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short term tourist accommodation

A review into the effect of short-term holiday lets will seek to improve the holiday letting market for those living in popular tourism destinations.short term tourist accommodation

Call for evidence aims to understand impact of increase in short-term holiday lets in England

An open call for evidence aims to understand impact of increase in short-term holiday lets in England following the rise in use of rental booking websites and apps. The review will look at the market and the opportunities and challenges presented for consumers and tourism communities.

The scheme, proposed in a new government review looking at the impact of increases in short-term and holiday lets in England, could involve physical checks of premises to ensure regulations in areas including health and safety, noise and anti-social behaviour are obeyed.

Government is considering including a registration ‘kitemark’ scheme

Further measures the Government is considering including a registration ‘kitemark’ scheme with spot checks for compliance with rules on issues such as gas safety, a self-certification scheme for hosts to register with before they can operate, and better information or a single source of guidance setting out the legal requirements for providers.

Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston said:

“We’ve seen huge growth in the range of holiday accommodation available over the last few years.

We want to reap the benefits of the boom in short-term holiday lets while protecting community interests and making sure England has high-quality tourist accommodation.

While no decisions have been taken, this review will help us work out the options to look at so we can protect our much-loved communities and thriving holiday industry.”

Housing Minister, Rt. Hon Stuart Andrew, said:

“Holiday let sites like Airbnb have helped boost tourism across the country, but we need to make sure this doesn’t drive residents out of their communities.

We are already taking action to tackle the issue of second and empty homes in some areas by empowering councils to charge up to double the rate of council tax.

This review will give us a better understanding of how short term lets are affecting housing supply locally to make sure the tourism sector works for both residents and visitors alike.”

The Government understands there can be an impact on housing supply and price in these areas and there are fears caused by evidence of a rise in anti-social behaviour including noise, waste and drunken behaviour in local communities. Lower protections for guests caused by negligence of health and safety regulations are also amidst concerns.

What’s happening in the devolved administrations?

The devolved administrations have taken steps in this area.

Scotland – The Scottish government set out legislation requiring all local authorities in the country to establish a licensing scheme by October 2022.

Northern Ireland – In NI tourist accommodation cannot be provided without a valid certificate issued by the national tourist board.

Wales has publicly stated its ambition to establish a statutory registration or licensing scheme.

What is the trend in Europe?

And in other countries, anyone wishing to advertise and provide guest accommodation in Portugal must register electronically before doing so, Greece requires anyone renting out their home to paying guests to register, and, in parts of Ireland designated ‘Rent Pressure Zones’, hosts are only allowed to short-term let their primary residence after having registered.

The commitment to consult on tourist accommodation was first made in the government’s Tourism Recovery Plan published in June 2021.

Who is the government interested in hearing from?

Although this call for evidence is open to everyone, the government is particularly interested in hearing from

  • hosts operating in the short-term and holiday letting market
  • guest accommodation businesses, including digital peer-to-peer platforms that market letting opportunities, short-term and holiday let service companies and those operating other guest accommodation business models
  • enforcement agencies, including the Fire and Rescue Service, the police and local authorities
  • representative bodies, organisations, and groups, including destination management organisations

The call for evidence will run for 12 weeks.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to holiday let and cottage complex owners across the UK. If you need an insurance quote for your holiday let call us on 01237 429444.

second home

Genuine small holiday letting businesses in England to be protected by closure of second home tax loophole

second homeOwners of second homes in England who abuse a tax loophole by claiming their often-empty properties are holiday lets will be forced to pay under tough new measures.

The new rules, to be introduced in April 2023, were announced today in a statement from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Michael Gove MP.

In summary:

  • Homeowners who leave properties empty while pretending to let them to holidaymakers will be targeted
  • Under the new rules, holiday lets must be rented out for a minimum of 70 days a year to qualify for business rates, which often brings financial advantages
  • Changes to tax rules will protect genuine holiday lets and benefit popular holiday destinations, including Devon, Cornwall and the Lake District

Owners of second homes who abuse a tax loophole by claiming their often-empty properties are holiday lets will be forced to pay under tough new measures announced by the government today (14 January 2022).

The changes will target people who take advantage of the system to avoid paying their fair share towards local services in popular destinations such as Cornwall, Devon, the Lake District, Suffolk, West Sussex and the Isles of Scilly.

