Information for Property Owners
Your Holiday Property
There is no formula for the perfect holiday property. Each property we represent is individual with a style and character of its own. There is a demand for most types of property, be they large, small, period, modern, cottage or apartment.
If you are looking to purchase an investment property we can provide you with sound advice on the most suitable location and type of property for your purposes. We will then also advise on the most appropriate décor, furnishings, fixtures and fittings to make your property both appealing to holidaymakers but also practical and cost effective to maintain.
How We Begin
We will visit your property and discuss with you all aspects of letting it for holidays, advising on its letting potential and answering any questions you may have. We will also recommend rentals for your property which will take into account seasonal variations and we will give you an indication of the likely levels of income you can expect from the property in its first year and also once it is established as a holiday let.
An individual commission rate will be agreed with you, which is a percentage of the weekly rental plus VAT. Our commission charges vary and are offered in accordance with the level of service required from us. Commission charges cover advertising, marketing printing and internet advertising costs, plus all administration of holiday bookings and communications with owners and guests. The basic commission rate will be offered to owners who can arrange cleaning, gardening, maintenance and key collection for their property. We will be pleased to quote your personal commission rate after appraising your property.
We will require you to sign our Letting Authorisation Agreement, which is the contract between you and us; once we receive this signed agreement we will include your property in our portfolio and marketing activities. A sample of our letting agreement is included in our owners’ pack; please read it carefully – it is a legally binding contract. Please note that if the agreement is terminated before its expiry date a financial penalty will be incurred.
Marketing Your Property
Your property will be presented in our full colour brochure which is distributed throughout the year to our clients. We produce colour supplements on a regular basis to feature those properties which join us part way into the letting season. Our extensive website provides all the details included in our brochure plus additional photographs, providing the prospective holidaymaker with a clear picture of your property to assist in decision making. Our website also features current availability and a very popular on line booking service.
We advertise extensively in the national press throughout the year and in a selection of high quality and specialist magazines. We are featured in many local guides and on tourist information sites. We have also established advertising links from other suitable internet sources.
We have an extensive database of previous customers, many of whom return to book with us year after year and who recommend us to their friends. Although some past customers remain loyal to their favourite property, others prefer to sample new properties on each visit or look out for potential properties which would suit family or friends.
Our database and the website are also used to stimulate responses to special offers, generate late availability bookings or to target interest in individual properties.
Our dedicated brochure line service operates 24 hours a day which is extensively advertised in the national press.
We do not make registration charges, nor do we charge for late addition properties. All late addition properties will be featured on our website with a description and as much photography as possible. We ask that late addition properties enter into a contract for the remaining season plus a full season when the property will feature in our brochure.
At Jean Bartlett Cottage Holidays we have a strong commitment to quality assurance. Properties must be maintained and equipped to a high standard. We inspect all of our properties on a regular basis to ensure that appropriate standards are being maintained and advise owners where we consider that a property requires attention or equipment needs to be replaced. We expect our owners to work with us to ensure that properties are kept to the highest standard, thus ensuring that guests enjoy a relaxing holiday and wish to return. Please note that, with due respect, if you are unable to meet our standards, we may not be able to represent your property.
We operate our own quality assurance scheme; properties are inspected annually and graded according to their facilities and equipment. We award a quality “star rating” to each property of between 1 and 5 stars which is intended to unify the standard of quality and comfort in self-catering accommodation and assist customers in their decision making process. Owners are provided with an information booklet detailing the scheme guidelines and requirements. You do not need to be present at the time of the inspection as we send owners a full report outlining any missing items or work required. There is an annual inspection fee (currently £75 plus VAT for the first property, reduced for additional units at the same address). Inspections take place in the early summer and the inspection fee will be automatically deducted from your monthly statement of account.
Property and Garden Maintenance
If you do not live locally we can arrange for and administer cleaners, gardeners and maintenance personnel to attend your property in your absence. The provision of such services will be taken into account when setting commission charges and the services themselves are charged separately; they are not included in our commission charge. If a property is empty for a week or more between holiday lets we automatically conduct a “Refresh” clean before the next guests arrive, which ensures that the property is dust and junk mail free and fresh smelling.
We ask all owners to keep a supply of cleaning materials and equipment in the properties as guests will use them, keeping the cleanliness of the property to a high standard. We also ask owners to provide one toilet roll per toilet for the start of each booking. Cleaning materials and toilet rolls can be administered by the cleaner if required and all purchases of such materials will be shown on your monthly statement of account.
The garden is an important part of a holiday property. It is often the first impression for guests on arrival and it provides valuable relaxation and recreation space. If your property does have a garden (and we appreciate that some properties do not), we ask that it is well cared for, safe and tidy for guests at all times.
We understand that not all property owners can tend to their gardens regularly. If this applies to you we can offer basic garden care services, including grass cutting, weeding, sweeping, hedge trimming etc. on a regular or “one off” basis. If your garden requires specialist attention we will be happy to recommend local specialists.
Around 1 in 4 of our guests bring a pet on holiday. Therefore we advise you that you permit pets in your property if possible. Guests are required to pay extra for their pet (currently £21 per pet per week, non commissionable) and under our Terms of Booking, pets are not allowed to be in the property unattended, on furnishings, upstairs or to be exercised on the premises. We do remind owners, however, that the additional pet charge is partly intended to cover the additional cleaning required after a pet is on the premises and you must be aware that your cleaning costs will reflect this.
Health and Safety
The health and safety of our guests is of paramount importance. All properties with gas appliances must have an annual test by an approved CORGI contractor and we recommend that all electrical appliances are PAT tested annually. Properties which have open fires must have their chimneys swept annually. We can arrange chimney sweeps, gas appliance and PAT testing for you on an annual basis.
All furnishings within the properties must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings Regulations 1988 (details of which can be obtained from your local Trading Standards Office).
We regret that we will not represent any property where we find furniture or gas equipment to be non-compliant. If furniture does not display the fire safety ticket we will require a receipt with date and place of purchase for our files.
A standard domestic policy is not appropriate for holiday lettings as cover is not provided for many of the more serious risks. In addition to insuring your buildings and contents you will also need to obtain the following insurance cover:
- Public Liability
- Employer’s Liability (if you employ your own caretaker or housekeeper)
- Business Risk
- Consequential Loss
Your insurers must be informed that you let your property for holidays. We ask all owners to provide us with a copy of their insurance policy for our records.
We normally hold three sets of keys to the property, except for those properties which are tended by resident owners/caretakers. One set is for guests, one set is for the cleaner and the third remains in our office for emergencies.
Information Pack and Emergency Information
All Jean Bartlett Cottage Holiday properties contain a comprehensive information pack for guests’ use. This contains essential information about the property and its facilities and also details of the surrounding area, local tourist attractions and places to eat. All properties must feature emergency telephone numbers, including that of the property owner.
Terms Of Business
Your letting agreement will run from the date of signing through to 31 December annually. We ask owners to give us notice by 31 May annually if the contract is not to be renewed for the following calendar year, otherwise the contract will be treated as continuing.
An owner is permitted to book the property for their own use for up to four weeks in a contract year. There are restrictions of two weeks for owner bookings between 1 June and 1 September as these are peak letting periods. In principle there is flexibility for an owner to have more access, subject to the time of year and notice given.
Payments Of Rental Income
Rental income, net of commission, is payable to owners on the 10th day after the end of the month of occupation and is payable by BACS direct into your designated bank account. Accordingly holidays commencing in May will be paid on 10 June. Where properties are managed by Jean Bartlett Cottage Holidays there may be deductions for expenses incurred by us; these items will be debited at the invoice value.