The question of whether or not to ask your holiday home customers for a security deposit is commonly debated....
“We try to ensure that all the guests who stay in our cottages are aware of local pubs, village shops and restaurants, by including detailed descriptions and links on our website, as well as providing pre-arrival information and guest packs to direct guests to local businesses.”
Debated passionately in the news, owning a second home in the country can be a double edged sword. Character Cottages, a leading holiday let business, gives advice on how converting empty second homes into holiday lets can not only boost owners’ returns, but also support and enrich the local villages and communities in which they reside.
Many second homes sit empty most of the time, with some owners only managing to visit their cottage only two or three times a year. A lot of local residents believe that this contributes to a weakening of traditional community spirit and impacts local businesses, by reducing the available demand for pubs, shops and restaurants. For example, in 2012, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) estimated that six rural pubs a week were closing across Britain.
Due to its beautiful villages and countryside, as well as its proximity to London, the Cotswolds is one of the UKs most popular locations for second homes. This means that many Cotswold villages have a high proportion of properties that sit empty for most of the year, putting pressure on the economic viability of many important community functions, despite the greatest efforts of residents to keep local services open.
Making these empty second homes available for holiday letting helps to solve this problem, by providing a means for large numbers of affluent visitors to stay in local villages. This Cotswolds holiday accommodation significantly increases the demand for local services and can sometimes make the difference between success and failure, particularly for local pubs and village shops.
For example, a typical Cotswold holiday rental marketed by Character Cottages and sleeping six can bring 300 visitors per annum to a village. Even assuming just a relatively small expenditure per visitor on local services, the conversion of a single second home to a holiday let can have an incremental impact on a village economy measured in thousands of pounds. For villages with a high number of empty second homes, their conversion to holiday lets would significantly affect the ability of local pubs and shops to succeed.
Andrew Soye, a Director at Character Cottages, says: We try to ensure that all the guests who stay in our cottages are aware of local pubs, village shops and restaurants, by including detailed descriptions and links on our website, as well as providing pre-arrival information and guest packs to direct guests to local businesses. This not only supports the local community, it also helps to generate high value guest bookings, thus benefitting cottage owners as well.
By converting an empty second home into a Cotswolds holiday let, owners will not only support their local village, but can also turn their annual running costs into good profits, whilst their trusted housekeeper maintains close control of the quality and condition of their beloved bolt hole, making sure its in perfect condition for when they choose to stay.
In addition to the profits that can be made from holiday letting and the benefit to the local community, owners also benefit from the increased likelihood of villages retaining those much loved pubs and shops, for the occasions when owners do stay at their second home. As Character Cottages works in partnership with owners, there are no restrictions on owners staying in their properties whenever they wish to.
About Character Cottages
Character Cottages is a specialist holiday lettings business established to help second home owners generate substantial profits, whilst still enjoying the benefits of owning a country retreat. Our mission is to enhance the traditional holiday let process, by providing guests with first class customer service, flexible length breaks and flexible start dates, in hand picked, luxury country homes.