How did the second homes tax loophole work?

Currently, owners of second homes in England can avoid paying council tax and access small business rates relief by simply declaring an intention to let the property out to holidaymakers. However, concerns have been raised that many never actually let their homes and leave them empty and are therefore unfairly benefiting from the tax break.

Following consultation, the government will now bring changes to the tax system, which will mean second homeowners must pay council tax if they are not genuine holiday lets.

What’s changing for owners of second homes who are registered for business rates?

From April 2023, second homeowners will have to prove holiday lets are being rented out for a minimum of 70 days a year to access small business rates relief, where they meet the criteria.

Holiday let owners will have to provide evidence such as the website or brochure used to advertise the property, letting details and receipts.

Properties will also have to be available to be rented out for 140 days a year to qualify for this relief.

Government backs small business including responsible short term lets

Secretary of State for Levelling Up Rt Hon Michael Gove says:

“The government backs small businesses, including responsible short-term letting, which attracts tourists and brings significant investment to local communities.

However, we will not stand by and allow people in privileged positions to abuse the system by unfairly claiming tax relief and leaving local people counting the cost.

The action we are taking will create a fairer system, ensuring that second homeowners are contributing their share to the local services they benefit from.”

Tourism industry welcomes clear distinction between second homes and genuine self-catering businesses

Kurt Jansen, Director of the Tourism Alliance says:

“Establishing these new operational thresholds for self-catering businesses is welcomed by the tourism industry as it makes a very important distinction between commercial self-catering businesses that provide revenue and employment for local communities, and holiday homes which lie vacant for most of the year.

It is recognition that tourism is the lifeblood of many small towns and villages, maintaining the viability of local shops, pubs and attractions.

The move will protect genuine small holiday letting businesses across the country and will support local economies by encouraging tourism and by ensuring second homeowners pay a fair contribution towards public services.

Around 65,000 holiday lets in England are liable for business rates of which around 97% have rateable values of up to £12,000. Currently there is no requirement for evidence to be produced that a property has actually been commercially let out.”

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 offer specialist holiday home insurance to holiday let and cottage complex owners across the UK. If you need an insurance quote for your holiday let call us on 01237 429444.

Covid-19 Holiday Let Cleaning Guidance

Covid-19 Holiday Let Cleaning GuidanceIn response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the hospitality and tourism industry have pulled together to produce protocols across all sectors, including specific Covid-19 Holiday Let Cleaning Guidance for self-catering properties. The Covid-19 Holiday Let Cleaning Guidance protocols were recently updated (July 2021) and will be kept under review.

Certification and Assessment Schemes

There are also assessment schemes that you can sign up to, including those offered by QIT, The AA and VisitEngland in partnership with the national tourist organisations:

Quality in Tourism (QIT) state that their Safe, Clean & Legal™ scheme assesses everything that a hospitality or accommodation operator needs to do to be compliant with regulation, committed to quality standards and of course safe and clean. Importantly the scheme has been updated to reflect additional standards and requirements for those providing accommodation in the post-COVID era.

There is a modest fee for the QIT scheme, this will get you access to their guidance and specimen documentation together with an inspection by an assessor.

To be eligible for the AA scheme, establishments signing up must meet the AA’s key criteria:

  • Supply evidence of a risk assessment document.
  • Provide clear evidence that relevant safety procedures and measures are in place.
  • Showing that staff training has occurred.

In addition, this free scheme requires completion of an online self-assessment and a sign up to the Covid Confident Charter, a code of conduct that will include a commitment to update procedures and measures as guidelines change, and to submitting to future audits as required.

The “We’re Good To Go” industry standard mark is a self-assessment scheme that has been designed by VisitEngland in partnership with the national tourist organisations Tourism Northern Ireland, VisitScotland and Visit Wales to provide a ‘ring of confidence’ for all sectors of the tourism industry, as well as reassurance to visitors that businesses have clear processes in place and are following industry and Government COVID-19 guidance on cleanliness and social distancing.  Please note that the We’re Good To Go Scheme has now closed.

High Standards in Holiday Letting  

We recognise responsible holiday let owners have high standards regarding the cleanliness and presentation of their letting properties. Similar applies to complying with legislation and regulations relevant to holiday letting. For example, reviewing fire risk assessments, ensuring electrics are safe, gas appliances and boilers are serviced and certified as gas safe, all form part of a rolling plan.

