Business

Thinking of letting your home to make some cash? Then give it some winter sparkle

Staycations have boomed this year, so if you're considering letting out your home soon, you might want to give it a winter makeover

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Vicky Shaw

RENTING out a property can be a good way to generate some regular extra income - particularly as UK-based staycations have boomed this year.

Whether you own a holiday let property, or you're considering renting out your own home occasionally, there may be some ways to boost your chances of attracting bookings throughout the year - not just in summer.

Bev Dumbleton, chief operating officer at Sykes Holiday Cottages (sykescottages.co.uk), has some tips for maximising bookings during the winter months - traditionally considered the low season.

She says: "Certain added extras tend to appeal to holidaymakers when it's colder - the key is to ensure the space is cosy. If it's something you can afford to do, it could be a worthwhile investment."

Sykes' data suggests hot tubs can help generate more earnings, while woodburning stoves and open fires also often attract guests over the colder months. But if it's not cost-effective to spend on such amenities, there are cheaper ways to make your property appeal to staycationers.

"For example, providing blankets, putting rugs down on wooden floors to add warmth, or even ensuring there are lots of games to pass the time on cold and rainy days," recommends Dumbleton.

Widening your target audience could also help - Dumbleton suggests highlighting scenic walking trails nearby, for example, or it may pay to market the property as a cosy couples' retreat, or somewhere friends can get together for a catch-up.

If your home is near Christmas markets, it could be a perfect base for people looking to buy festive gifts as part of their break. Make sure to show off the full range of activities available in your area - come rain or shine.

Allowing shorter bookings can also help in winter, as guests are often looking for a midweek or weekend break. Sykes' data suggests owners allowing shorter breaks could potentially boost their earnings by 30 per cent.

To secure top reviews - ultimately leading to more bookings - make sure you tackle any lingering DIY jobs, such as leaky taps, and ensure the heating is running smoothly.

If you're considering renting your home out for the first time, it's vital to speak to your insurer and your mortgage lender. You need to consider the tax implications and legal responsibilities of renting out a home.

More information to help you consider your responsibilities can be found at the UK Government-backed MoneyHelper website (moneyhelper.org.uk) as well as at Gov.uk and on estate and lettings agency body Propertymark's website (propertymark.co.uk).

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