If you own property in a popular tourist destination, chances are you’ve considered turning your property into a holiday let.

Before you begin to let your property for holidays, there are some important things to consider. This includes what insurance you may need and whether or not you need planning permission for any changes.

For any queries about planning applications in Cornwall, get in touch today and speak to a member of our expert team.

What Is A Holiday Let?

There can be a lot of confusion as to what constitutes a holiday let as they share a lot of characteristics with a shorthold tenancy. Under The Housing Act 1988, the definition of an assured tenancy is:

  • The property is to be let to an individual(s).
  • The property is to be used as that individual’s sole or principal residence.
  • The annual rent is less than £100,000.
  • The Landlord is not deemed to be a resident landlord.

As such, a tenant cannot be asked to leave earlier than six months and the landlord would have to serve them two months’ notice after four months had passed.

With a holiday let, however, tenants are assumed to leave on the stated date as the property has likely been let to someone else, similar to a hotel room.

Do You Need Planning Permission For Holiday Lets?

For the most part, you won’t need planning permission to let your properties for holidays.

However, you should always check for any covenants in the deeds before letting your property. If you don’t own the lease to your property, then make sure you’re allowed to sub-let your property before you do anything else.

If you are planning to change or add anything to an outhouse or building to turn it into a holiday let, then you should seek planning permission before you accept any guests. If you’re unsure, contact your local planning department.

A bed made up in a holiday let

Regulations for Holiday Lets

Letting your property for holidays isn’t quite as simple as just advertising a room. There are several rules and regulations that need to be followed before you can let to any guests.

Rules For Holiday Lets

When letting your property to guests, it needs to meet certain standards. These include:

  • The property being furnished.
  • The property being available for letting for at least 210 days of the year. If you want to benefit from ‘furnished holiday let’ tax status, then the property must be commercially let for at least 105 days of the year.
  • Any single let cannot be for more than 31 continuous days. Anything more than this must have a formal tenancy agreement which gives your guest the same rights as a tenant and may affect your tax status. This may also be in violation of your mortgage.
  • Any guest staying in a holiday let has no right to remain and must leave the property at the end of their holiday.
  • If you are providing the holiday let with a TV, you may need a specific Hotel and Mobile Television Licence.

Health and Safety

As well as these legal requirements, you also have a duty of care to your guests. This doesn’t mean that you need to wait on them hand and foot, but it does mean you have to carry out an assessment for the whole property and take any steps to minimise risks and hazards.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Gas Safety – Ensuring all appliances, fittings, flues and chimneys are safely maintained. A registered gas engineer should carry out a gas safety check once a year on all gas appliances.
  • Electrical Safety – All equipment provided should be safe to use. While not a legal requirement, it’s recommended you have the electrical installation inspected and tested every 5 years by an electrician.
  • Fire Safety – You must carry out a fire risk assessment to identify potential hazards and you must have a smoke alarm installed on each floor that is used as a living space. All upholstered furniture must comply with current fire resistance requirements.
  • Carbon Monoxide – It is a legal requirement that you have a CO2 detector in rooms with a solid fuel bringing appliance (log burner or open fire). It’s also recommended to have detectors fitted in rooms with any gas or oil appliances.

Holiday Let insurance

When it comes to holiday lets, insurance is a must. Types of insurance that you should be looking into are:

  • Employer’s liability insurance – This is a legal requirement if you employ anyone at your holiday let such as a cleaner, housekeeper or gardener.
  • Public liability insurance – While not a legal requirement, this can cover you if a guest has an accident and pursues a claim against you.
  • Building insurance – If you have a mortgage, this insurance may be required by your lender.

With all the technical points out of the way, all that remains for you is to decide a price, sort your decor and market your property.

If you have any more questions about turning your property into a holiday let, get in touch with us today!

contact our team today