Duty of Care towards visitors and guests

You will also understand your duty of care towards all visitors to your property and ensure that it is as safe as you can reasonably make it. This includes taking reasonable steps to protect and maintain the property, prevent damage or injury and comply with laws, by-laws or regulations. Clearly in a post-Covid world the duty of care extends to taking reasonable precautions to minimise the risk of the virus being spread from one group of guests to another. Hence the importance of adopting relevant protocols such as those detailed in the Covid-19 Holiday Let Cleaning Guidance.

What do the self-catering Covid-19 cleaning guidelines cover?   

Bodies representing all aspects of the hospitality and tourism sectors, including those who represent self-catering, have devised specific sector guidance to support reopening following the lockdown.

This includes guidance on:

  • Risk assessments
  • Risks of Legionella
  • PPE and Cleaning Equipment
  • Cleaning Protocols
  • Cleaning Checklists

Who compiled the cleaning guidance?

The Government Department responsible for Tourism, DCMS produced headline guidelines. The overall guide was prepared by UKHospitality and the self-catering sector information was provided to them through a collaboration between:

  • PASC UK (Professional Association of Self-Catering UK)
  • ASSC (Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers)
  • WASCO (Welsh Association of Self-Catering Operators)
  • Tourism Alliance
  • Wales Tourism Alliance
  • Scottish Tourism Alliance
  • Premier Cottages

We understand these guidelines will also be used by Visit England and The AA

Where can I download the guidance?

The cleaning guidance is reassuringly robust and free to access via The Professional Association of Self-caterers (PASC), follow the link below:

Adopting, documenting and following these or similar cleaning protocols will help fulfil your duty of care towards your holiday let guests and visitors. Each holiday letting property is unique, your risk assessment will be too.

For for further guidance on controlling the virus visit: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Not a Boshers client yet? We offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. If you need an insurance quote for your holiday let call us on 01237 429444. If we are closed use the quote form and we’ll be in touch during the next business day.

 

reduce plastic

reduce plasticWe all know that we should be using less plastic in order to create less plastic waste; in the past 13 years the world has made more plastic than it did in the previous half-century (University of Cambridge) with 350 million tonnes created every 12 months, 8 million of which is making its way into our oceans and causing irrevocable damage to sea creatures and the habitats in which they live.

No matter if it’s taking our own bags at the supermarket, drinking from a reusable coffee cup or making our way down to a two-minute beach clean, we all need to do our bit as the cumulative impact of such small changes can be massive.

Here are five easy-to-do plastic-free changes you could make when cleaning your holiday letting property and reduce plastic waste.

Stop those plastic microfibres

Microfibres are tiny strands of plastic commonly found on clothes and bed linen that shed off synthetic fabrics like polyester, rayon and nylon. Scientists have discovered that they are one of the main causes of plastic waste pollution in the ocean.

The most common reason these fibres make their way into water streams and the ocean is of course, during the washing process.  Solutions such as the Guppyfriend can stop these fibres from leaving the washing machine, considerably reducing the amount of plastic leaving your holiday home with minimal effort.

Reduce the number of disposable wipes and cloths

In order to reduce the number of disposable items you use during the cleaning process, consider using washable cotton cloths and flannels.  You can even use old clothes such as t-shirts that would otherwise be thrown away!

This will ensure that you’re not chucking away a large amount of cleaning materials at the end of every changeover, while potentially saving a considerable amount of money.

Move to a natural loofah scrubber

Rather than spending hours and hard elbow grease scrubbing those pans with a scouring brush or wire wool, only to throw it straight into the bin once you’re done, consider using one of the growing number of biodegradable scrubbers on the market. Popping it in your compost is much more friendly for the environment!

Have you tried bicarbonate of soda?

Bicarbonate of soda is a powerful natural deodoriser and can be used to remove odours from fridges, carpets and upholstery throughout a holiday home.

For fridges, place a shallow bowl of bicarbonate of soda on the shelf and leave until the odour has been reduced or removed.  When it comes to your sofas and carpets, sprinkle on the affected area and leave for a few hours before returning with the hoover!

The great thing about bicarbonate of soda? You can buy it in a cardboard box, so no need for any plastic at all!

Vinegar for window cleaning?

