Holiday Lettings: Frequently Asked Questions

We address the most common questions holiday let owners have.




Renting out your property as a holiday let offers an excellent return on your investment in a region as attractive to holidaymakers as Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire.

However, if you’re new to the holiday lets market then you’ll have a range of questions about the process and what’s involved. We address the most common questions holiday let owners have.

Do I have to pay business rates on my holiday let?

Business rates may be applicable to your holiday let, depending on the specifics of your property. Generally, if your property is available for short-term letting for 140 days or more in a year, it will be classified as self-catering accommodation for business rates purposes. It’s advisable to contact your relevant local authority to determine the exact requirements and potential exemptions that may apply.

What type of insurance do I need for my holiday let?

Insuring your holiday let is crucial to protect your investment. Standard home insurance policies typically do not provide adequate coverage for holiday lets. You should choose specialist holiday let insurance that covers public liability, contents, and potential loss of income.

Can I holiday let on a residential mortgage?

Most residential mortgages have restrictions on using the property for commercial purposes, which often include holiday letting. That’s not to say it’s impossible, but you will need to talk with your mortgage lender and may need to switch to a specific holiday let mortgage or obtain consent to let from your lender.

Can I holiday let a leasehold property?

Some leases may restrict or prohibit letting the property as a holiday let, while others permit this, so check your lease agreement. It’s likely that you will need the permission of the freeholder before you proceed.

Are holiday lets exempt from council tax?

In England, holiday lets are generally not exempt from council tax. However, if your property is classified as a business for business rates purposes, you may be eligible for small business rate relief, which can exempt your council tax liability. Check with your local authority to understand the specific council tax requirements and potential exemptions that may apply.

When does a holiday let become a tenancy?

A holiday let differs from a residential tenancy in terms of its purpose and duration. A holiday let is typically a short-term accommodation option, rented out for holidays. If a guest stays for an extended period, typically more than three months, it may be considered a residential tenancy.

Do I need to register for VAT if I have a holiday let?

If your income from the holiday let exceeds the VAT threshold (fixed at £85,000 per year until 31 March 2024), you will need to register for VAT. This means you’ll have to charge VAT on your rental income and submit regular VAT returns. However, if your rental income is below the threshold, you can choose to register voluntarily, which may have financial benefits. It’s advisable to speak to a tax accountant about the best options concerning your situation.

Is an Energy Performance Certificate needed for holiday lets?

Yes, an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is mandatory for all holiday lets in the UK that are let for more than four months in a 12 month period. An EPC rates the energy efficiency of your property on a scale from A to G, with A being the most energy-efficient. It’s important to obtain a valid EPC before advertising your holiday let, as failure to comply with this requirement can result in penalties.

What are my health and safety responsibilities as a holiday let owner?

As a holiday let owner, you have a duty of care to provide a safe and secure environment for your guests. This includes complying with health and safety regulations, maintaining fire safety standards, and ensuring that gas and electrical systems are regularly inspected and certified. It’s crucial to conduct risk assessments, provide necessary safety equipment, and have clear procedures in place to handle emergencies. As your holiday let management service, we can help with this.

What’s the best way to market my holiday let and take bookings?

Successfully marketing your holiday let is essential to attract bookings and maximise your occupancy rates. It’s highly recommended that you use a professional holiday lettings agent as we have access to higher-profile online platforms as well as additional services such as professional photography to showcase your property. Furthermore, when you partner with us, you benefit from seamless booking management systems as well as exceptional marketing expertise.

How should I manage cleaning and housekeeping for my holiday let?

Maintaining a clean holiday let is crucial to guest satisfaction and the property will need thorough cleaning prior to each guest, along with housekeeping such as linen changes. It’s important to use a reliable cleaning and housekeeping service. When you choose David Burr to manage your holiday let, cleaning and housekeeping charges are included within our service and we take charge of professional cleaning and housekeeping, so you don’t have to worry.

How should I manage maintenance for my holiday let?

Similarly, maintenance for your holiday let is essential to keep guests safe and comfortable, and ensure the property is marketable. For ad hoc maintenance issues that arise, we offer 24/7 communication with guests and will organise prompt solutions. Additionally, our relationships with local contractors ensure that work can be completed swiftly and reliably for regular or one-off maintenance concerns.

How should I handle communication with my holiday let guests?

Maintaining clear and prompt communication with your guests is crucial for a smooth and enjoyable experience, before, during and after their stay. We provide guests with detailed instructions for check-in and check-out, as well as any important information about the property. We respond to inquiries and requests in a timely manner to address any concerns or questions they may have  and  offer 24/7 communications as your holiday letting agency.

How can I protect my holiday let against damage or loss?

Create an inventory of the property’s content and take photographs of the property’s condition. Our cleaning and housekeeping teams keep a close eye on the condition of the property and report anything that may require attention.


Let us answer your questions

At David Burr, we offer comprehensive holiday lettings management services to support property owners throughout the process. Our team of experts is here to provide guidance, marketing assistance, and seamless guest experiences to ensure an excellent return on your investment. Contact us with any questions you have and our experts will help.