8 top tips for maintaining your holiday home
While it is true to say that location is perhaps the critical component in letting a holiday home, nevertheless, the condition of the property is also something that will prove to be very important.
The logic behind that is simple enough – nobody wants to see photographs showing a scruffy property, internally or externally, in a holiday ad. They want to see it even less when they arrive to start their holiday, having been misled by carefully-edited photographs in the original advertisement!
So, mindful of the rigours of winter ahead, here are a few top tips to help keep your property looking good and ready for the next letting season:
Consider an external coat of paint
Although some people seem to think this is a job for spring and it’s true that weather can be an issue, in fact, it is sometimes better done in autumn so that all exposed surfaces are protected to the maximum extent from the ravages of winter. That might be particularly important if you occasionally get some early spring seasonal visitors – who won’t want to see flaking paint on windows and so on.
Tidy your garden up
This is a classic autumn and early winter chore. Ignore it and it will be that bit easier for your garden to get out of control when spring arrives next year!
Turn off the utilities
Drain down your water systems and shut off supplies at the stopcock. That is an important flooding prevention measure. You may also wish to do the same with your gas and electricity. Check your insurance conditions first though, as some policies may actually require you to leave your heating on a very low and occasional use level if very low temperatures are forecast.
Clear the drainage
Make sure all your valleys, gutters and drainpipes are clear. Autumn is a very bad time of year for blockages due to leaves and twigs. If they block drains, the result can be serious for your property – so make the effort to clean them out.
Perform a thorough safety check.
That might involve things like checking the floorboards, stair rods, handrails and banisters, electrical sockets, light fittings and all appliances. Remember also that if your property has any sort of child protection devices, such as safety gates, they should also be thoroughly checked as they may have been subject to extensive use during the summer season.
Attend to required internal decoration
A quick coat of paint and possibly some new wallpaper here and there might make your property seem hugely brighter and more cheerful. True, for the owner-occupier this is normally a spring job but if you are hoping to get spring business, you will need to make sure that it is done beforehand;
Review your holiday let property insurance
This may not strike you as being obviously maintenance but paperwork needs to be maintained just as the physical fabric of your property does. Check your insurance is still in order and that you are complying with its provisions – maintaining such insurance in place may be a mandatory obligation that comes with holiday home mortgages.
Make a thorough inspection of your weatherproofing
That is particularly important if your property is going to stand unoccupied for lengthy periods of time during bad weather. So, look closely at door and window seals, roof valleys, flashings and your slates/tiles etc.
These are all basic things but they may help keep your property in good condition and looking that much better for your customers when the new season arrives!