London Getting your Property ready for Self Catering
Preparing a Property for Short Term Letting
This section explains what you need to do to get a property ready for self catering letting.
Landlord's Gas Safety Certificate
It is a legal requirement to have a landlord's gas safety certificate if there is any form of gas in the flat. A gas registered plumber needs to check your gas installation and provide the certificate. thsi needs to be checked annually.
You should get your electrical installation checked as well as having your gas installation checked. Portable electrical appliances such as kettles, irons, table lamps etc which are over 12 months old should be checked by an electrician who will provide a PAT certificate.
Insurance and Damages Deposits
We do recommend, although it is optional, that you take a refundable "damaged deposit" from guests. This should be taken before or when guests arrive and refunded after they have left and the property has been checked for any damage. If there has been any damage you have the option to retain some or all of the damages deposit. It makes sense to make your damages deposit teh same as the excess on your insurance.
In practice, the vast majority of people who stay in your property will look after it and do no damage. This means that the administration of damages deposit can feel like more work that it is worth, so many owners of holiday let properties simply do not do this.
Most guests today will want a TV, DVD player and internet access. you must ensure that you have a valid TV licence to cover the TV.
A DVD player is a nice touch and guests will appreciate having a few DVDs
Almost everyone to today wants to have access to the internet. Most commonly wifi is provided. Thsi is especially important if you expect your property to appeal to people working inteh area short term as well as being for tourists.
Marketing your property is essential. You can market via agencies that produce brochures and online. Today online advertising is probably the most important.
As people will not normally view a self catering property before letting it, your advertisement needs to be clear, comprehensive and accurate. However you advertise, you will need a description of your property that covers the area, the building, all the rooms and the facilities within the rooms. Photographs are critical. It is worth getting good quality photographs for your advert. Professional photographers will show off your property to best advantage. We knwo tah properties with good photographs get looked at much more than properties were the photographs are not as good.
Information Packs, Feedback and Guest Books
People coming to stay at your property will not necessarily know how to operate the appliances, where or when to put rubbish out, or where the local shops, cafes and other facilities are located. You should provide an information pack that includes the operating manuals for facilities such as washing machines, describes what to do with rubbish and tell people where the local shops etc are located and how to get here.
We have noticed that people appreciate having local area and tourist information available as well as information about the property.
If you ask for feedback, guests will often give very valuable information about your property and the information you provide. This can be helpful and is often used to support your marketing.
Guest books, in which you invite people who stay to leave comments about your property and the local area are very popular. It gives guests and opportunity to tell other people about activities, restaurants etc that they have enjoyed, and new guests like to here what other visitors have done.
You usually need to get extra sets of keys to support self catering letting. The guests will need keys - and unless it's a 1 bedroomed property - 2 sets will be required for the guests. Youa nd your cleaner will need keys as well - so make sure you've got enough sets!