Whilst we might be more familiar with vinegar on our indulgent fish and chips, it can actually perform a number of useful purposes around our home.  For example, white vinegar can be used for removing limescale from kettles – all you need to do is fill with a solution of one-part water to one-part white vinegar and leave overnight – return in the morning to find that the limescale can be remove easily. Just like bicarbonate of soda, it can also be purchased in glass bottles and is free from any plastic!

For more information on specialist insurance for your holiday home please give our experienced team a call on 01237 429444.

coronavirus hand hygiene

coronavirus hand hygiene In late January reports began to emerge of the presence of a potentially deadly virus in the city of Wuhan, China.  Since then the continued spread of Coronavirus (now clinically known as COVID 19) has shown no signs of abating, with more than 167,511 people across the world testing positive for the virus and the death toll rising to 6,606 (1000 16th March 2020).

To date (0900 on 16th March 2020) there have been just 1543 confirmed cases in the UK, so while it’s important not to panic, it’s vital to be vigilant to stop any potential spread of the virus in its tracks.

What is Coronavirus?

The World Health Organisation define Coronaviruses (CoV) as a family of viruses that can cause illness, ranging from the common cold to more severe conditions, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).  The COVID 19 strain detected in Wuhan is a newly found strain of this family of viruses, with the most commonly reported symptoms including a fever, cough and a shortness of breath.

Based on similar viruses, it’s predicted that these symptoms will appear within two to 14 days of exposure, which is why you may have seen on television and newspaper reports that individuals thought to have come into contact with the virus have been quarantined in the Wirral and Milton Keynes for a period of two weeks, in order to attempt to potentially prevent it spreading further.

What do you do if you’ve got guests visiting from Asia?

The UK Chief Medical Officers are advising anyone who has travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and is experiencing cough, fever or shortness of breath to stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.

If you have guests that are visiting from these areas, it’s important that they’re aware of this procedure and that they know the NHS 111 number to call during their stay.

Other measures you can take

No matter if a virus is airborne or spread by human touch, there are a number of simple and easy steps you in make in your holiday home:

  • Introduce a hand sanitiser

You’ll notice that as soon as there’s any form of viral outbreak, whether it’s in an office, hospital or anywhere people congregate, the first measure put in place is the introduction of hand sanitiser — there’s a very good reason for this! Viruses can live on surfaces for long periods of time (some for as long as a week!), meaning that if someone infected touches an item such as a coffee cup or glass, the next person to touch it can catch the virus, even if it’s sometime later.

  • Make sure you have sanitiser in the hallway / entrance to your property

The entrance to your holiday home is most commonly the place that people will be touching things (think door handles) with unwashed hands. Stopping bugs and germs at the front door is the best way to make sure they don’t travel throughout your cottage.  

  • Damp clean all radiators and air vents

The warm and humid air found inside radiator vents can provide viruses with the perfect place to survive and thrive. When you clean these, make sure you use a damp cloth or cleaning item rather than a duster, which can very quickly send the virus airborne within your holiday home.

  • Make sure your changeover is thorough

The majority of holiday homes have a thorough changeover regime, however this time of year when less guests are booked into your holiday home provides an opportunity to have a review and update that checklist. Any surface that goes uncleaned is an opportunity for colds and other viruses to lurk!

For more information and daily updates on Coronavirus please visit:

Guidance for environmental cleaning in non-healthcare facilities exposed to Coronavirus visit:

What about loss of income and liability insurance – am I covered?

We have compiled a list of FAQ’s regarding Boshers holiday home insurance cover and coronavirus which you can read here:

If you would like to discuss specialist holiday home insurance for your property, please give our experienced team a call on 01237 429444.

washing machine recall

washing machine recallWhilst many of us spent mid-December enjoying and revelling in the run up to Christmas, for Whirlpool and their customers, things were seemingly going from bad to worse.

Having already been heavily criticised for their response to a fire risk in their tumble dryers (of which they sold more than five million over an 11 year period), they announced that they were going to be recalling 500,000 of their washing machines (branded as Hotpoint or Indesit) following the discovery of a fault with the door locking system that can cause overheating and risk of fire.  The announcement left many customers facing a potentially lengthy period without a washing machine in their holiday homes.

What is the fault and is it dangerous?

