Saturday 24 October 2015

Lipstick on the kitchen floor

A recent couple staying in our holiday cottage in Wirksworth apologetically let us know they had caused some "grease marks" on the kitchen floor. After their departure we visited the cottage armed with grease busting spray to perform the routine full house cleaning. It wasn't grease marks on the kitchen floor. Whatever they'd done the marks were bright red and resisted grease remover, detergents, alcohol. It looks very much like lipstick stains and so far have resisted all attempts to remove them.  The mind boggles as to how a couple in their 60's caused such stains. 

More joys of running a holiday rental! 

Saturday 17 October 2015

Going down the holiday home business route?

Investing in second or subsequent property for holiday rental is not as profitable as it seems:
  • you will rent maybe 150 nights a year;
  • holiday rental agencies charge circa 25% of the letting fee;
  • you have to pay council tax/business rates, in our case circa £1200;
  • you have to pay for a TV licence;
  • you have insure for holiday rental, it is higher than normal home insurance;
  • you have to keep the furnishing and property well maintained, redecorated once a year;
  • you have to pay for power, water, unlimited broadband;
  • you have to have the place cleaned throughout at the end of each rental;
  • bed and bath linen has to be laundered after each rental;
  • linen has to be replaced immediately if stained or worn;
  • gas safety checks have to be paid for every year;
  • electric safety checks have to be paid for once a year.

Any remaining profit is taxed as part of your income. I didn't mention the cost of financing the property purchase if you need a mortgage. 

if you sell the place any profit on the sale is subject to capital gains tax.

Sunday 11 October 2015

A flood in the Cottage

We've just returned from checking the cottage after the last guests. They'd left it clean and tidy, with nice comments in the visitor book. However on my way out I glanced up at the ceiling in the kitchen. There was a water stain and damaged plaster. Some how they'd managed to flood the shower and it overflowed flooding  the bathroom. We'll need to do some urgent repair work to get the place ready for our next guest in a few days time.

When we check the laundry basket we discovered they'd used up the stock of towels to dry up the flooding. We normally leave enough linen stock for two weeks. These people were staying for three nights!

No profit from those guests. Hopefully we can fix the damage before the next one.  We know the shower drain was unblocked as we check it prior to each rental.

Friday 2 October 2015

Grubby guests

We've just got back from cleaning the cottage in time for an urgent booking. The new couple of guests had been on a canal cruising holiday, but the engine on the rented narrow boat failed. We had a call from our holiday cottage agency: "Could we accommodate some guests in two hours time?" We were travelling in our car to go shopping at the time of the call, and had not planned on cleaning the cottage until tomorrow. However we agreed to accept the new booking.

We can usually clean the cottage, clean the windows and change all the linen in about one hour's work. However when we arrived we found the previous guests had not cleaned up after themselves. The cleaning process took just over two hours. The cooker had been left greasy. The oven hadn't been cleaned after baking/roasting. Oven trays were dirty.  Crockery needed to be properly washed and dried. Worktops were greasy. The bathroom needed some hard work and there was dirt on some of the carpets.  Fortunately our new guests did not arrive until an hour after we'd finished.

It makes you wonder what the previous guest's own property is like?  A mess?