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Letting from a distance

 
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warby002



Joined: 07 Apr 2021
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:32 pm    Post subject: Letting from a distance Reply with quote

Good afternoon all,
I have read many informative posts on this website with invaluable information.
We are about to make an offer on a coastal property which contains two 2 bed flats in an area we know well.
We live 4 hours from the property and the wife's parents keep mentioning you can't have a holiday let unless you are on site or pay for full management (which would kill any potential profit).
My view is if the boiler broker or a pipe burst me being onsite wouldn't help much and I can call a plumber from anywhere. My biggest issue would be if the guests were locked out for some reason but I'm looking into the benefits of keyless entry having read about it on here.
Should I be more worried?
Thank you,
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 1255
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say a cautious no, don’t be worried.
In my experience you will lose a lot more money to an agent. If you are going to do holiday lets, you need to have property in tip top working order. Guests will expend compensation if things ho wrong and more so if they are not rectified quickly so prevention is better than cure. A good maintenance programme is essential. How much of this can you do yourself??

If you have a local cleaner, they will help you get reliable contacts when tradesmen are needed. The person who serviced our boiler every year has been invaluable to us. Get to know neighbours very well so you can learn who they use as well. Keep a good diary of local contacts.

Many of us are remote owners. You do make more if you can do your own changeovers and laundry, but then you probably don’t have a full time job as well.

As a remote owner, expect to stay in your property regularly and spend time doing minor repairs, deeper cleaning and other work. It won’t look after itself. The more you are able to do, the more money you will save. You can’t pay yourself a wage for cleaning or doing repairs, but can claim the parts etc against taxable income.

Are your flats part if a larger property of flats - that would be a bigger worry for me. The management company can take action to force you to pay for upgrades on the building. You might also have issues with neighbours. If it’s a single property converted to two flats then that is ok.
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Cymraes



Joined: 07 Jul 2015
Posts: 523
Location: North Wales

PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh it's do-able ( I do it) but you need an excellent reliable cleaner and a little black book of reliable trades.

We have a second keysafe for the use of trades ( or guests who lock themselves out).
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Norfolk Canary



Joined: 07 Sep 2016
Posts: 87

PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We live a couple of hours from our place in Norfolk and I also work away for half the Summer so we opted for a for a very local agent. It does cost us 20% plus VAT, so 24% of turnover but it is great peace of mind to have them managing it. They also make doing the annual tax return a lot easier as the client area of their website allows me to download statements between any dates. They also link up with the company who do the cleaning/linen changeovers. I suppose it depends how much time you have spare. We do visit a few times a year to do deep cleaning, check over the inventory and a bit of maintenance etc.
We still manage to make a reasonable profit.
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warby002



Joined: 07 Apr 2021
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you everyone for your feedback. You have made me less nervous about things.

Zebedee, the property is a house converted in to two flats so there is no management company.

We plan to use a cleaning company who specialise in changeovers of holiday properties so hopefully that is one area we won't need to worry about and I'm sure they can recommend tradespeople.

Cymraes, that is a good idea about a spare key safe as one concern was definitely guests getting locked out and having someone local to let them back in. We were also looking at the benefits of a keyless lock.

Norfolk Canary, good to hear you can still make a profit as you hear so many people who say you can't make any money out of holiday lets.
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Moliere



Joined: 08 Mar 2007
Posts: 4752
Location: Magalas, Languedoc

PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Cymraes says, it’s doable. There are plenty of people on LMH who have rental properties in a different country, and we’ve managed!
I note you plan to use a cleaning company, which rather pre-empts my suggestion, but for what it’s worth:
I found it invaluable to have a local person as “house-manager”. Someone with spare time who can organise a cleaner, deal with laundry, report problems, sort out emergencies and generally be hands-on with your guests when they need him or her.
Thinking of what commercial companies charge, I suspect it would not be hugely more expensive than your cleaning company, and would cover a lot more contingencies. I had two managers in succession and they were both lynchpins of our little enterprise, and what’s more I was left with a perfectly satisfactory income and very few worries.