Whirlpool have explained that “When the heating element in the washing machine is activated, in very rare cases a component in the door lock system can overheat, which, depending on product features, can pose a risk of fire.”

The issue is said to be found in 20% of Hotpoint and Indesit washing machines sold since 2014, which in the UK accounts for approximately 519,000 units.

In terms of danger, this fault has led to seventy-nine fires to date, although none had been significant enough to cause more than minor damage or cause any serious injuries.

What do you do if you’ve got a Hotpoint or Indesit washing machine?

If you own a washing machine that you have purchased from one of the two brands mentioned (Hotpoint and Indesit) since 2014, it’s worth checking online to see if your machine is a part of their product recall.  You can do this on the link below:

You will only need the model and serial number of your appliance – found inside the door or on the back – to see if it is one of those affected. There is also a free helpline, open every day, available on 0800 316 1442

If you find your appliance is affected, to eliminate any risk, it should be unplugged and not used until it is repaired in your home by a trained engineer.

When will you get your machine back?

If your washing machine is being recalled, you will be able to choose between two options:

  • A comparable replacement washing machine provided free-of-charge
  • A free-of-charge in-home repair of your appliance

The company have yet to be drawn on how quickly washing machines will be repaired or replaced if found to have a fault, meaning that customers could be potentially waiting for months.  They have suggested in the interim period that the machine could be continued to be used at far less risk if only used at a cold temperature of a 20c cycle, which means that the heating element wouldn’t be activated.

If the washing machine in your holiday home is affected by the recall note this in your fire risk assessment and record what action you are taking to rectify the problem. By doing so you will be demonstrating good practice and duty of care towards your guests.

For more information on specialist holiday home insurance for your cottage please give our experienced team a call on 01237 429 444 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

Smart Meters and Holiday Homes

Smart Meters and Holiday HomesWhat are Smart Meters and are there benefits of installing them in your holiday home? If there was a simple way for you to monitor, even reduce the gas and electricity bills in your  holiday home or cottages would you do it? The answer for most people would be yes, so when the current Government’s Smart Meter Scheme was announced as part of the Conservative’s election manifesto in 2017 it was an exciting initiative for many; the opportunity to not only potentially cut costs on gas and electricity bills but also become more efficient and reduce the impact we have on the environment as a part of the process.

However, two years on and not everything has quite gone to plan. Here’s our update on the roll out of  smart meters and whether or not it might be time for you to make the change in your holiday home…

What was the plan for the rollout of smart meters?

Despite energy firms warning that the technology wasn’t ready, they were initially told that every home should have smart meters installed by the end of 2020.  As we approach the end of 2019 that deadline has now been delayed by a further four years until the end of 2024 (by which time they are targeting installation in 85% of homes).  It is now anticipated that only 50% of homes will have their smart meters installed by the original deadline date amid souring costs and technological setbacks.

Why would you want a smart meter in your holiday home?

The general idea of a smart meter is that the more information you have at your fingertips, the better. The displays help you understand where energy is being spent and make appropriate savings or alterations to your lifestyle. This could be a particularly attractive concept for holiday homeowners, where they aren’t the person using the energy and often live a good distance from the property in question. The key benefits include:

  1. Seeing how much energy your holiday home is spending in near-real-time, via the display or an app.
  2. New automatic and regular meter readings can help to make your holiday home electricity bills more accurate compared to their estimated counterparts.
  3. New versions also enable simpler and easier tariff switching to keep bills lower, with new versions even allowing you to change supplier.

Whilst all of these benefits are geared toward reducing bills, Andrea Leadsom’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has however estimated that customers will not begin to make savings from smart meters until 2022 and they will gain only £36 a year by 2034.

Do you have to have a smart meter at home or in your holiday letting property?

Although customers can turn down the offer of smart meters, firms are faced with fines if they don’t promote them. These fines have brought about some concerns that energy users are being blackmailed into ensuring high levels of uptake. In turn this has led to potential issues such as companies offering more attractive tariffs to those with smart meters in order to ensure households get on board.

Is it time to install smart meters in holiday homes?

In principal, the potential of lowering bills and gaining a better understanding of when and where your energy is being used makes the idea of smart meters for holiday homes a good one. However, there have been a number of technical issues with some meters. Some homeowners have found that their device had stopped working after switching supplier. There have also been reports that display screens have broken within a short period of time.

