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There’s lots to think about when renting out a holiday home, which is why many owners choose to use a holiday letting agent to manage their property.
Read on to find out the pros and cons of using a holiday let agent, plus how to choose one and how much they cost.
Similar to a traditional agent, a holiday letting agent can help a landlord to find tenants and manage their property.
Holiday lettings is a specialist market. The best agents will have a good knowledge of:
There’s usually more work involved in renting out a holiday home. Guests turnover frequently, which means more administration, while things like bedding and towels need changing.
Working with a holiday let agent that handles those situations can mean less hassle. It can also make your holiday let business more professional.
Also, landlords who live far away from their property might find it easier have a letting agent who welcomes guests and deals with emergencies.
A holiday letting agent's first role is to advertise your property. They’ll help you set an asking price, create a listing, and then promote the property to prospective guests.
They can also help with the booking process, managing the property’s schedule, check-in/check-out, and emergencies.
If you employ a letting agent to fully manage your property, they’ll also be able to help with:
If you live close to your property and have lots of spare time, you might not need to use a letting agent.
Taking this hands-on approach can be more financially rewarding as you’ll keep more of your rental income. However, it's sometimes more stressful and labour-intensive.
If you’re new to the holiday home rental market, or own several properties, it’s often beneficial to work with a letting agent.
Most agents offer two types of management (see below), although you might be able to agree a bespoke package.
If you decide you want to employ a letting agent, you’ll need to decide on the level of management you need.
An owner-managed package means the agent will help you find guests and manage bookings.
If you opt for an agency-managed package they’ll handle every aspect of your property from cleaning between guests to responding to enquiries during stays.
An agency-managed package will cost more, but you can be hands-off.
An owner-managed package is better suited to landlords who want to meet their guests and have more control but still need help advertising the property.
Read more: Where are the UK’s best holiday let areas?
Holiday letting agent fees for landlords vary depending on the level of management you choose.
For full management, you could pay up to 50 per cent commission on your rental income. If you only use an agent to advertise your property and manage bookings, the commission fee could be closer to 20 per cent.
The Tenant Fees Act means agents can’t charge guests, but they can charge landlords extra for things like:
Read our guide to letting agent fees for more information on how they work.
Employing a letting agent to manage your holiday home has both advantages and disadvantages:
If you decide to work with an agent, choosing the right one is crucial. You’ll be entering into a business relationship, so it’s important to work with someone you trust and communicate well with.
You’ll need to do your research. Here are some of the steps you can take:
When searching for an agent, it’s worth seeing how they market other landlords’ properties. This will give you an idea of how yours could be advertised.
Remember, the holiday lettings market is different to traditional lettings so make sure your agent is a specialist and knows the local market.
Before instructing your agent, make sure to check the contract and get legal advice if you’re unsure of anything.
Do you have any unanswered questions about holiday let mortgages? Let us know in the comments below.
Conor Shilling is a Copywriter at Simply Business with over two years’ experience in the insurance industry. A trained journalist, Conor has worked as a professional writer for 10 years. His previous experience includes writing for several leading online property trade publications. Conor specialises in the buy-to-let market, landlords, and small business finance.
We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer
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