How to set up a holiday let abroad


Owning a property abroad provides a number of opportunities which can have great financial benefits. You may simply be using your second abode as a holiday home for you and your family to visit when the British weather turns from bad to worse, but whilst the property sits empty, it is technically losing money, and you are missing out on a great way to get some extra income.

If you are yet to own a property aboard, but are confused about which area you should invest in, there are some thriving areas throughout the world, which could be the perfect investment location. Marbella is a particularly popular holiday home hot spot, and is seen as a sought-after destination.

“The demand for holiday properties in Marbella has never been greater. The appeal of escaping to the sun and benefitting from the superior lifestyle that Marbella can offer draws people of all nationalities to the area”, says Mike Braunholtz, Managing Director of Prestige Property Group.

He then went on to say; “Marbella is a unique area within both southern Spain and Europe itself, benefitting from a unique climate with approximately 330 days of sunshine every year. Marbella is situated within easy driving distance of both Malaga and Gibraltar airports, both of which are around a 45 minute journey by car.

“Marbella is situated in the heart of the Costa del Sol, a bustling town situated on the beach! While the surrounding areas of Marbella offer access to a variety of top class golf courses, varying towns and locations to explore.

“Therefore, home owners in the Marbella area have the fantastic potential to rent out their homes as an investment opportunity or to help cover annual costs accompanied with being a home owner in Marbella. Whether you are situated on the beach, in the heart of town or on the golf course, all properties can be attractive if marketed and priced accordingly.

“Arguably the best and easiest way to organise renting a property is to consult a reputable company to help. A holiday rental agent with an office close to the property for example. However, many home owners are using a variety of different marketing portals such as AirBnB and Owners Direct, for example, to achieve greater bookings.

“In Spain, holiday homes must now be licensed. Implementation of this new law only commenced in 2016, so many have slipped through the net. In order to best protect your own interests, make sure your property complies with local laws.”

By searching online, you can find your perfect Marbella property for sale, with it being a wise choice to invest in this area as the tourist industry is especially thriving.  

When setting up your property for letting purposes, there will be some extra costs which will need to be considered. These include:

·        Hiring a property management company, who will arrange bookings, cleaning, maintenance, etc.

·        Insurance, welcome packs and advertising costs.

·        Registration fees for any online rental portals. 

When setting up your property, you will need to sort out the relevant paperwork which will allow you to legally rent your property. Each country/region will have its own bureaucracy, so it will be best to do some research beforehand. We advise speaking to an independent legal professional to make sure the necessary paperwork is completed and sent off.

As we mentioned above, hiring a property management company can be a great help, especially if you are living in a different country. A management company will ensure that everything is clean and tidy for your guests, as well as quickly resolving any problems that may arise e.g. changing a lightbulb, replacing furnishings, calling a plumber.

To ensure bookings, the way you decorate your holiday home is an important factor. We suggest keeping things simple and modern, as this will appeal to a wider market. Any furniture you purchase will need to be durable. Also, don’t forget about extra towels, sheets and bedding, kitchen essentials, hair dryer and a safe. Rentals should also come with various entertainment amenities too, such as games, books, TV, DVDs and Wi-Fi. To increase the chances of repeat bookings, it is essential that these are of a good standard. 

Many countries make it a legal requirement for rental owners to have insurance, and standard home insurance isn’t enough. This won’t just protect your possessions, it will also provide security if one of your guests has an accident.

To give yourself some protection, it is advisable that you insist a deposit is paid, as this can protect you from breakages or a late cancelation.

There will be times when your property is empty, especially when a season has finished. Therefore, it is important to take some security precautions. By simply installing an alarm, ensuring windows and doors are locked and fitting a small safe, you can protect your property. If you hire management company, they will check on the property occasionally as well.

When looking to advertise your property for bookings, it is important that you make your property look as appealing as possible. Make sure the property description is clear and concise, as well as including lots of high-quality photos, which show the property in an honest way.

A great way to make your guest feel welcome is by putting together a simple welcome pack. Try to include a short welcome letter wishing your guests an enjoyable stay, bottle of wine, any local produce, leaflets of nearby attractions, and a list of useful numbers; yours, management company, taxi, etc.

There are many ways to ensure that your business is a success. However, before choosing your perfect holiday letting location, we advise that you explore the local area yourself, making sure that the property is near local amenities and is easily accessible. 

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