Lowland Lettings Blog

On July, 02 2018 by

New Smoke Alarm Rules to Apply to All Scottish Properties

Soon, every single property in Scotland will need to adhere to new smoke alarm rules – including having a minimum number of smoke alarms fitted – after the amendment of a 30-year-old law. To avoid another Grenfell Tower tragedy (where 71 people died), changes in legislation to the Housing (Scotland) Act mean that for one thing (don’t worry, there’s more), all homes in Scotland will require a minimum number of smoke alarms to be fitted – and I couldn’t agree more on this. I’ve personally helped guide holiday let owners through practical health & safety standards that must be covered for all holiday lets and rented properties, and although it may not be fun, it’s absolutely vital to ensure your guests are safe. Personally, I’m over the moon that not only will the most rigorous standards be applied to new-builds, rented accommodation and holiday lets, but also to all homes […]

 

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On July, 02 2018 by

What Holiday Let Owners Need to Know About GDPR

Are you aware of what GDPR is and how it affects your holiday let? Maybe you’re vaguely aware that something’s happened; after all, you’ve almost definitely noticed all of the emails flooding your inbox up to May 25th from companies needing permission to keep you on their subscriber list. But maybe you’re thinking that this new law only applies to companies; that it couldn’t possibly have much of an impact on you. In which case, I’m sorry to burst your bubble. I’m actually not particularly shocked anymore at the knowledge that there are people out there who still haven’t heard of GDPR and who are, right at this moment, breaking the law. Unfortunately, whether you’ve heard of GDPR or not, if you run a holiday let, I’m afraid this new legislation applies to you – and you could face a fine if you’re caught. What is GDPR? Despite having been […]

 

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On July, 02 2018 by

The Ultimate GDPR Privacy Policy Checklist For Holiday Lets

In need of advice on putting together a GDPR-compliant privacy policy for your holiday let? You may already be aware that a privacy notice is an essential element when it comes to producing appropriate documentation for a GDPR-compliant holiday let. So, whether you’ve already published a privacy policy up in time for last month’s legislation, or whether you’re only just getting round to sorting out your privacy policy – and all the rest – now, this blog is here to help. As a seasoned holiday let owner and agency operating in the Scottish Borders, I’ve been busy ensuring I’m entirely up-to-speed with GDPR – and my privacy policy is up-to-scratch! But I know there are still some holiday let owners out there that aren’t sure of exactly what’s required – which is why I’ve put together this blog post to help you. 1. An introduction The best place to start […]

 

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On May, 04 2018 by

Why Do You Need an EPC For Your Holiday Let?

UPDATE: I recently spoke with the ASSC to clarify a few points on this matter. Here’s what they had to say: “EPC’s are currently required for holiday homes, however the ASSC believes the EU Directive is being misconstrued and the ASSC is actively working to get the requirement for an EPC withdrawn. Until we receive clear confirmation from Scottish Government on the position, we would recommend holding off from obtaining an EPC at this time.” Are you curious about the reasons why you could possibly need an EPC for your holiday let? Did you even know you needed one? If you don’t have an EPC for your holiday let, or aren’t currently displaying an EPC rating when advertising your property, you’re certainly not the only one! But that doesn’t mean you can’t still be fined. Not all holiday let owners are aware that an they actually need an EPC (Energy […]

 

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On May, 04 2018 by

What Holiday Let Owners Need to Know About Legionnaires’ Disease

Are you aware of the recent change in legislation that puts the onus on you to properly control and assess the risk of your guests’ exposure to legionella? You may think Legionnaires’ Disease isn’t all that common, but there are some very good reasons why the change in legislation has been introduced – and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Firstly, it might be more common than you think; it’s just not always diagnosed, and there are likely a lot more incidences than are recorded as the cause of illness – or even death. However, a recent outbreak of Legionnaires actually led to the deaths of four people, whilst 96 were hospitalised and thousands more were very ill. So, how can you ensure your guests are safe from this risk as part of your legal requirement? As an experienced holiday letting agent, it’s not only my duty to ensure […]

 

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On April, 25 2018 by

The Scottish Borders Guide To Getting Started with Your Holiday Let – Part 4

The essentials of holiday lets – it’s your responsibility! Guest safety should be of paramount importance to you as a holiday let provider and there are certain rules you must adhere to: Here are some of the main ones – If you have gas appliances or gas central heating legally you must have an annual gas safety check carried out by a Gas safe registered gas engineer. I would also recommend taking out a maintenance contract as this will ensure that if the boiler breaks down someone will be on hand to fix it. Most contracts have a 24-hour call-out and some include the safety check in the cost. Guests don’t want to be without heat and hot water for any length of time. Bearing in mind they will probably only be staying from 3 to 7 nights. Electrical safety check – all electrical items should be safety checked annually […]

 

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On April, 25 2018 by

The Scottish Borders Guide To Getting Started with Your Holiday Let – Part 3

So you’ve found the property now you need to get guests to your cottage door You need to consider: Are you going to manage the property yourself or use an agency? Using an agency may be a good place to get started – yes you have to pay them commission, but the start-up cost will be minimal compared to the costs of building your own website and purchasing a booking system. An agency will also deal with the majority of the admin and deal with any complaints, should you have any. You need to become best friends with a cleaner and gardener if you are not able to do it yourself. These will be imperative to your success. Your chosen agent however may be a multitalented one offering all of these services. Also, make friends with the neighbours – another vital aspect is having them on side. Where else are […]

 

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On April, 25 2018 by

The Scottish Borders Guide To Getting Started with Your Holiday Let – Part 2

Where to look for that perfect pad Analyse any existing property portfolio you have, you may already have the perfect holiday let property and just don’t know it yet! Look at your own home – can you convert or develop part of your property or even build from scratch? Don’t overlook or dismiss anything – many a successful holiday let has come from a converted shed, out building or garage. Remember what I said earlier; think unique! Estate agents – register with as many as possible and don’t restrict your criteria too much, great holiday lets can come from the most unlikely beginnings. Property Auctions are a place where plenty of bargains are to be found! Private newspaper ads – in this climate, many would-be sellers are trying to save on estate agents costs by advertising themselves, and there could be cost savings to make here. Existing holiday lets for […]

 

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On April, 24 2018 by

The Scottish Borders Guide To Getting Started with Your Holiday Let – Part 1

Introduction You may be considering entering the holiday rental market for a variety of reasons; you may already have a property portfolio with long term tenants and are feeling fed up of the rent arrears or property damage. Perhaps you have a property currently on the market but unable to sell in these difficult times. Or, you may be needing to move home but wish to keep your current property and use it once in a while or you may just fancy embarking on a new career in the holiday accommodation sector. Whatever reason has brought you to this guide, I hope to equip you with the information you need to decide whether the holiday rental market is right for you – and if so, what you need to do to become successful in what is a very competitive but rewarding market. So sit back, relax and let me tell […]

 

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On April, 11 2018 by

Booking.com reaches 5 million homes listings milestone and counting!

Booking.com who already boast to have the world’s largest selection of “incredible” places to stay has indeed reached an “incredible” milestone this week by acquiring 5 million non- hotel listings. This surpasses their rival Airbnb and really is quite an achievement. Having experienced Booking.com personally I can see how they have achieved this. Booking.com was established in 1996 as a Dutch start up business and has grown to one of the largest e commerce travels sites in the world. But what is it that makes Booking.com so successful and why do I think property owners should list here? Success story Firstly I realise that Booking.com isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but as you will know if you have read any of my previous blogs I just love them! I recently had a conversation with a new B&B owner and I asked how business was going. “It’s ok “they replied but […]

 

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