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If you’re thinking of buying a holiday let, there are a few rules and health & safety regulations to consider first.

These are nothing to be afraid of and are put in place to make things as easy as possible for property owners in the long run.

To keep things simple, we’ve listed the main health and safety regulations in place for UK holiday lets, to give you an idea of where to get started.

Read on to get stuck into some UK holiday let rules and regulations…

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1. Insurance

The first thing to consider when starting your holiday letting journey is what kind of insurance is required. Regular home insurance doesn’t cover you for holiday letting, so it’s essential you take out the correct type of cover.

You’ll also need public liability insurance, plus employers liability insurance even if you employ just one person – this could be a cleaner, gardener or maintenance worker.

As well as offering buildings and contents cover, specialist holiday let insurance can provide financial protection against other items including:

  • Accidental damage
  • Theft
  • Public and employers’ liability
  • Loss of rent

Public liability insurance can be used to cover legal claims should someone injure themselves in your holiday home. To make sure our owners are protected, we ask all of our owners to take this out as part of our agreement.

Always read the terms and conditions of any policy you are considering carefully before you take it out to ensure you are happy with the levels of cover.

You may already have a liability insurance policy but be aware that not all liability policies include swimming pool or hot tub liability coverage.

• You may have to pay an additional amount to include any claims resulting from the ‘attractive nuisance’ that pools and hot tubs can sometimes be considered.

Mill House

2. Electrical Appliances

Many holiday homes are now fitted head to toe with various electrical appliances. These make everyday tasks much easier, but they do create ongoing maintenance jobs for property owners.

Owners have a legal obligation to ensure any electrical appliance within their holiday home is safe for use and is kept in a suitable condition.

PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) is an examination of electrical appliances to check for potential faults not immediately visible.

While it’s not a legal requirement to carry out PAT testing, it’s a good way to ensure all your appliances are up to date and still functioning correctly.

Person turning dial on washing machine

3. Upholstered Furniture

All upholstered furniture within your holiday let must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988.

This includes sofas, chairs, bed, headboards, mattresses, pillows & cushions. Any new upholstered furniture you purchase must display a permanent label detailing compliance with fire safety requirements.

Make sure you look for this label before buying any upholstered items for your holiday let.


4. Fire Safety

As a property owner, you are obliged to have a fire risk assessment carried out on your holiday home. This evaluates the risks and potential hazards that could be involved in the case of a fire, and ensures there are safety precautions in place if the worst should happen.

The assessment should be reviewed every 12 months or whenever there is a change to the property, for example renovation/building work.

From 1st October 2023, new guidance for fire safety guidance for smaller and simple holiday lets in England and Wales came into place. Read more via the links below:

Guidance for holiday let fire safety in England

New fire safety guidance for small and simple holiday lets

Existing fire safety guidance for larger and more complex holiday lets

Guidance for holiday let fire safety in Wales

New fire safety guidance for small and simple holiday lets

Existing fire safety guidance for larger and more complex holday lets

Fire Risk Assessors Register

5. Carbon Monoxide Detectors

If your property has gas, or a wood-burning fireplace, you should place carbon monoxide detectors in your property. CO is a colourless, odorless and tasteless gas that can be fatal if breathed in at a high level.

By placing detectors in your holiday home you can be quickly alerted to a CO gas leak and can rectify the problem before it gets worse.

You should regularly have your CO detectors inspected by a trained gas engineer to ensure they are always fully functional.

close up shot of carbon monoxide alarm

6. Gas Safety

If your property has gas, you need to make sure that it has a valid Gas Safety certificate and that your appliances are regularly maintained and serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

You must have your certificate renewed every 12 months and an inspection is also required at that time too.

Your Gas Safety certificate should be displayed in a prominent position in your property for your guests to see.

To find a qualified gas engineer, check the Gas Safe Register.

7. Accessibility

Although it’s not a legal requirement to make your holiday home fully accessible, it’s a good idea to think about how to make it easier for all guests who stay with you.

Consider adding two hand rails on the stairs, or hand rails in the shower & bath. If you have the space, you could consider having a ground-floor bedroom and bathroom for those guests who can’t manage the stairs.

It might also be wise to see if it would be possible to have a ramp entrance to your holiday let rather than just steps.

A few simpler changes could be to ensure there are no possible trip hazards such as rugs, all outdoor footpaths are even and clear, and rooms aren’t too crowded with furniture.


For more advice on holiday letting, contact our property experts on 015394 88855 or download your free information pack here.

*Blog updated based on original content by Alice Willis*