This category is for articles relevant to owners of second homes and holiday cottages in the UK. It contains posts, articles and tips on many areas of managing second homes, including ownership, maintenance, taxation and insurance. Check out these posts, Dream of owning a second home?, buying a holiday let, benefits of holiday letting your second home.

Council Tax Bill second home

Council Tax Bill second home Plans to double council tax on holiday homes

October brings with it the political party conference season. A time when each party comes together in order to flesh out their major policies. Holiday homeowners reading some of the headlines which emerged from the Party Conferences recently, the reading may seem quite bleak.

The reason?  When shadow housing secretary John Healey took to the stage he announced that he was ready to place a brake on the growing difference between Britain’s housing ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ in order to tackle homelessness that “shames us all”.

The focus of much of his ire was the country’s second home owners. Those owning a holiday cottage or second residence potentially being targeted for an additional £560 million tax bill – a doubling of their council tax.

Whilst potentially alarming for cottage owners, a question to be asked here is whether or not you are currently paying council tax on your holiday home or instead pay business rates, and the pros and cons of each of these options.

Should you be paying business rates or council tax?

The answer on this question comes down to two elements; what you use your second home for and how many days you let it out for.

  1. When your second home is used purely for you and your family you should be paying council tax.
  2. If you have a second home and it’s available for short term lets by paying guests for more than 140 days of the year then it should be assessed for business rates and added to the business rates list.

There are currently only 47,307 holiday homes liable for business rates in England. This would suggest that many holiday homes are potentially paying council tax when they should instead be paying business rates. So is there any benefit to doing so if you’re currently paying council tax on a property you let out to guests for a large proportion of the year?

The potential advantages of business rates

Small Business Rate Relief provides 100% relief from business rates on properties with a rateable value of £12,000 or less. This is provided the business uses only one property. It is however worth bearing in mind that relief of this type may still be available under certain circumstances. Therefore it’s worth consulting with your local ratings department if you are unsure.

There is also a concern that some second home owners are registering for business rates to avoid paying council tax. Currently there is little in the way of monitoring to ensure that holiday homes qualify for small business rate relief. For this reason the The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has launched a consultation:

This article is only meant as a top line summary of these issues. Need more guidance on whether you should be paying business rates or council tax? We recommend that you seek a professional working in this area. You can also contact the Valuations Agency Office

Boshers are specialist providers of holiday home insurance. For information on how we can help protect your holiday let business ,call us on 01237 429444.

owning a holiday home

owning a holiday homeFor many, owning a holiday home on the coast is the dream. Albeit at a price, but just how much could that fantasy property cost us?  It will come as no surprise that there is often a hefty premium to be paid. Especially when it comes to proximity to the coast. Further still if that proximity extends to a view of it.

The latest research from Savills indicates that properties found within 100m of the British coast fetch a premium. On average, they’re 10.5% more expensive than those located further inland.

22% of second-home buyers plumped for purchases in the South West in 2016. Cornwall and Poole consistently proving popular locations, there are a number of other UK hotspots located across the British Isles. Is yours in the top 10?

St Andrews – Scotland

The most Northern of the property hotspots to be included in this list is St Andrews. It’s the home to a world famous golf course and the university at which Prince William spent his undergraduate years. Its proximity to the coast contributes to average property prices soaring to £294,000, a staggering 77% higher than the national average.

The Wirral – North West

Whilst not as traditionally well known for tourism, properties on the Wirral coast currently fetch an average of £280,000.  From this location you’ll be able to offer your guests and visitors easy access to local tourism hotspots. These include Anglesey, Snowdonia and the historic city of Chester.

The Welsh Coast

The popularity of a number of locations such as Conwy on the Welsh coast means that there’s more of a premium to be paid than that across the border in England.  Those buying a second home in the coastal areas of Wales can expect to pay a near 20% premium on average prices.

The South West

The West Country represents the most expensive stretch of coastline on the British Isles.  Wanting a pad in Sandbanks? You’ll be needing to fork out an average of £1.3m! Looking for a place in a well-known Cornish of Devonshire coastal hot spot? Expect to pay a premium of just shy of 17%.

London

The capital is perennially popular with overseas visitors, so if you’d like to give your guests the benefits of one of the busiest cities in the world and the tranquility of water how much might you need in your back pocket?

Flats between Teddington Lock and the Royal Docks average £595,000 when located within 100 metres of the water, a sizeable 19% more than if your property is located just 800 metres down the road.

