NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: advice regarding holiday lets  (Read 2744 times)

hafod

  • Joined Jan 2013
advice regarding holiday lets
« on: November 11, 2013, 12:05:20 pm »
Hi all,
I hope this is the right place to post.
We are (hopefully) close to purchasing a shepherds hut to rent out as self catering accommodation on our small holding (another income strand we hope!) and I was wondering whether anyone had any general advice, pointers, what to do, what not to do etc
In particular I was wondering about marketing and promotion? I've seen you can list on trip advisor for 3% commission, is this sufficient? Some of the other self catering agencies seem to charge a high rate of commission.
All advice welcome!
Thanks
Voss Electric Fence

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: advice regarding holiday lets
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2013, 12:31:23 pm »
lucky you, id love a shepherds hut.

have you got a website up and running? if it has on-line booking, even better.

goosepimple

  • Joined May 2010
  • nr Lauder, Scottish Borders
Re: advice regarding holiday lets
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2013, 01:24:56 pm »
Some people I know went with a big commercial like Cottages4u which require a big commission but then you get lots of people booking you and can then work off return visits if you go it alone after say a year (plus word of mouth from them).  But another person I know uses Holiday Lettings (think it's called) or there's Owners Direct (name again?) and they just charge and couple of hundered pounds or so for the year and that's it, so you have to weigh it up.
 
We have locally a Business Gateway setup whereby you can do lots of courses for free - marketing, tax liabilities, how to set up your website, google search engine ranking, facebooking, all sorts of stuff, and the person running it keeps in touch with you as a helper, you can even get free one to one help specific to you.  The lady running the courses I was on even copied lots of info on holiday letting which I'd copy for you if I knew where it is - there's probably something similar on line, things you should know etc, lots of things I didn't even think of.  The courses were extremely professional, lunch thrown in for all day courses etc, I was very impressed.  May be a similar thing to help you in your area.   All the best!
registered soay, castlemilk moorit  and north ronaldsay sheep, pygmy goats, steinbacher geese, muscovy ducks, various hens, lots of visiting mallards, a naughty border collie, a puss and a couple of guinea pigs

hafod

  • Joined Jan 2013
Re: advice regarding holiday lets
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2013, 12:16:08 pm »
Thank you for the ideas - a website with online booking is a necessity I think.
Great idea about business support- we are on the border of 3 counties and all 3 have tourism associations that seem to do the type of training you mentioned - hopefully I can get involved in at least one!
Any suggestions for companies doing holiday let insurance?
Thanks again

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: advice regarding holiday lets
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2013, 01:58:32 pm »
i only have a rental as opposed to a holiday let, but i use Directline for business or Morethan for business to insure my rental house, worth a try.

AndynJ

  • Joined Sep 2010
  • uk
  • Says it as it is. don't like it don't look
Re: advice regarding holiday lets
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2013, 03:21:46 pm »
Compass, Thistle insurance are specialists in holiday rental.
 
Question how is your council about shephards huts as ours state we need planning for them, secondly they are not allowed a toilet/shower indoors therefore a separate building is required (planning req again)
Therefore effectively huts, pods a definitive NO
 
 

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: advice regarding holiday lets
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2013, 04:15:02 pm »
Compass, Thistle insurance are specialists in holiday rental.
 
Question how is your council about shephards huts as ours state we need planning for them, secondly they are not allowed a toilet/shower indoors therefore a separate building is required (planning req again)
Therefore effectively huts, pods a definitive NO


I can see why not allowed toilets and showers and why the ancillary block for those would need planning, but can't see how they can argue that the actual shepherds huts did. What was their reasoning, as the law is pretty clear and I can't see how they wouldn't qualify from the exemption from planning?

AndynJ

  • Joined Sep 2010
  • uk
  • Says it as it is. don't like it don't look
Re: advice regarding holiday lets
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2013, 04:46:17 am »
Compass, Thistle insurance are specialists in holiday rental.
 
Question how is your council about shephards huts as ours state we need planning for them, secondly they are not allowed a toilet/shower indoors therefore a separate building is required (planning req again)
Therefore effectively huts, pods a definitive NO


I can see why not allowed toilets and showers and why the ancillary block for those would need planning, but can't see how they can argue that the actual shepherds huts did. What was their reasoning, as the law is pretty clear and I can't see how they wouldn't qualify from the exemption from planning?
Their wording was probably accurate, they didn't actually say we couldn't have them, but they did say no toilets and to let out you must provide toilets that need planning, also that planning would be required for the land ie change of use camping/letting

mowhaugh

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Scottish Borders
    • Facebook
Re: advice regarding holiday lets
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2013, 07:52:48 am »
We booked a holiday cottage through Welcome Cottages this year, there was a notice inside the cottage saying if you wanted to rebook, please ring the owner direct and you would be given a discount - I am sure the discount would be less than the fee he usually pays Welcome Cottages, but we did write the number doen and will rebook that way,

Scotsdumpy

  • Joined Jul 2012
Re: advice regarding holiday lets
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2013, 08:26:54 am »
When we lived in england we ran a caravan and camping club 5 van site which only needed insurance, clean water and dirty water disposal all worked really well with no problems as the cc club do any planning stuff. However, when we moved to scotland with an intention to run a similar set up augmented with sheilings we decided to go for proper planning permission and duly appointed an architect to draw up the plans. Prior to this we had approached the council who said it would probably go through ok......
When we spoke in greater length to the planning dept they did a site visit and said yes, the idea was sound and would get through the planning process. Before we actually submitted the plans we were contacted by the council and were told thatwe wouldnt get planning as the site was off the beaten track and wasnt on a bus routeso did not support the local plan of sustainable transport and greener living. We then contacted the cc club for the latest advice for a small site requirements and, to be honest the insurance requirements and toilet and water systems were so prohibitive that we ditched the our planfor a holiday letting.  I dare say you could let your shepherds hut, log cabin, gypsy caravan etc without any planning or insurance but with the claim culture these days I wouldn't bother.

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: advice regarding holiday lets
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2013, 10:28:44 am »
Compass, Thistle insurance are specialists in holiday rental.
 
Question how is your council about shephards huts as ours state we need planning for them, secondly they are not allowed a toilet/shower indoors therefore a separate building is required (planning req again)
Therefore effectively huts, pods a definitive NO


I can see why not allowed toilets and showers and why the ancillary block for those would need planning, but can't see how they can argue that the actual shepherds huts did. What was their reasoning, as the law is pretty clear and I can't see how they wouldn't qualify from the exemption from planning?
Their wording was probably accurate, they didn't actually say we couldn't have them, but they did say no toilets and to let out you must provide toilets that need planning, also that planning would be required for the land ie change of use camping/letting


AHH yes that would be right assuming you were wanting to do it for more than 28 days a year (you can do non agric stuff on agric land for up to 28 days without PP).


Might be worth considering Eco dry loos,

hafod

  • Joined Jan 2013
Re: advice regarding holiday lets
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2013, 08:27:46 pm »
Thank you everyone - keep the advice coming!!  We had a meeting with the council today and they were keen in principle, especially as the hut is moveable, could come off the land for a while and would therefore be temporary. They did say that they have a remit to support initiatives that enhance tourism in the area and were as positive as I could have hoped for.
With toilets we were thinking of a compost toilet which we would need planning for, but another option would be to have a chemical toilet/porta potti in a nearby barn and empty into our septic tanks. Or we have a wet room off the porch which guests could use (although that's not an ideal solution) so we have a few options to go at.

 

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