Holiday let 101: Expert tips on renting out your home this winter

There's a market for holiday lets during the winter, you just need to know how best to pitch your property. 

There's a market for holiday lets during the winter, you just need to know how best to pitch your property. - Credit: Alamy/PA

Renting out a property can be a good way to generate some regular additional income – particularly as UK-based staycations have boomed this year.

And whether you own a holiday let, or you’re considering renting out your own home occasionally, there are ways to boost your chances of attracting bookings throughout the year – not just during the summer.

Bev Dumbleton, chief operating officer at Sykes Holiday Cottages, says certain added extras tend to appeal to holidaymakers when it’s colder – the key is to ensure the space is cosy.

Bev Dumbleton, chief operating officer at Sykes Holiday Cottages

Bev Dumbleton, chief operating officer at Sykes Holiday Cottages - Credit: PA Photo/Sykes Holiday Cottages

Sykes’ data suggests hot tubs can help generate more earnings, while woodburning stoves and open fires also often attract guests over the colder months. But if it’s not cost-effective to spend on such amenities, there are cheaper ways to make your property appeal to staycationers.

“For example, providing blankets, putting rugs down on wooden floors to add warmth, or even ensuring there are lots of games to pass the time on cold and rainy days,” recommends Bev.

Widening your target audience could also help – Bev suggests highlighting scenic walking trails nearby, for example, or it may pay to market the property as a cosy couples’ retreat, or somewhere friends can get together for a catch-up.

If your home is near Christmas markets, it could be a perfect base for people looking to buy festive gifts as part of their break. Make sure to show off the full range of activities available in your area – come rain or shine.

A woodburning stove can help give your property the edge during the winter months. 

A woodburning stove can help give your property the edge during the winter months. - Credit: Alamy/PA

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Allowing shorter bookings can also help in winter, as guests are often looking for a midweek or weekend break. Sykes’ data suggests owners allowing shorter breaks could potentially boost their earnings by 30 per cent.

To secure top reviews – ultimately leading to more bookings – make sure you tackle any lingering DIY jobs, such as leaky taps, and ensure the heating is running smoothly.

If you’re considering renting your home out for the first time, it’s vital to speak to your insurer and your mortgage lender. You need to consider the tax implications and legal responsibilities of renting out a home.

More information to help you consider your responsibilities can be found at the UK Government-backed MoneyHelper website (moneyhelper.org.uk) as well as at Gov.uk and on estate and lettings agency body Propertymark’s website (propertymark.co.uk).

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