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Letting agents in South devon
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Rosehill



Joined: 12 Nov 2018
Posts: 31
Location: Rosehill Paignton devon

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:33 pm    Post subject: Letting agents in South devon Reply with quote

in the last few years we have turned our family holiday house in Paignton into a holiday let and have been using cottages.com. Much to our dismay we have recently had guests who have trashed the house resulting in substantial costs which we are unlikely to recover due to no deposit being taken by the agents. In light of this and the bad experience we have had with their review system which they have no control over allowing guests to put completely unreasonable reviews and ratings we have decided to change agents.

We are based in yorkshire so are unable to visit the property regularly. I would be grateful for any recommendations of good holiday letting agents who might be suitable for a cottage in the Paignton area?

Thanks

Philip
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Annew



Joined: 04 Nov 2009
Posts: 927
Location: Devon

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

Classic Cottages and Helpful Holidays specialise in the West Country. I used Classic until 15 years ago when I went it alone and have never really warmed to Helpful Holidays (when they told me that I couldn't expect more than 14 weeks occupancy - I get 3 times that!) I expect they have change enormously over the years, but you'll lose nothing by talking to them.

Best of Luck!
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Cymraes



Joined: 07 Jul 2015
Posts: 438
Location: North Wales

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Helpful Holidays is now part of Sykes which may or may not influence your choice.
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Caro
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Rosehill



Joined: 12 Nov 2018
Posts: 31
Location: Rosehill Paignton devon

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks both for your responses. My only concern with a small local agent like classic cottages is they don't have the same market coverage as a larger national company like cottages.com had which advertises on over 750 websites. Did you have close to full occupancy with classic cottages?

We were considering blue river cottages and holidaycottages.co.uk who operate in devon but are part of larger national companies travel chapter and original cottages. Does anyone have any experience with these agents?
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Annew



Joined: 04 Nov 2009
Posts: 927
Location: Devon

PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think I'd put Classic Cottages in the Small category. The questions you ask are best put directly to them about advertising and coverage etc.

It was a long time ago I was with them and the market has changed significantly in the past few years, but I was getting about 32 weeks on average - not bad for a rural property. But I did have USP's of size and and indoor pool which, back then, were rare in my area of Devon.

I don't measure success in occupancy these days, just revenue - my business model is rather different now!
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Rosehill



Joined: 12 Nov 2018
Posts: 31
Location: Rosehill Paignton devon

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. 32 weeks is impressive although your property does like nice.

My point was that cottages.com is part of wyndham which is a global company so it may market the property to a wider audience than classic cottages which operates in the west country only.

Out of interest where do most of your bookings come from Annew? Are they from your personal website or other letting sites?
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CarolineJ



Joined: 29 Apr 2017
Posts: 60
Location: North coast of Scotland

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2018 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cottages.com isn't owned by Wyndham any more, it got sold to a private equity group.
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Rosehill



Joined: 12 Nov 2018
Posts: 31
Location: Rosehill Paignton devon

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2018 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really?! When did that happen. According to the link below on cottages.com website they are still part of the wyndham group.

https://www.cottages.com/info/wyndham-vacation-rentals
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CarolineJ



Joined: 29 Apr 2017
Posts: 60
Location: North coast of Scotland

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you go onto the owners' website and go to Information -> Owners News, it's mentioned in the top item on there.

We’re changing the name of the legal entity you contract with. We are still the same company, with the same registered number and your existing contract remains in place and unchanged, but from today we will simply be Vacation Rentals (UK) Ltd.

We are taking this step following our recent change of ownership when Wyndham completed the sale of its European holiday rentals business, to Platinum Equity. As a result ‘Wyndham’ will no longer feature as part of our legal name and we will be removing reference to it across our business. We are only changing the name under which we contract, so there’s no change to any of our popular sales brands with which holiday makers are so familiar - such as our Country Cottages and Cumbrian family of brands, Welcome, Hoseasons, Salcombe and Dartmouth Holiday Homes or cottages.com.