The South and South East

One of the most expensive locations to buy a second home on this list; Southern cities such as Chichester not only provide your guests access to that crucial coastline, they also see their prices spiked by their proximity to London.  If you’d like the South East to be a home to your coastal cottage, then expect to pay more than £575,000.

The East

Perhaps you picture your dream second home in Suffolk? The average coastal property prices in the popular spots of Aldeburgh and Southwold are currently north of £370,000.

East Midlands

Once an incredibly popular seaside town, Skegness now boasts some of the most competitive prices when it comes to brining the coast to your doorstep.  With coastal averages of around £112,000, this area could be seen as something of a bargain when compared with other like-for-like areas.

Yorkshire

When you consider that this is one of the most popular areas of the UK for domestic travel, the average coastal prices of £203,000 won’t put too many would-be buyers off of making Yorkshire a second home.  If you’re wanting a slice of popular towns such as Whitby or Scarborough, you can however expect to pay more than a 20% coastal premium.

North East

Last but certainly not least, the North East has lower average property prices than other areas of the UK. However interestingly it has the highest premium for living on the coast. With those near the sea paying 25% more than the those further inland.

So after all of that, where will you be making your second home? You may be interested in our previous posts on buying and letting a holiday cottage:

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Require a quote for your holiday apartment, cottage or complex? Please give us a call on 01237 429444.

business rates

business ratesBusiness rates for self-catering accommodation are unfortunately on the rise. If you have more than 13 beds you could be facing the biggest increase. The new rates will come into effect on 1st April 2017. The business rates revaluation have been highlighted in a recent report commissioned by The South West Tourism Alliance. This informative report highlights those with a rateable value above £12,000 may be hit with bills of between 43% and 71% higher than in 2010.

This news is disappointment to those working within the self-catering accommodation industry. It comes at a time when the Government has acknowledged that rural and coastal businesses are under pressure and in need of greater support.

We take a look at what the business rates rises means for holiday homeowners.

Who is set to be hit the hardest by the rise in business rates?

The government has hit those with the largest turnover hardest, leaving larger complexes facing the biggest increases; a self-catering business with 10 cottages that sleep six people may see a 71% increase on the business rate costs.

These new rates neglect to take into consideration the running costs of these complexes, including greater staffing levels, maintenance expenses and of course, the fact the majority will already be over the compulsory VAT registration limit.

Tables provided by The South West Tourism Alliance indicate that more than 36,000 local accommodation providers will be effected, with the bulk of those offering 1 to 4 bed spaces, and potentially paying in excess of 30% more than they were in 2010.

The effect of business rates rises

By this point owners will have set their prices for 2017 and in some cases for 2018 too. As a result, there is likely to be little room to manoeuvre when it comes to passing these costs on.

Once the full impact of the rate increases has been felt, and taking into consideration the current rate of inflation, it’s almost inevitability that prices will need to rise. This is particularly disappointing at a time when the weak pound against the Euro has made the staycation an increasingly attractive economic option for domestic travel.

The new report also highlights the large impact that the rates will have on many communities. The South West in particular has many which are reliant on seasonal tourism. Any potential drop-off in occupancy as a result of higher costs will also hit associated trades and services.

There can be no better time for us to all come together in order to collectively promote cottage holidays. We have a great product, let’s make sure everyone knows about it.

You can read the full report here: SWTA – The Impact of Business Rates rises in the Self-catering Sector

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Require a quote for your holiday apartment, cottage or complex? Please give us a call on 01237 429444.

buying a holiday let

buying a holiday letIt’s the end of the high season for holiday home owners across the UK, and it’s also a great time to start thinking about becoming an owner if you aren’t already. The popularity of letting out holiday homes has only grown in recent years, and more and more people are starting to realise how rewarding buying a holiday let can be.

Buying a holiday let is a big decision to make, we understand that, so to help you along the way we’ve written a list of 5 great reasons you should get into letting a holiday home.

  1. There’s currently a huge boost in UK tourism

UK residents are increasingly choosing to stay on these shores for their holidays. With the recent economic turbulence, Brits are visiting areas around the UK (and spending their money) rather than hopping on a plane and heading abroad.  A recent survey by Great Britain Tourism found that visitor numbers increased by 12% in the first half of 2015, and the indication is that that number hasn’t been shrinking since.

