Homeowners FAQ’s & Requirements
Wellies & Windbreaks has many years experience managing and marketing self-catering holiday homes. We pride ourselves on working closely with you, the homeowner, to present your property to the best advantage and help you maximise your income. We also aim to offer the same quality and dedicated service to our guests as we believe strongly in the value of building loyalty and repeat bookings. Positive experiences are critical as in this social media age, the reality is that comment really counts. As we operate only in the Witterings and surrounding Manhood Peninsula area south of Chichester, our knowledge of ‘our patch’ and what our guests are looking for is exceptional.
To discuss Wellies and Windbreaks managing your property please contact our Managing Director Amanda Pugh
We know you will have lots of questions so we have tried to answer some of those which tend to be at the forefront of homeowner’s minds.
Will paying guests look after our home?
This is probably everyone’s biggest concern. In our experience, you can expect your property to incur normal wear and tear as a result of being occupied, often at capacity, by guests. By the same token a well-presented, clean and cared-for property generally commands the greatest of respect. To ensure peace of mind we require a security deposit for each booking which is refundable subject to no loss or damage following an inspection on departure.
Can you guarantee only suitable guests will rent my property?
When letting your property there are no guarantees. However, Wellies & Windbreaks take several steps to mitigate this. Each guest must agree to a comprehensive set of booking conditions explained in the terms and conditions before they can secure any property. We require all guests to complete a booking form detailing the names, ages and sex of all members of the party staying in the house. We are also available on the phone to speak to all guests and answer any questions they have, either prior to or during their holiday. We always recommend that clients do not choose to let their properties to stag parties.
Will letting my property be financially worthwhile?
From our experience there is always a demand for quality self-catering holiday homes in the Witterings area. There are a variety of tax benefits available for offering your second home as a Furnished Holiday Let and it is worthwhile consulting your accountant on this. Together with the rental income, this can significantly help with the general running costs of your house and towards achieving a healthy return on your investment.
Wellies & Windbreaks is happy to offer an assessment of the potential rental income achievable from your property. Just give us a call and we’ll arrange a visit. There is of course no obligation or cost for this service.
How much does it cost for Wellies & Windbreaks to manage the letting of my property?
We charge a one off set up fee to new clients of £250 to cover all marketing costs. This includes developing all property listing content for both our site and which ever other public listings website we together, choose to list your home on. There are a number of options available to you including Beach Lets, Trip Advisor, Holiday Lettings, Home Away, Owners Direct and airbnb. All charge varying costs for varying services but Wellies & Windbreaks will manage all of these listings for you. The charge for listing on these sites is invoiced to the homeowner. There is no obligation to list on any external sites and you can choose to just list on the Wellies & Windbreaks site. It depends of the level of exposure you want and what level of bookings you hope to achieve. Wellies & Windbreaks will discuss all the options with you and offer our professional advice.
Wellies & Windbreaks charge a commission of 18% of the total rental income for each period your property is let by us.
Do I have to organise my own cleaners, laundry, gardeners etc?
Wellies & Windbreaks can recommend the trusted cleaners who we work with locally or are also happy to work with your existing cleaner or housekeeper. We will liaise directly with your chosen cleaning agency, sending them a weekly schedule detailing upcoming arrivals & departures and specific housekeeping instructions where relevant.
Wellies & Windbreaks also recommend that you take up our checking service where our own housekeeper checks your property before each guest arrives (and after if not a back to back turnover) to scrutinise the clean and ensure that your house is presented to the highest of standards. She will also ensure the house is equipped with all of the necessary basic kitchen and household items. There is a charge of £12 per booking for this service.
We can also recommend gardeners and maintenance contractors.
What Information do I have to provide for guests?
We ask all our owners to provide a folder of house notes for guests. This will include information on how to work the TV, washing machine, heating system and any house-specific information that guests will need.
Wellies & Windbreaks can advise you on the content if required and can also send you information about the local area to include in your house notes.
You are also required to provide a fire safety risk assessment with clear and detailed information as to how guests can escape the property in the event of a fire. This must be clearly displayed on a wall in the property. Visit https://www.communities.gov.uk/firesafety and download the free guides.
