possibly need (a good way of reducing complaints). Also ensure you are keeping up with trends, such as music streaming systems and the latest in coffee machines.
** This blog has been adapted based on original content written by Jane Watson Dec 2021