Best of luck
Mols
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J B



Joined: 09 Oct 2007
Posts: 105
Location: We live in England and have rental properties in N Wales and Paphos, Cyprus

PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2021 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have two rental properties on the Welsh coast, over two hour drive away.
And one in Cyprus, which takes a little longer! Laughing
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J B
www.jamesbourne.co.uk
http://www.holidaylettings.co.uk/rentals/tala/199631
https://www.sts-holidays.co.uk/property.html?id=4036_ST
https://www.sts-holidays.co.uk/property.html?id=4037_ST
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CSE



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 4324
Location: Galicia

PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2021 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have a shared entrance have you read this thread?
https://www.laymyhat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=29640
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Never try to out-stubborn your guests.
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J B



Joined: 09 Oct 2007
Posts: 105
Location: We live in England and have rental properties in N Wales and Paphos, Cyprus

PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2021 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CSE wrote:
If you have a shared entrance have you read this thread?
https://www.laymyhat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=29640


If that's directed at me Confused then, yes
Many on the street are B&B's with a shared entrance.
I think the council may have a busy time if they want to fall out with all of them .... Laughing
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J B
www.jamesbourne.co.uk
http://www.holidaylettings.co.uk/rentals/tala/199631
https://www.sts-holidays.co.uk/property.html?id=4036_ST
https://www.sts-holidays.co.uk/property.html?id=4037_ST
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oasiscouple



Joined: 31 Oct 2012
Posts: 445
Location: Port Leucate, France

PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2021 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are in France, so perhaps not entirely similar circumstances, but for 10 years, until last year, we were living 400km (4 hours on mostly motorway) from our beach rental property. Now we have moved and are 20 minutes away.

We decided from the start to deal with changeovers ourselves and do the 800km round trip each time. Sometimes we travelled the day before and stayed in a hotel or airbnb.

Sounds crazy but when we compared our costs with agents commission we were better off.

There were other reasons:
1. The property is our second home and has all the comforts of a home, library of books, DVD's, music centre, fully equipped kitchen and numerous other home comforts. We wanted to be able to properly check the property at each changeover.
2. We wanted to meet our guests and get to know them so as to establish a good relationship. As it happens we have fréquents repeat stays. One German couple have booked a 3 week stay every year for the last 10 years.
3. We only allowed minimum 2 week bookings, and in fact many bookings were for 3 weeks so this reduced the frequency of changeovers.
4. Bed linen and towels were a payable extra so most guests brought their own. This is quite common in France anyway.

As for emergencies, they had our phone number and we could generally deal with problems from a distance.
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CSE



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 4324
Location: Galicia

PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2021 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do not B&Bs have different regulations to whole lets?
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/hotels-and-other-guest-accommodation
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warby002



Joined: 07 Apr 2021
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2021 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you everyone for your helpful responses.
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warby002



Joined: 07 Apr 2021
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2021 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oasiscouple wrote:
We are in France, so perhaps not entirely similar circumstances, but for 10 years, until last year, we were living 400km (4 hours on mostly motorway) from our beach rental property. Now we have moved and are 20 minutes away.

We decided from the start to deal with changeovers ourselves and do the 800km round trip each time. Sometimes we travelled the day before and stayed in a hotel or airbnb.

Sounds crazy but when we compared our costs with agents commission we were better off.

There were other reasons:
1. The property is our second home and has all the comforts of a home, library of books, DVD's, music centre, fully equipped kitchen and numerous other home comforts. We wanted to be able to properly check the property at each changeover.
2. We wanted to meet our guests and get to know them so as to establish a good relationship. As it happens we have fréquents repeat stays. One German couple have booked a 3 week stay every year for the last 10 years.
3. We only allowed minimum 2 week bookings, and in fact many bookings were for 3 weeks so this reduced the frequency of changeovers.
4. Bed linen and towels were a payable extra so most guests brought their own. This is quite common in France anyway.

As for emergencies, they had our phone number and we could generally deal with problems from a distance.


800km seemed a lot but actually out of peak season when you don't have back to back bookings that would be doable and make the low season much more profitable.
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