“Summertime, and the livin' is easy” goes the famous song. High temperatures, hours of sunshine and school holidays spell prime time for renting out your home. Capitalise on vacation season by planning ahead and making your property ready for guests.
Perhaps your property has lain empty for some months. Winter can bring problems like burst pipes or damage from storms, so take a full inventory of its exterior and interior condition. Ensure everything is in full working order and is clean, fresh and attractive before showing your house to potential tenants. If you’ve been away, this will allow you to view the place with new eyes. Consider replacing items that will enhance the experience of your guests: the property should have Wi-Fi, satellite TV and a dishwasher as a minimum.
Invest in a caretaker
Hiring a local estate agent to manage your home is one way to avoid unpleasant surprises after a period of absence. A monthly check can also save on expensive fixes, while a caretaker is often a wise investment. Holiday home insurance is also strongly recommended.
Whether you use an agency or rely on word of mouth for bookings, put aside a certain percentage of your earnings for maintenance costs. Setting up a bank account in the relevant country will make it easier to manage utilities and pay any local taxes.
Maintain high standards
Once your place is pristine and ready for rental, keep it that way as long as it’s on the market. Apart from employing cleaning staff to refresh rooms after each departure, you’ll need to look after any gardens and swimming pools. Many countries have strict regulations on swimming pool safety, so make sure yours complies. Guests will appreciate thoughtful touches such as fresh flowers, hampers and up-to-date local information, so make these a part of your turnover routine. Outline clear rules on smoking, pets and occupancy limits in the rental agreement to avoid room for misunderstanding.
Tailor to your tenants
Families travelling with young children will likely seek out a summer rental with cots, high chairs and baby equipment to substantially cut down on holiday packing. Investing some time and thought into what guests require can reap dividends. A fireguard on the wood burning stove or a stair gate on a steep flight of steps will save parents from worrying. Books, games and outdoor seating are always welcome, and offering a linen service is a relatively low outlay.
The benefits of a second home are twofold: you can host family holidays in the same cherished spot year on year, and generate a considerable amount of income through renting. Engel & Völkers are global property experts with an extensive portfolio. Visit one of our offices, located in 36 countries across four continents, to discuss your investment options.