It’s therefore vital that you do your research before making the move; has the meter your provider is offering had positive reviews from other users? Are the tariffs for smart meter users advantageous compared to your current rates? Are they offering to install the meter for free? If the answer to all of these is yes, then it may well be right time to install one.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Need an insurance quote for your holiday let? Give us a call on 01237 429444 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

quality assessments
quality assessments

‘Quality’; it’s something we all strive to achieve and love to enjoy.  In no other area is this truer than in the tourism sector; an abundance of choice combined with online reviews from sites such as TripAdvisor mean that the discerning guest has never been as well informed or full of expectation. 

So how do we communicate ‘quality’ in the face of such fierce competition? Where do people now place their trust in light of so many quality and awards logos?

We take a look at some of the quality assessment schemes for holiday lets and available to holiday homeowners aiming to highlight the efforts they put in to ensuring no stone or bed sheet is left unturned.

Quality in Tourism

Quality in Tourism are a well know independent business offering a wide range of assessment schemes, one of which gauges whether holiday accommodation is ‘Safe, Clean and Legal’. 

Whilst guests may expect the properties they stay in to be safe, the emergence of second room renters or the ‘sharing economy’ has meant that this isn’t always the case; it may surprise you to know that Airbnb’s own terms and conditions state that “Airbnb has no control over and does not guarantee the existence, quality, safety suitability or legality of any listing”. 

When you take into account there’s an estimated 100,000 Airbnb listings across the UK it’s never been more important to highlight that you are safe and meeting all legal legislation for your guests.

For more information please visit:

THE AA | Visit England | Visit Wales | Visit Scotland | Discover NI

All of the national tourism bodies across the UK now access holiday accommodation to the same criteria, providing potential guests with a perfect and easy to understand and compare the quality of properties they’re considering.  Each property is awarded with a rating from one to five stars, with the number of stars reflecting the facilities and overall quality of experience provided to guests.

Just like Quality in Tourism, Visit England offer a scheme that provides guests with confirmation that your property is safe, clean and legally compliant – you can find more information on this entry level scheme here:

You can also undertake their full self-catering assessment scheme which looks not only at your compliance and safety, but also your facilities, guest experience and a whole host of other factors. You can find more information on the self-catering scheme and information on how to apply here:

If your holiday cottage is in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, then you are able to apply and work through the similar assessment criteria via these links:

A trusted letting agent

Aside from the traditional quality assurance schemes, working with a trusted and experienced holiday letting agent in your area is another great way to communicate your quality self-catering accommodation.  More and more letting agents are beginning to conduct their own quality schemes and many are signing up to The Holiday Home Industry Code Of Practice, meaning they’ll only list your property once you meet all of their exacting standards. You’ll of course also benefit from their extra local knowledge and additional marketing reach too….

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Need an insurance quote for your holiday let? Give us a call on 01237 429444 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

prevent bed bugs
prevent bed bugs

In the UK it’s fair to say that the majority of us don’t really get along with bugs or insects, so it’s also reasonable to add that we’d definitely not feel too comfortable with the idea of thousands of them being in our bed!

Unfortunately, that prospect is becoming more and more likely with a rise in bed bugs now starting to take hold in most parts of the country.  Whilst their name and popular opinion may suggest you’ll only find these critters in your bed, they’re actually happy to live in any area of the home that you spend plenty of time in. 

The reason?

They like humans as our skin is more exposed than our pets, meaning an easy and quick meal!

If you’re therefore thinking about the environment a bed bug could and would thrive in you’d be looking for somewhere that has a lot of people spending a lot of time.  Aside from our own homes, holiday cottages provide the perfect breeding ground for the bed bug, so here’s how you can prevent bed bugs in your holiday let and stop these creatures calling your holiday home their own.

De-clutter to reduce nesting spots

Bed bugs thrive in small places, nooks and crannies, so ensur that there’s as little clutter as possible for them to live and breed.  If they do begin breeding the average female is able to lay as many as 500 eggs in a lifetime.

Hoover the mattress on a regular basis

We wash and change the linen, but one thing we might not do quite as often is hoover the mattress.  Be sure to get into any lips or seams that the mattress has – as we’ve mentioned above, these smaller areas can be the ideal breeding ground for a bed bug.

