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Letting your Holiday Home Information for owners


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Main points to consider as a property owner letting out rented holiday vacation accommodation


1) PRICES: Make sure that the price is competitive.

If the rental is too high it will not attract visitors. Ensure that the prices are kept up to date on your entry on

2) LOCAL AGENT: If you do not live near the holiday property, you must employ a good local agent who can check your visitors in and out, arrange cleaning, routine repairs and replacements, arrange linen hire or a laundry service and keep an eye on the property when it is not occupied.

The agent should be able to provide a "Welcome Pack" if you want to provide one - bottles of wine for example or more if the visitors are arriving late.( milk bread, coffee etc) You should provide your agent with the visitor's contact details and vice versa so that they can contact the agent if they are delayed or lost. You might also consider leaving a bottle or two of wine for all guests. 

The agent can of course be a friend or relative living locally, but it should be a business relationship and the agent should be paid.

3) RENTAL AGREEMENT: If you are letting a holiday property in France you must provide a written agreement. In other countries, although it might not be a legal requirement it is advisable so that your terms of rental are clearly agreed.

The document need only be 2/3 pages in length and include the names of the visitors, the dates of the rental. The amount of damage deposit you are going to hold, The rental price, cancellation of rental charges. Additional costs e.g. electricity, linen hire etc.
A clause stating that if a local agent has to meet the visitors at an unsocial hour, then any additional costs paid to the agent will be paid by the renter. If it is a legal requirement in the country concerned that the renter takes out insurance, then add it into the agreement.

4) INVENTORY: It is essential that you have an inventory of the contents that can be checked in with your guests.
Either the owner or local agent should politely point out that if the visitors break equipment, if they are glasses for example then they should replace, if it is more serious - bed, window etc, then immediately report it.

5) PROPERTY HANDBOOK: Provide a ring bound folder with some notes about the property - how the hot water system works, where the rubbish should be put, information on local shops, restaurants and attractions etc.

6) INSURANCE: You must make sure that your property is properly covered for holiday lettings. You should advise the insurance company that it is being let for this purpose. In some countries (France for example) the people renting must also take out insurance by law, but you must also be covered. If you are looking for a policy visit our Insurance section.

7) LOCAL REGULATIONS: You should ensure that your property complies with the country regulations for safety issues.

In Britain for example a holiday home must have furniture that complies with the fire & furnishing safety regulations and displays the appropriate safety label. There are also gas and safety regulations in certain countries. If in doubt talk to the local Tourist Office in the area your property is located in.

In France, rental properties with more than 5 bedrooms are legally classified as a small hotel. Hotels are classified as public buildings requiring specific fire protection such as fire doors and officially approved smoke alarms. These regulations are enforced by the Mairie. Although there is no specific legislation for fire safety in in private properties or rental properties with less than five bedrooms in France, in any country the owner must have a duty of care to his/her guests and install basic fire protection such as smoke detectors, fire blankets and fire extinguishers. It is suggested that the emergency services numbers are included in any Property Handbooks. 

8) TAX: It is advisable to consult an Accountant regarding any tax liability from letting out your holiday property.
If you invest in overseas property you must declare the profits in the UK. Unless you are classified as non-UK domiciled, you are taxed in the UK on all your income and gains wherever these profits arise. If you let your overseas property you should inform the tax authorities where the property is located, which will sometime mean completing a tax return in that country. The income and expenses from your foreign property must be listed on the foreign income pages of UK tax return.Any foreign tax you pay on that income can normally be off-set against the UK Tax duew where a double taxation agreement exists between the UK and the country where the property is situated. Remember other countries have different rules for tax deductible expenses. Take professional help.

9) AVAILABILITY: Ensure that the Availability dates are kept up to date on your entry on

10) PRESENTATION (for web photos - brochure) Make sure that you submit good clear photos of the property. Sun shining on it, blue skies help. Make it look more inviting. Consider having the dining table set, a bottle of wine on the table as well. Beds should be made up, leave the television on and internal lights as well (particularly lamps on tables and units that can be seen in the picture). Try to avoid having people in the photos. If you need extra ideas, just take a look at some of the property lifestyle magazines available in newsagents in most European countries. 

11) PAYMENT OF RENT: Do take great care when accepting rental payments. Some people are able to accept credit card bookings, but for the majority they are dependent on payment by bank transfer or when the guests arrive.


Take great care if someone is making a booking well into the future, the ideal situation is to obtain a booking deposit at the time of booking and the balance two months before they are due to arrive. Stipulate those terms in your rental agreement and also on ay printed booking forms.

Good luck with your holiday lettings and if you have any further tips for property owners to be added here, please email them to us.

Please note this guide has been compiled from experience and jml Property Services takes no responsibility for the accuracy of its content.

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Additional Pages to View How to Market your holiday home and Website Promotion





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