As well as Brits, tourists from further afield have also been heading to the UK in their droves. The recent EU referendum led to a large drop in the pound, which meant that visiting Britain became a lot cheaper for international visitors, who in return spent more.

  1. It’s flexible

Let’s be realistic, everyone loves the idea of being their own boss. With a holiday home you could make that a reality! You can decide your working hours, control your calendar, and decide how you want to run things. Buying a holiday let can also be great if you’re retired but aren’t quite ready to give up working completely as those summer months are bound to keep you on your toes.

  1. It can be financially rewarding

On large properties, you can earn up to £30,000 a year. That’s a fantastic earner, particularly if the holiday let is a side project. As well as rental income, you can offset expenses including full mortgage interest against the rental income if you operate under the ‘furnished holiday letting’ rules. You can also get entrepreneurs’ relief, which cuts any potential capital gains tax take to 10%.  To qualify for furnished holiday letting tax reliefs your holiday home must be available for 210 days a year and actually let for a minimum of 105 days. You’ll find more information on tax considerations for those buying a holiday let below:

  1. Help your local tourism industry

Your holiday let won’t just benefit you, it’ll benefit your local area. Guests staying in your property won’t be sat inside all week, they’ll be out and about spending their money in local restaurants, shops, and attractions. In March this year, the industry saw a 23% increase in spending on last year – a fantastic boost for your local area and the great businesses that are based within it.

  1. You can use it too!

If you live in a different area to your holiday let, there’s no reason you can’t take advantage of it! Treat yourself to a long weekend in your home-from-home and give yourself the chance to enjoy what you’ve created for your guests. Just be wary of friends and family who want to ‘borrow’ it for a week in July!

Considering buying a holiday let? You may also find the following posts on letting a holiday home of interest:

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support you if you’re buying a holiday cottage to let, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

For further information on UK holiday home insurance visit the website page most relevant to you:

BREXIT UK HOLIDAY LETTING

BREXIT UK HOLIDAY LETTING

“Should I stay or should I go?”

The famous lyrics to a well-known Clash song may well be finally answered when Britain takes to the ballot box in the upcoming EU referendum on 23rd June. What’s been clear for all to see is that there’s two sides to every tale, and the potential impact an exit from the European Union would have on Britain’s holiday letting and tourism industry is no different.

So would Britain really be cut adrift and float off into the tourist wilderness if we decide to go ahead and BREXIT, or would we thrive as a stronger, single European Union?

The tourist industry as a whole relies on visitors; we need them to occupy our holiday letting properties, we need them to eat in our restaurants and we need them to enjoy everything our incredibly diverse nation has to offer.

A key question is therefore how many of our European cousins are currently descending upon Blighty for their pre-summer getaway? The latest statistics from Visit Britain suggest there were more visits to the UK from EU states in February than the rest of the world combined, with a year on year increase of 8%.

The broader picture is also healthy one in recent times; there were 19.66 million visits to the UK from the EU last year, up 3.18% from 2014 (Visit Britain Statistics). When they’re here they’re spending a staggering £8.2bn, also up in real terms by £62.7 million on the previous year.

But what is unclear is the impact that any exit would have on these people visiting our shores and enjoying our holiday homes.

The Liberal Democrat peer Lord Lee of Trafford is certainly someone who has strong views on the subject; he suggests we’re too reliant on EU workers and visitors to contemplate a split from the Union, a view that is substantiated and supported by a new report recently published by MPs.

Addressing fellow peers in the House of Lords he stated “with two-thirds of overseas visitors coming from the EU” and the sector being substantially supported by migrant seasonal workers, an exit would be an “absolute disaster and supreme folly”, with the risk being a departure from the current status quo would put at jeopardy ongoing levels of visitor migration.

As with most claims and counterclaims between the leave and stay campaigns these statements have been strongly rebuffed, with opposition saying that the UK tourism brand has grown large and strong enough to resist any seismic change in our relationship with Europe. Others have simply said that they don’t believe visitors will simply stop coming to Britain because our membership card is no longer there.

So should we stay or should we go?

We may get our answer on 23rd June, but either way the consequences are sure to reverberate throughout the holiday letting and tourism industry for many years to come.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support you if you’re buying a holiday cottage to let, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

buying a holiday cottage

buying a holiday cottageThe tourism industry is now worth more than £137 billion to the UK economy and with the latest Census figures showing that more than 1.6 million people in England now own a second home, could you be ready to join the queue of people buying a holiday cottage and welcoming guests through their doors?

