Property owners in popular tourist spots should already be thinking about making their investment ready for the busy 2014 season.
Fresh rules governing holiday lets in certain countries mean that some property owners who fail to prepare sufficiently in advance might not have their investment ready in time.
This is particularly the case in European destinations in locations such as Spain, France, Portugal and Greece.
Don’t fall foul of poor organisation. Follow these eight top tips to avoid missing out on the most profitable time of the year:
- Register your investment-Make sure your property is fully registered for tourist rentals. Many European countries require properties to have a licence from the council in order to be let. Breaching this rule could lead to a fine from anywhere between €3,000 to €30,000. Depending on location, you could also be permitted to hand in your guests’ details to the local police.
- Declare your rental income-Authorities are scouring international rental websites in order to track down tax dodgers. Declaring your income therefore is an absolute necessity. Note that the UK has double tax treaties with the majority of European countries, so you will not pay the same tax twice on your earnings.
- Utilise an agent-Should you reside in the UK, using a management agent can take away a lot of hassle. Typically, agents will charge between 15-20% of all rent received. Though this can seem a lot, finding a good management agent is priceless! They can ensure your property is well maintained, meet and greet potential guests and be on call to address any issues.
- Prepare to work-On the other hand, if you choose to manage your overseas property investment yourself, prepare to put the hours in. Answer all enquiries promptly, keep an up-to-date calendar and maintain your property to a high standard. Also, make yourself available for discussion on problems that arise, at all hours of the day.
- Take pride in presentation-A properly presented property will attract the best tenants. With that in mind, take professional photos of the interior and exterior of your property. Make sure your property is clean when taking viewings. What’s more, give some thought on what you would like to see if you were looking at renting a holiday home. Little extras can go a long way, so think about installing a DVD player, Wi-Fi and even satellite television.
- Make your tenants welcome-With many different travel methods available to reach overseas properties, guests will arrive at different times. Think about leaving them some essentials, such as bread and milk, that they can use should they arrive when shops are closed. And why not leave them a bottle of wine to make them very welcome?
- Provide information-Look at giving your guests information on the local area. Include how far your property is located from local amenities, such as shops, beaches and markets. Also, give your tenants information on what you yourself would find interesting in the region, such as sporting stadia or waterparks.
- Get insured-It is vital that you obtain the correct overseas property insurance for your rental investment abroad. Why not choose Insure My Villa for adequate cover for your holiday home?