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Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed – The Problems of Sharing Your Holiday Home with Paying Guests By Philip Suter of jml Property Services

If you are a holiday home owner, you might choose to let it out to produce additional revenue, or of you a lot of financial responsibilities like a mortgage, might not have a choice. If you do let remeber that you have now started a business - a business in your own home.

Naturally if you only visit the property a few times of a year you should employ a local agent (or very reliable friend or family member) to look after your interests.

A smooth running operation will mean that your paying guests will be checked in and out and provided you or the agent holds a damage deposit (and if you don’t you are taking a very high risk) any damages can be paid for. You can of course walk in and find that you have “new works of art on your living room walls” as a result of small guests exercising their drawing skills and you have to organise re-decoration yourself.

The problem of course is that although the property is your property, it is rather like letting strangers (or even friends) have the use of your own main home. Your possessions will get moved – You might find your kitchen cupboards are all re-arranged. You won’t be able to keep the beds made up, your clothes in the wardrobe or your prize cd collection out.

Other inconveniences are that you either have to unplug all the telephones and computers or just get the phone lines put in suspense as otherwise you could have some rather large phone bills and no come back.

When you leave, unless you want to risk loosing your alcohol and food, you have to lock it away. Guests don’t normally intentionally use up something in a holiday home rental house’s kitchen, however how are they to know it was not something left over from the last paying guest!

Storage cupboard with lock: ideally you the property owner should have a secure cupboard or room where you can keep your own possessions. You at least know they won’t be touched by anyone than yourself. The drawback is that every time you come and go you have to get things out and put then away when you leave. As time goes by the average house owner collects more and more possessions that they don’t want to “expose” to their visitors so the problems of settling in (and moving out) get worse.

To avoid these problems you can of course stop letting the property out, know that the remote control for the television and DVD player are where you left them, but there again you wouldn’t benefit from that additional income, knowing the property was being aired (particularly in winter) and paying the tax authorities tax on your rental profits!

Good luck with your holiday vacation rentals and enjoy your holiday home with or without paying guests.

Philip Suter is a Director of jml Property Services; a UK based company offering Insurance products on line at and a holiday home advertising service and management training within the UK. He a travel writer and is a very experienced property consultant with over 30 years work in the Residential letting business in the UK and served on the National Council of ARLA. He is a Fellow of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and a Member of The association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA)

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©Philip Suter jml Property Services June 2006

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