We take a look at six areas to consider when buying a holiday cottage to let…

Location – an important consideration when buying a holiday cottage to let

If you’re deliberating over buying a holiday cottage to let, the likelihood is that it’s going to be away from your current place of residence. This comes with some added considerations; areas popular with tourism often carry with them a premium price, and also require a local knowledge to ensure you’re in the right place.

In some locations the difference a mile can make in potential rental value you can expect to gain, and the price you’ll have to pay can be massive.

Ensure you do your research; speak with a number of local agents, and also visit a range of properties in the locality to allow you a greater understanding of the market. You want to make sure what it is you’re buying is going to give you an adequate return.

Size matters

Who is going to want to stay in your property, and does the size therefore make it suitable?  If your holiday cottage is likely to be full of young families from spring to summer then it’s vital you have the space in which to accommodate them. You may also want to consider the space outside of your holiday home; does it have a large garden in which children can play? Or where romantic couples can watch the sun set?

Also bear in mind that the larger your holiday home is, the more maintenance and cleaning it will require. Who will be doing that for you? Are you factoring this into your on going running costs?

Local amenities

What is it that brings people to a certain location? Whilst getting the right sized property in the right spot will significantly increase your chances of bookings, it’s important to remember that guests will actually spend the majority of their time outside of your holiday home!

Tourist attractions, restaurants and pubs, walks and beaches; all these things will make great selling points when it comes to marketing your holiday cottage and it’s vital that as an industry we all work together in order to promote the destinations in which we live and work.

Taxes

The type of property you buy and where, will ultimately boil down to how much you have to spend, but there are a few extra costs you need to take into account.

Additional taxes apply to any second home, the biggest of which is Stamp Duty. Last November the Government announced a new 3% surcharge will apply to each stamp duty band on any additional properties costing more than £40,000. These changes come into effect from April.

So if you’re looking at buying a holiday home for £250,000 bear in mind you’ll need an extra 8% (£20,000) on top. Click here for full details about Stamp Duty changes.

Registering as a Furnished Holiday Letting (FHL) will also affect your income tax, so do your research into how to qualify. More information on how to qualify can be found here:

Legislation

Knowing UK holiday letting laws before you buy a holiday home is hugely important when it comes to understanding your rights and responsibilities.

From health and safety regulations to maintenance guidelines, ensure you you’re fully clued up before making that investment. Take a look at our health and safety guidance section for more information.

Specialist Holiday Letting Insurance

Once you’ve found your perfect property, you’ll need specialist holiday home insurance to protect you from incurring financial loss if your property suffers an insured peril.

Working with a specialist means they understand the risks you’re facing, and can provide you with the cover that you really need. Whether it’s Loss of Rent cover that ensures you don’t lose out should your holiday home become uninhabitable due to issues such as storm damage, or Accidental Damage making sure you don’t end up out of pocket if a guest damages your property, our team will speak with people just like you every day and will be able to help.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support you if you’re buying a holiday cottage to let, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

 

stamp duty tax increase second home purchasers

stamp duty tax increase for second home purchasersThis year’s autumn budgetary statement from George Osborne had many looking on intently, wondering just how far cuts would reach, and where extra revenue would be gained as the country continues to ‘balance the books’ and reduce the deficit. Those wishing to invest in an additional home may wish to consider speeding up their purchase before the proposed stamp duty tax increase for second home purchasers takes effect.

For those looking to purchase second homes or buy to let properties there was the announcement that a higher rate of tax duty would be introduced, meaning those buying a property for £500,000 could be stung with an additional £15,000 to pay to the tax man.

What are the proposed changes?

If you’re looking to buy an additional property, whether it be as a holiday home or as a residential buy to let, a 3% surcharge will be applied to each stamp duty band (for all properties costing more than £40,000), with the new measures coming into effect for homeowners in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from next April. Whilst yet to be confirmed, the Scottish Government have also indicated they’re likely to follow suit.

A few working examples:

If your purchase price is up to £125,000 you won’t currently be liable for any SDLT. From April 1, you will have to pay 3% on any second property over £40,000, a tax increase of £3,750.

At the higher end of the scale, you will pay 6% on a second holiday home between £500,000 and £1 million, equating to an additional £15,000 to tax (you would have previously paid £15,000 at 3%).

