MAINTAINING YOUR HOLIDAY HOME
It’s important to keep your holiday home in tip top condition. Not only is it an important asset but if your guests leave feeling happy then they are more likely to leave good reviews of your property! So the house needs to be clean, fresh, in good working order and as advertised. That’s not always easy to do if you live hundreds of miles away from your holiday home, so here’s some suggestions to keep things neat.
Really, maintenance falls into three main categories:
- Weekly – General housekeeping.
- Seasonal – Deep clean – it’s not just for spring.
- Ad-hoc – Repair, replace, refurbish.
WEEKLY CLEANING SERVICE
Unless you live locally, you will likely need to hire a cleaning service. Cleaning is usually done between guests leaving and the next set arriving. In busy periods this is often on the same day, so you need to set clear rules for your guests concerning what time they leave and when they arrive to give your cleaners enough time.
It’s important you list every item in the property in an inventory. This is so you can check the list after each guest checks out and bill for any damages if needed (hopefully not!). Simply having an inventory in place can send a message to your guests and encourage them to respect your holiday home.
Whilst it is nice for your guests to arrive to food already in the kitchen, half used boxes, cans and bags of food can look unhygienic. So make sure that all opened packets are thrown away and the fridge and bins are empty. You may want to offer mid-week cleaning to your guests. Not only is this an opportunity to make extra income but it ensures that your holiday home is always well looked after.
It pays to solve a problem immediately than let it get worse and potentially cost you more in the future. Some things are quite easy to fix, like replacing lightbulbs, but for larger items like a broken window or a dodgy boiler it is a good idea to have a list of local tradesmen who you can rely on. Bear in mind that you should check the terms of your holiday home buildings insurance before making any structural changes to the property.
If your property is going to be empty for more than a few weeks, over winter for instance, then it’s a great opportunity to deep clean the house. This includes shampooing the carpet, washing the curtains, turning the beds and clearing the garden. If you have outdoor furniture then clean it and store it safely away.
Make sure you turn of all electrical items. One exception would be if you want to keep the boiler on; this can prevent water damage from frozen pipes in winter as well as keeping damp at bay. It’s not just electrical goods you need to look after. By law holiday homeowners must have a safety check every year by a registered Gas Safe engineer.
Finally, from a safety perspective make sure you change your key safe combination annually, your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working and that your holiday home insurance is up to date, with the fact that the property is a holiday home clearly declared.
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