Managing a farm holiday let: five tips for success
Farms and smallholdings are ideally suited to meet the needs of holiday-makers looking for fresh air, countryside and simple pleasures. Establishing a holiday let may be a very useful additional revenue source but it can be hard work.
Claire Longman, Technical Leader for Cornish Mutual, shares her top five considerations.
Going through a booking agent
If you choose to go through an agent, it is important to investigate what insurance cover they offer. You should then talk to your existing insurer to find out what additional cover you need.
Meeting the needs of your guests
Be clear about who the property is suitable for and then work to ensure those needs are met – getting expert advice if necessary. If you want to market your property to families, you will need to carefully consider its suitability for children. You may also need to make changes to ensure the property is accessible to people with particular needs.
Keeping up-to-date risk assessments
It is important to have a written risk assessment for your holiday let. The best way to approach this is to walk around the property, noting any potential risks, and identifying any steps to remove them. Stay up to date by conducting a minimum of yearly checks and get professional advice if you need it.
Keeping guests safe on the farm
If you want to offer guests farm visits, such as inviting them to watch milking time, you will need to ensure appropriate public liability cover is in place. Farms and smallholdings can be dangerous places so consider the potential for guests to roam around unsupervised.
Managing the property out of season
Over winter an empty house is more susceptible to damage caused by flooding, as a result of frozen pipes or blocked gutters, as well as theft or vandalism. As well as regularly checking the property, simple measures, such as lagging pipes, regularly servicing boilers and keeping the heating on low, can help prevent these issues.