Here is the full table of tax rate increase:

Property valueStandard rate Additional home rate (April 2016)
Up to £125,0000%3%
£125 – £250,0002%5%
£250,000 – £925,0005%8%
£925,000 to £1.5m10%13%
Over £1.5m12%15%

Exchange and completion overlap

The increases in Stamp Duty mean that many looking to purchase will aim to complete before the April date of inception, and current indications are that the government are holding very firm on that date; even if you’ve exchanged before April 1, the sale must be completed before that date in order to be exempt from the new rate.

However, there will be a number of circumstances where completion is not physically possible, for example the purchase of new-build buy-to-let properties that have been bought off plan but are not going to be completed until after 1 April. To reflect this, there are indications that the new surcharge will not apply where a property exchanged prior to 25 November 2015.

Why the increase in stamp duty?

The Chancellor has proposed the stamp duty tax increase for second home purchasers in a bid to free up houses for first time buyers and families,

Where will your extra stamp duty be spent?

Almost £1 billion will be raised through the extra SDLT, some of which will be reinvested ‘in local communities in London and places like Cornwall which are being priced out of home ownership.’

Consultation

Whilst announced by George Osborne along with a raft of other potential legislative changes, these changes will be subject to a consultation period before final details are made available. The consultation on changes proposed for England and Wales can be read here, only runs until the 1st February 2016.

How will it affect the holiday home industry?

Experts are predicting the changes will impact areas that have high amounts of second holiday homes, such as Cornwall.

In the short term they expect a reduction in the number of buy-to-let sales, but project a recovery once the SDLT changes are embedded into the property market (and therefore incorporated and absorbed into sale prices).

If you are purchasing an additional home for letting either as a buy-to-let or holiday letting property Boshers are here to help you with your insurance needs. We offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK and can also arrange cover for residential landlords. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support you please give us a call on 01237 429444.

Please note that this article gives only an overview of the proposed stamp duty tax increase for second home purchasers. There is a consultation period further to which the details are likely to change. The proposed implementation date is April 1st 2016. We suggest you take advice from a qualified professional before making any decisions in this area.

Second Home suitable for holiday letting

Second Home suitable for holiday lettingIf you’re thinking about buying a holiday home, or already own a second home, there are plenty of benefits to opening your doors to visiting tourists. We take a look at a few of the benefits of holiday letting your second home that await those taking the plunge…

Gain a return by holiday letting your second home

Gaining a return on your investment will ultimately be a decisive factor for you so we’ll start with some good news; the demand for self-catering accommodation is on the rise and it has been for several years!

Latest figures from Visit England indicate the average occupancy level for self-catering accommodation is around 31%, representing an increase of four percentage points over the last year.

Want the even better news? That figure increases to 42% during the peak summer period, when you’ll be able to charge a premium on your weekly rental (sometimes in excess of five times winter rental rates).

Enjoy potential tax benefits of holiday letting

A key benefit when it comes to holiday homes, as oppose to renting out other types of property, is that if you let out a furnished holiday home in the UK, your rental income can be treated more advantageously for tax purposes than from other rental income.

These benefits can include tax advantaged pension savings, 100% Capital Allowances on the first £250,000 of capital expenditure incurred, and Capital Gains Tax reliefs should you come to sell your holiday home in the future.

For a more in-depth take on the tax benefits of owning a holiday home please take a look at our Furnished Holiday Letting blog post here:

How to qualify under the Furnished Holiday Lettings Tax Rules

The married couples or civil partners team

Many holiday homes in the UK are purchased and owned jointly by married couples or civil partners. If you’re looking to buy with your spouse or civil partner then profits from furnished holiday lettings can be allocated in any proportion you wish, irrespective of your actual shares in the ownership of the property.

Help the local economy

Holiday homes play a vital role in supporting the local community through visitor expenditure and job creation (particularly during peak season).  When visitors stay in your property they’ll inevitably spend the majority of their money within a ten-mile radius, allowing for local shops, pubs, restaurants and service providers to thrive.

Remember you can have a holiday too!

If you’ve bought the perfect property one thing you’ll also want to do is enjoy it! Letting your property out as a furnished holiday let means that you’ll also be able to visit and stay in your own property from time to time, allowing you to have a break in your very own holiday home. Holiday letting your second home to guests will give you the added benefit of the property having a lived in feeling when you arrive for your own holidays by helping to avoid long periods when the property is unoccupied. Indeed it’s a good idea to experience holidays in your second home as your guests would, viewing it from their perspective will help you decide on improvements that’ll make your property even more desirable.