Use protective covers on your mattresses and divan base

You can stop bed bugs infecting your bed by encasing your mattress and divan bed base in a plastic protective cover.  While you may already have a protective cover on your holiday home mattresses, adding one to your divan bed base will eliminate any additional hiding places.

Reduce the average age of your mattresses

The longer the mattress is there, the longer it has to become a playground for bed bugs. Replacing mattresses can be an expensive business, but once bed bugs have gotten into your bed, it’s extremely difficult to tell how many are in there, figure out exactly where they are, and get them out.

Vacuum carpets and rugs

If we’re working on the basis that a bed bug loves a small space to hide in then rugs and carpets are a dream for any wanting to take up residence in your holiday home.  Make sure you’re hoovering these on at least a weekly or more regular basis.

Using essential oils to prevent bed bugs

We might not like bugs, but it turns out that bugs don’t like essential oils! There are a number of scents that can repel bed bugs which include cinnamon, lemongrass, clove, peppermint, lavender, thyme, tea tree, and eucalyptus.  Add 6-10 drops of pure essential oil to a small spray bottle filled with ¼ cup of water and spray it around your holiday home.  Adding a few drops to a washing cycle has also been proven to help.

Conclusion

Don’t wait until you have a problem; the most effective treatment of bed bugs is to prevent them from arriving and breeding in your holiday home, so always make sure you’re taking the right action to stop that from ever happening.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Need an insurance quote for your holiday let? Give us a call on 01237 429444 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

bed bugs

No matter if you’re at home or on holiday, your bedroom should be a safe haven. Somewhere you can relax and recuperate after a long day at the beach, with the kids or simply going about your daily tasks.  Imagine how comfortable you’d feel if you knew that as soon as you slipped between your sheets, ready to enjoy some well-deserved shut-eye, you’d be surrounded by thousands of bugs eager to bite!

Let us introduce you to the ever-growing problem of bed bugs!

What exactly are bed bugs?

We’ve all heard of them, but contrary to their name and popular opinion, you won’t just find these little critters in your bed! They are often found in areas that people spend prolonged periods of time.  The sofa, aeroplanes and hotels or holiday homes are all potential destinations for a bed bug. 

Whilst they’re innocuous in size, the squeamish part of the bed bug comes from its diet.  They’re able to feed on the blood of any warm-blooded animal but have a particular liking for humans as we’re not quite a furry as the cats and dogs you’ll find in 44% of British homes.

When it’s time for dinner they inject the skin with their saliva in order to keep the blood from clotting, before adding anaesthetic to prevent the host from feeling the bite and moving.  All very well planned out!

The growth in bed bugs and the problems it poses

Unfortunately, there has been a massive growth in global bed bug levels since 2006, due in part to the fact that a female bug is able to lay as many as 500 eggs in a lifetime, but also because of increases in air travel and tourism which have made it easier for them to reach far flung places with relative ease.

British Airways reported problems in 2017 when passengers on a long-haul flight became infested by the bugs, with cabin crew refusing to work on the aeroplane causing a number of cancellations at the time.

Another reason we’ve experienced such a peak in numbers is also due to the use of insecticides. Continued usage within our homes has meant that they’ve been increasingly resistant to chemical treatments and we have instead created a type of ‘super bed bug’, unaffected by many more things than the original.

The sectors most effected by bed bugs

It’s not surprising that holiday homes, hotels and other tourism accommodation providers are often bearing the brunt of an increase in the population of bed bugs.  A high turnover of people throughout the year combined with many hours spent in a property can lead to something of a perfect storm for an infestation.  The key to success in term of dealing with bed bugs is early identification or even better, preventative measures. 

You can find out more about what you can do to avoid bed bugs becoming a part of your holiday home here:

The holiday home insurance implications

Some individuals have made personal injury insurance claims as the result of bed bug bites, with package holiday providers Tui and Thomas Cook both seeing a rise in claims. Although bites are usually painless, they will often cause skin irritation and inflammation, as well as severe itching, and produce an allergic reaction in some unlucky victims or children. Compensation has also been sought for associated losses, such as the enjoyment of the holiday itself which can increase the level of any claim. The best policy here is to prevent the issue before it arises by undertaking as many preventative procedures within your maintenance and cleaning policies, particularly in a time when negative online reviews can spread as quickly as those bed bugs.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Need an insurance quote for your holiday let? Give us a call on 01237 429444 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.