Expat Rental Guide: Part Four
Now, you can have the best property and the best marketing strategy in the world but if you can’t manage bookings professionally, quickly and with due care and attention your enterprise won’t be successful!
Remember, the booking process starts with the enquiry so ensure you respond quickly to all enquiries.
Here are some simple guidelines to follow:
Be organised – If the majority of phone enquires will be made to your mobile ensure you have an organiser with you at all times so you can check dates and pencil in bookings, don’t just write them on scraps of paper or on the back of receipts! Make digital and hard copies of all bookings to avoid errors.
Be respectful – Your rental property is a business. You are offering a customer a level of service so always endeavour to treat people with the respect you would want to be treated with.
Be professional – Reply to enquiries promptly, accurately and professionally. Make sure booking forms, contracts and processes are clear, concise and legal!
Be clear – Ensure that your booking form has the prices for the agreed period, clearly states the dates of stay, the day the balance needs to be paid and includes all the relevant information concerning the payment, refunds, cancellation etc. The clearer you are from the beginning the less likely you are to encounter difficulties further down the line.
Whether you’re considering purchasing a buy-to-let holiday home abroad or turning your existing foreign property into a short or long term rental the first thing you MUST do is check out the Legal Stuff.
Remember, this guide can only offer advice. Before you make any decisions you should discuss your plans with a professional, qualified expert that knows the legalities and the market that you are looking to rent your property in.
There are a number of legal (and financial) considerations that you will need to be aware of.
Tax – You will have to pay tax on your rental income so be sure to check out what country your tax contributions are payable in and if you have options that are advantages to your own tax position. The UK has double tax arrangements with most countries but talk to a professional before doing anything that may be costly and prohibitive later on down the line.
Insurance – In addition to building and contents insurance look at liability insurance. This will cover you should a guest happen to injure themselves during their stay.
Security – Be sure to check whether your property meets all the security requirements of your insurance policies (e.g. alarms, locks, windows). Other things to consider include whether or not to provide a safe for your guests, how you plan to change the alarm code between guest visits, what the minimum vacant clause in your policy is and whether you are going to have someone look after the property on your behalf.
Community Rules – If your property is part of a complex or community there may be conditions dictating whether you are allowed to rent it for short term lets. Be sure to check this before taking any steps towards renting out your property. Your neighbours may have passed a specific community rule, or you might need a license to rent out the property. Remember that rules and regulations vary across regions and localities.
In the last part of our Rental Guide we will be offering you a few extra tips!