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Renting out your property can help pay its costs or even bring you an extra income. But how can you maximise its potential?

n recent years, home letting has become the fastest growing sector of the travel industry, with an increased demand for self-catering holidays combined with a need from owners to make their empty homes pay their way. Why leave a property empty when you can rent it out to cover upkeep costs? First up you need to consider location. Think about accessibility: most people prefer to be within 90 minutes of an airport, and if it’s a beach location, that the beach is within a 5-10 minute walk if you’re planning to attract young families (though a nice pool may suffi ce for many people). Also factor in the length of season: is there year-round sun, dual-season or will it purely be summer holiday lets?


City lets are often the most lucrative because they offer year-round appeal – Paris and Barcelona have traditionally been the most popular – but equally accessible year-round sun is a big draw. Golfi ng resorts can also rent well all year and certain ski resorts are even more popular in the summer for hiking and cycling. Don’t bank on one budget airline fl ying to the local

airport because we’ve seen how fi ckle new routes can be, so make sure alternative transport links exist. Research who will be your holidaymakers, how saturated the local market is with rental properties, and what you will need to provide to match (or beat) the competition. It’s important to check that the property is authorised for short and/or long-term letting – in Florida, for example, areas close to the beaches or theme parks are zoned for one or the other.

Consider whether you are targeting long- or short-

term lettings (or both), bearing in mind the lower weekly income offered by long-term might be balanced out by the reduced weekly-handover costs. The type and size of property is also important.

New-build properties are generally easier to maintain, and amenities on communal developments (spa, gyms, golf courses) can be used as selling points. The most popular size of property in many holiday areas are one or two bed apartments – again, do your research – but the provision of a sofa bed in the lounge will add capacity and may secure the booking. You will need to fully understand what you will be left with after the costs you incur in letting your property and the taxes levied on the earnings. Investigate the tax

situation as this can change regularly and you may well need professional advice, as well as the running costs and community charges you will have and also what insurance you will need. Consider what currency you will receive your rental income in, and how you will pay management costs locally. When you prepare your property for rentals, don’t cut

corners but don’t over-clutter either and think of the type of things holidaying guests will need, from heaters to high-chairs and fi rst-aid kits. What will make your property stand out from the competition? Marketing your property effectively is one of the most

important things you will do. Sign up with good quality lettings portals: be sure to write clearly and take high quality photographs in good light to make the most of the best features of your home. You may also want to consider promotions and last- minute deals to attract customers and then make them feel special with a welcome pack including information on local attractions and perhaps a bottle of wine. It’s the little things that guests remember and that lead to repeat bookings.

Investment property If you have bought your property for the sole purpose of investment, potential rental yields will be your prime consideration. Don’t skimp on your research - it can be a costly mistake to fi nd out later that the management costs weren’t factored in. Remember you will have ad hoc maintenance costs and potential empty periods too.


Ë Location, location, location! Consider climate, access and amenities when choosing a location.

Ë Size matters. Buy to suit the target market in your chosen area and check out the competition.

Ë Find a wow factor. The market’s more saturated than it used to be so you do need to beat the competition by offering that little bit extra.

Ë Play safe. Seek legal advice on local laws, obligations for landlords, tax and insurance.

Ë First impressions count. Sell your property at first glance with great photographs within a slick advert.



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