Last Updated on July 13, 2016 by Mark Lavington
During the busy summer months, it’s common to have a small time frame for your holiday let changeovers between guests. With time at a premium it’s important for you to still check your holiday home to ensure it is safe, suitable for guests, and looking lovely.
Catching problems or faults early can prevent potential accidents and save you money in the long run. Here’re a few items you or your housekeeping should be checking during holiday let changeovers.
Checking around your cottage
Start with the outside of the property. Make sure that the pathways are clear and free of slip hazards such as algae or moss (particularly prevalent during rainy periods). It is also a good idea to check driveways and parking areas for the same issues. For tips on removing moss and algae check out our blog post on the subject:
During the winter months, there’s bound to be a collection of leaves and other bits clogging up your guttering. Ensure that they are cleared to avoid any blockages and overflowing water (this is often the main cause of water damage to cottages).
Have you updated your key safe combination?
Holiday cottages can often become targets for opportunistic thieves, particularly during the summer months when they know visitors will often be away from the property during the day. If you have a key safe, it is recommended that you change the code between guests. For further guidance on the use of key safes check out these blog posts:
Whilst you are changing the code, have a quick look and see if there is any damage; in the event that the key safe is compromised find other ways for you to provide your guests with keys while a replacement is sought.
Checks to be made inside your cottage
Inside the property there are many things you will need to check. Ensure that all furniture and furnishings are suitable for use and live up to customer expectations and standards.
Now is also a good time to see if there is any general maintenance that will need to be carried out. Keep an eye out for peeling wallpaper, walls that need repainting, or tired looking soft furnishings. Make a note of wobbly taps, dodgy door knobs, and tricky locks.
It is also vital that you test all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. These alarms are a legal requirement, and regular testing means you are keeping your guests safe.
Visual checks and Portable Alliance Testing (PAT) are important in ensuring that all your electrical appliances are fit for use. Whilst PAT is not a legal requirement, it is good practice and a prerequisite of many of the tourism accommodation quality assured schemes. Regular visual checks in between annual PAT tests are advisable, take a look at the leads and plugs on all electrical items. This includes lamps, kettles, TVs and everything else! Keep an eye out for breaks or cuts in wires and any other damage. Remove defective appliances and replace them as necessary.
Don’t forget to test and check your battery powered devices such as TV and DVD remotes.
How about that hot tub and garden furniture?
If you do have a hot tub for guests, then it’s important you have the relevant health and safety checks in place. You can find out more in our blog post here:
Garden furniture will obviously be popular during the summer so make sure it’s still sturdy and in fine condition. Once autumn and winter arrive ensure it’s stored away, and this also applies to periods of inclement weather.
Other bits and pieces
This is also a good time to make sure your property is clean and hygienic. Make sure that there isn’t any food left in the fridge from the previous guests, the bins are empty, and beds are clean and fresh.
Before you leave the property and the next group of guests enjoy your home, have a final check of external doors and windows. Any unsecured entrances are an invitation to thieves! Make a note of any wear and tear that could become a problem in the future.
Getting into the habit of carrying out these checks during your holiday let changeovers is not only necessary for safety, it shows a high level of care for your guests.
Keep a list
There is plenty to think about so if you’re unable to get to the property, make sure you ask your cleaner or whoever is responsible for the changeover process to complete a tick sheet of items so you’re able to maintain consistency and ensure every item on the list is checked.
Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.