Nothing changes at all in the way that we look after your property or in the terms of your agency agreement, and you don’t need to do anything – this notification is just for information and to explain the name change which you may see on documents and websites.


The actual sale completed in May 2018: https://www.platinumequity.com/news/news-articles/2018/wyndham-worldwide-european-rentals-acquisition
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Rosehill



Joined: 12 Nov 2018
Posts: 31
Location: Rosehill Paignton devon

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks that's interesting. But my question still stands as cottages.com are still part of a large European company which may have the advantage of marketing the property to a wider audience than a local agent?
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Cymraes



Joined: 07 Jul 2015
Posts: 438
Location: North Wales

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rosehill wrote:
Thanks that's interesting. But my question still stands as cottages.com are still part of a large European company which may have the advantage of marketing the property to a wider audience than a local agent?


I don't think anyone can answer this for you. You need to compare all the variables, agent charges, agent pricing, projected occupancy levels etc etc. Also the get out terms. Some agencies can tie you in for over a year from when you give notice

Whilst cottages might have a better reach you'll just be another small owner amongst thousands of others. As long as one of their customers books a cottage through them they really won't care which one. A local agency might put more effort into marketing your cottage
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Caro
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greenbarn



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 6107
Location: The Westmorland Dales, Cumbria

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:24 am    Post subject: Re: Letting agents in South devon Reply with quote

Rosehill wrote:
...trashed the house resulting in substantial costs which we are unlikely to recover due to no deposit being taken by the agents.


I don’t quite get this? It’s very unlikely that any standard deposit would cover substantial costs, maybe £250 at most?
If the guests have done a lot of damage you can pursue them for the costs through the small claims court, and/or your FHL insurance should cover it and the insurers can choose to pursue for recovery.

When choosing a new agency, there’s a lot of hard-earned experience on here from owners who’ve been down that path; areas for concern particularly include the agencies that sell cheap and attract bad guests who don’t treat your property with respect, agencies that would try and make you believe that high occupancy is key, and agencies with severe exit clauses. Some or all of these factors seem to be common to most of the very large agencies who have zero interest in you or your property, beyond adding to their inventory of stock for sale.
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Sandra J



Joined: 30 Aug 2015
Posts: 63
Location: North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2018 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We were with holidaycottages.co.uk for two years (2015/16) and one of the main reasons for leaving was the type of guests we got. Smoking inside our property happened on a regular basis and they said it was MY fault for not having signs displayed. Put signs up and it still happened. On more than one occasion pets had been in our no pets allowed property. Pets hairs, paw prints and poo. We live on site and never saw the dogs so didn’t find out till they had left. Again they said not their problem. Having an unlimited owner allowance I blocked off all the dates in their calendar until termination of my contract. Maybe things have improved since then.
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CSE



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 4152
Location: Galicia

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This may or may not help the OP.
When choosing any company look them up on line.
Vacation Rentals (UK) Ltd, for instance, comes back as saying they have been known as various other trading names.
https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/00965389
From that do some more research.
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Pamski



Joined: 27 Mar 2011
Posts: 143
Location: Les Gets

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There seems a reluctance to charge a reasonable security/damage deposit. We recently sold our chalet in the French Alps but have been letting it occasionally in the winter, and summer, for years and for the last few years we took a deposit of £600 which was returned in full within two weeks as long as there was no damage or an excessive amount of cleaning required. In all the years of letting we never had anyone query the amount of the deposit. And I think only once did we retain any of it. That was an irritation as much as anything as the guests swanned off into the village in the day they were leaving taking all the keys with them. Cleaners turned up and were always able to gain access from the keysafe but couldn't on this occasion which meant a drive down the valley to the office (half an hour away) etc etc. I think we were then charged £30 or 30 euros because of this, I contacted the guest and he immediately transferred £30 to me and I tore up his cheque as agreed.
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