Second home vs holiday home

Could your second home be someone else's ideal holiday rental?
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If you’re lucky enough to have a second home, or are considering buying one, you’ve probably thought about renting it out as a holiday let. Although the income this can generate is certainy attractive, there are downsides to doing this too. In this article we look at both the pros and con to help you decide whether it's a good option for you.

Holiday let income from your investment

As it’s your second home there will clearly be some weeks that you’re not there. However, there are several ongoing costs involved in running a second home such as rates and utilities, so it’s very logical to use those empty weeks to gain a contribution towards your costs and maybe a small income.

How often and when do you want to use it?

If you’ve got children who are still at school, the chances are that you will want to use your holiday home during peak seasons, and so will everyone else! If you can’t take peak season rentals you won’t be able to enjoy a peak season income. However, if you prefer to use your property in the off-season then there is a clear opportunity to make good returns.

Can you share your wonderful home?

If you decide to let your property then you should opt to furnish it in a more neutral style and remove personal possessions as this can often be more appealing to potential renters. The downside of this of course is that when you do visit for a break it will feel less like a second home and more like someone else’s holiday let! You do lose a bit of personalisation but you might gain more holiday bookings. On that note, it's also essential that you consider your holiday home insurance options so that your belongings are safe during lettings.

As a second property, your holiday home will clearly be empty sometimes. Protect it.

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Tax benefits from holiday lets

There are some great tax benefits from qualifying as Furnished Holiday Letting Accommodation. You need professional advice for this but in summary there’s pension, capital allowance and capital gains benefits. Plus, if you’re married, you can spread the tax burden between you in order to reduce your overall tax payments.

Wear, tear and breakage

The more guests you have stay at your holiday let, the more upkeep costs you will have. That’s just general wear and tear but it’s worth remembering to factor repair and replacement costs into your budget for the property.

Sustainable tourism – positive impact on local economy

Tourism can be an important industry for the local community around your property. When you are away from the house, hiring local people such as cleaners, gardeners or agencies not only contributes towards the local economy but also ensures someone is keeping an eye on your property when you’re not there. Short term guests are likely to increase the disposable spend in the local area too, thus supporting the community and economy further.

It’s quite easy once you get going

Marketing your property is easier than you think. From Airbnb, to using a local agent or advertising it on a holiday home lettings website, there’s a range of options to suit you. There are also some very good guides to help you through the process of setting up your first holiday let available online.

If you are ready to let out your holiday home, don’t forget that you need to declare this to your insurance company. You also need to inform them if your second home is going to be left unoccupied for more than 30 days in a row, otherwise your standard insurance could be invalid. Luckily, HomeProtect can quote on these situations online easily and usually with little extra cost on your insurance premium. Come to us for all your holiday let insurance needs.