When and how do I get paid?
Each month you will receive an Owner Statement of Account, showing income generated from rentals, less costs, for the previous calendar month. These costs will include Wellies & Windbreaks’ 18% commission and any other costs incurred on your behalf for example the cleaners, tradespeople etc. Payment will be made by bank transfer into your nominated account.
Wellies & Windbreaks remit your income less our commission once guests make their final balance of payment, which is due 2 months prior to their holiday.
Are there any restrictions on my personal use of the property?
Absolutely not – it is your home and you are free to use it as and when you wish. Obviously, you need to ensure there are no existing bookings in place for your dates and it is important to let us know in advance to ensure that we do not book it out to guests at the time you want to stay in it. We will not be able to cancel an existing guest booking once it is in place.
How will Wellies & Windbreaks attract bookings?
Every Wellies & Windbreaks client is listed on our own website and many are also listed on one of the other property rental websites. There are a number of options available to you including Beach Lets, Trip Advisor, Holiday Lettings, Home Away, Owners Direct and airbnb. All charge varying costs for varying services but Wellies & Windbreaks will manage all of these listings for you. There is no obligation to list on any external sites and you can choose to just list on the Wellies & Windbreaks site. It depends of the level of exposure you want and what level of bookings you hope to achieve. Wellies & Windbreaks will discuss all the options with you and offer our professional advice.
A one off set up fee of £250 is charged when you agree to let us manage your property which covers the cost of developing your property listing. The charge for listing on any of the other sites sites is invoiced to the homeowner.
For more information about our marketing and prices please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
What obligations do I as Owner have to undertake prior to letting?
There are certain statutory and other requirements that you as the property owner are responsible for prior to letting your holiday home:
INSURANCE Your existing home insurer will probably cover holiday letting for a small additional premium. It is worth calling them first. You will need to ensure that your policy covers you for sufficient Public Liability (a minimum cover of £2,000,000 is recommended). Should your current insurer not cover for holiday lets there are several specialist insurers who provide holiday let insurance.
FURNITURE REGULATIONS All beds and upholstery must comply with the Furniture Fire Safety Regulations 1988 (all upholstered furniture purchased after 1st March 1990 should meet these requirements). The only exception to this regulation is furniture made and/or re-upholstered before 1950.
GAS The Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations came into force in 1994 and state that an annual safety check must be carried out by a suitably registered engineer. All appliances must conform to the current legislation and be maintained safely. For further details please contact your local Health & Safety Executive.
ELECTRICAL REGULATIONS All owners have a duty of care to ensure electrical systems and appliances are well maintained at all times and must (at least) carry out a visual inspection each year to check for general ‘wear and tear’ and other potential defects.
It is recommended that a Portable Appliance Test (PAT) be undertaken by a suitably qualified engineer on a regular basis. Any new installations or alterations must be undertaken by a qualified electrician and formally approved by a member of the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation.
FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT As property owner you must ensure that your property has a clear means of escape, warning systems installed and appropriate fire fighting equipment available at all times. Statutory records must be kept to verify annual equipment tests and ensure fire certifications are always up to date.
To enable this process to be completed effectively it is recommended that an independent contractor should undertake a risk assessment at your property, supply and install any required fire fighting equipment, maintain a log book, issue a fire safety certificate and provide a leaflet of instructions for your tenants on what to do in the event of a fire. The contractor will also carry out an annual inspection of your property to ensure that you remain compliant and will implement any changes should the laws governing fire regulations alter.
However you can do this yourself. Visit https://www.communities.gov.uk/firesafety and download the free guides.
Your property will require the following equipment:
SMOKE DETECTION SYSTEM. A 10 year lithium battery smoke alarm to BS standard is recommended and a minimum of two smoke detectors will be required (at least one on each floor)
CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR (properties with gas or oil supply only)
2KG DRY POWDER EXTINGUISHER for small kitchen fires
WATER FIRE EXTINGUISHER (only be required for properties with an open fire or properties that have a thatched roof)