Won’t it be a lot of work?

Owning a holiday home needn’t be a stressful experience. There are a large number of holiday letting agents and property management companies who’ll be able to look after the entire needs of your property, from housekeeping and maintenance, taking payments and dealing with potential disputes, to marketing your holiday home and generating bookings.

Their ability to generate bookings for your property can be particularly vital if the property has not previously been let as a holiday home. You’ll be able to benefit from their database of customers and gain a quicker return on your investment. A quality holiday letting agent will also give you guidance on the legislation that you’ll need to abide by when holiday letting your second home. For more information on how a holiday letting agent can help you please have a read of our blog post here:

Ten benefits of using a Holiday Home Letting Agent

What about home insurance for holiday letting?

Owning a holiday home comes with its own unique set of insurance requirements, which will be different to your own home.  At Boshers we specialise in offering insurance to holiday homeowners and have been doing so for 25 years.

We speak to holiday homeowners every day; we get the industry and we know how best to support them. How do we do that? By identifying the things that you may not have thought of and understanding the insurance you need.

If you have any questions about insuring your property please speak to a member of our team – they each have an average of more than 20 years experience in dealing with holiday homes!

As holiday home insurance specialists we understand the needs of holiday letting owners and our policy includes valuable property owners liability cover for letting your second home to paying guests. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444. 

Many people dream of owning a second home in the countryside or by the sea. But are these holiday retreats causing more harm than good?

Countryfile second homes featureIn Sunday’s episode of Countryfile, presenter Charlotte Smith explored the impact of second homes on rural and coastal communities. The reporting was well researched and balanced in our opinion. Have a look for yourself on BBC iPlayer here, the coverage starts at 8 minutes 10 seconds into the programme. This link is only available until September 28th 2014, further to which we have summarised some of the areas covered below.

The impact of second homes

An Englishman’s home is his castle, or so the saying goes and for some, investing in a second home gives you the best of both worlds. Whether a house in the country or a bolthole by the sea, the appeal can be better quality of life, a second income or both. For that reason it’s an idea that many Britons have bought into; 1.5 million people now own a second home in the UK with the number one choice of location, you guessed it, Cornwall with its stunning coastline and picture postcard fishing villages.

In some of the most sort after areas two in five properties are now holiday homes.

While their owners have clearly fallen in love with Cornwall the feeling of the local residents is not always mutual.

Do second homes play a vital role in supporting the local economy?

This episode of Countryfile considers two points of view:

The first takes into account the views of a local family, who cannot see their way back onto the housing market as second homeowners send valuations  skyward.

The second focuses on a Padstow based fisherman, who sees strong demand for his catch and directly attributes this success to local restaurants increasingly filled by the owners of holiday homes and their guests.

This isn’t just about Cornwall either; from Yorkshire to the South Coast, and the Cotswold’s to the Western Isles, there are serious concerns about second homes, despite playing a vital role for some businesses and the local economy.

Communities need tourism to survive.

In Cornwall alone it’s an industry worth £1.8 billion. Expand that across the UK and tourism brings in well over £100 billion a year.

Despite the obvious benefits to businesses, many feel the advantages of second homes are simply not worth the sacrifices they create. Some believe second homes cast a shadow over some of the most beautiful areas of the UK. Demand raises house prices and many who live and work in these areas can no longer afford to stay. On the flip side of the coin others will say that without the money second homes bring them, local economies wouldn’t survive.

Holiday homes employ an army of people, plumbers, housekeepers, gardeners, decorators, holiday letting agents, all these people rely on the work that second homes bring their way!

As an insurance intermediary based in beautiful North Devon, we have driven the growth of our own business by meeting the insurance needs of second home owners who holiday let their rural and coastal properties to paying guests. Whilst we developed our holiday home insurance offering in Devon and Cornwall we now service the holiday home insurance needs of owners who both live and own second homes across the whole of the UK.

A typical second home for which we provide insurance will be let to paying guest for in excess of 30 weeks of the year and also used by their owners for 4 to 6 weeks, sometimes more. No one, least ourselves like to see rural and coastal homes empty for long periods of time, if you own a second home that is not already holiday let, speak to your local holiday letting agent to see if your property is suitable.

For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business or if you recommendations of holiday letting agents in your area, please give us a call on 01237 429444.