Cottage Rules and Regulations
These are not so daunting once you know a little more. Building regulations and planning for different use are two important areas. The approach towards both of these can vary depending on the area. However, it is worth asking your local planning department if uncertain. In the vast majority of cases they are only too pleased to advise you on these matters and tend not to quiz you on who you are or exactly where your planned holiday cottage is. See useful suppliers, national agencies & regional agencies
Health and safety aspects are covered in another information page but it is worth listing some of the factors you should consider:
Fire safety regulations see the health and safety page
Gas Safety Regulations and certification
Health and Safety procedures to ensure and to show that you have taken reasonable steps to attend to safety of guests
Electrical safety checks such as PAT testing of electrical items
That your electrical system conforms and has been approved by a qualified electrician
Double glazing is FENSA approved.. and other building regulations
Any woodburner recently installed has a Hetas certificate
Holiday Home Insurance including public liability
The law defining what constitutes a holiday let for the purposes of: setting costs against income, inheritance, distinction from other types of let such as Assured Short Term tenancy in the UK.
Planning rules. Excellent information can be found: Accommodation Know How
Business Rates and, where applicable, rate relief
Energy Performance Certificates (not always required for holiday lets)
Employment law as it applies to changeover staff
Safety and maintenance regulations for Swimming Pools and Hot tubs
The conditions necessary to claim on expenses related to the conduct of holiday letting
Hotel licence or other exemptions from paying for additional UK television licences.
VAT rules where applicable
Clarity about when a contract is made and what is in that contract. (It is sensible and helpful to have some explicit terms and conditions).
Clarity about what information you must ask guests to provide such as their address, contact information, the names and addresses of all the guests, clear identification of the party leader (or the responsible person) and so on. UK holiday lets cannot be made to any person who does not have a primary residence elsewhere for the duration of the let.
Your responsibilities towards suppliers including booking agents.
It should be noted that not all these are obligatory. Some may or may not apply. Others are sensible steps to take to ensure that should something happen, you have as the owner taken reasonable steps and made reasonable precautions. For instance, just because a guest is staying at your vacation rental, it is highly unlikely you will be held responsible if they decide to do something utterly stupid and then hurt themselves. The huge question is ‘what is stupid?’
Some Rules and Regulations can appear quite surprising
The Performing Rights Society (The PRS) in the UK considers any holiday let with over three bedrooms a public area and might consider larger holiday let owners should pay a music licence. The link to their page is here The basic guide for exemption for a performing licence fee:
Less than four bedrooms. Only one holiday let owned. The place is otherwise the domestic residence of the owners. No alcohol sales. Facilities for use only by guests. This exemption is also available owners who run one holiday let alone. It is likely that similar licences exist in other countries so this is worth checking.
This information is provided by way of contrast and to prompt further investigation before acting. As ever, seek relevant professional or competent people to check before taking any decisions. Where applicable, all contents of this website are copyright Country Holiday Lets Ltd. See useful suppliers, national agencies & regional agencies