A thing or two about holiday cottages

A thing or two about holiday cottages

It has been an act of faith to spend weeks and weeks collecting the information on this web site but feedback such as this is beginning to reveal its true worth:

“We are just converting our barn to a holiday let and this site has been the most useful I have found yet.

Although sounding a little dated and utopian, we still believe that in the long run it pays to be generous and open with information.  You will find as much if not more freely accessible without pay walls or information collecting systems for everyone to benefit from.  I spend about two to three hours each week collecting and adding to it. During this work strange oddities pop up from time to time.

Local oddities, rules and regulations

In France they have something called Tax de Sejour.  Although a small daily tax on holiday let operators based on the numbers staying and other complications such as if they are disabled etc: the strangeness for many foreigners is that it is paid to the local council.  The status and importance of local officials varies hugely from country to country.  In France, due respect to the local Mayor is absolutely essential where, in the UK, other attitudes may well apply.  This is an old link but it might be useful: jmlvillas.com

The UK has its share of oddities.  For instance, if a holiday lets sleeps six or more the need for payments to The Performing Rights Association can arise.  For decades, this was unnecessary and older people will remember those discarded valve (tube) radios steaming way in workshops and factories across the countries year in year out unencumbered by any tax or demands making the workplace a little more pleasant.

Some countries insist that holiday let operators must join approved government sponsored organizations and must adhere to some quite specific guidelines such as the supply of towels and linen.  Where, in some countries, the overwhelming practice is to supply these, in others regulations are needed so that you are never caught out.

In China, star rating systems vary.  The approved system will not let newly set up establishments acquire an official star rating so, for them, there is a form of temporary or unofficial ‘quasi star rating’ to tide them over until they qualify for the formal star ratings and benefit from any guarantees they may offer.  This compromise arrangement is not permitted in all Chinese cities and, generally, a quasi star rating usually one star higher than what would be an official star rating.  The Chinese sometimes use half stars to provide a more refined gradation so, you could find a 4 1/2 star hotel.  travelchinaguide.com

Some countries have Tourist Police.  The extent of their powers varies.  In Greece they may have lists of accommodation but they are often useful for serious complaints about, for instance, payment disputes with taxies, restaurants or hotel bills.. but self catering issues are not exempt.  The UK and many other countries do not offer this special service.

In some countries guests are expected to follow strict rules on waste disposal involving several boxes, sifting waste and putting it out for collection in relatively small time windows.  Other countries are much more relaxed about number of rules and attention to their strict adherence.   More can be found out about rules and regulations on this page: holidayletsforsale.com/advice-cottage-owners-info-pack/cottage-rules-and-regulations and they are scattered about the entire advice section:  holidayletsforsale.com/advice

Surprising the locals

There are many more apparently 0dd rules that guests need to be aware of but I hope this short list is sufficient to prompt the imagination to seek them out and be prepared.  What seems to be odd but easy to comply with when you know all about it in advance can turn into an irritating surprise if you are unaware and are caught out by failing to adhere to ways of doing things that the locals understand and appreciate unconsciously.

So, when you are going abroad or thinking about setting up a holiday let in a foreign country think: Tax de Sejour, Tourist Police, Quasi Star ratings, be prepared for surprises, even better, try to find them out before they find you out.   Being prepared this way can even produce that pleasant conceit of seeing something coming, to the extent that locals will be pleased to see you are not the usual sort of unprepared, slightly disrespectful visiting foreigner.  They will think you know a thing or two.