What is a Holiday Let? | The Basics

In this article our experts delve into the concept of holiday lets, or to be more precise Furnished Holiday Lets (FHL), and holiday home management. We will address common questions, and distinguish different forms of short-term accommodation.

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Official definition

A furnished holiday let refers to a furnished property that is rented out to guests for short stays, usually ranging from a few days to a few weeks.

This is the official definition from the Housing Act 1988:

“A tenancy the purpose of which is to confer on the tenant the right to occupy the dwelling-house for a holiday.” Housing Act 1988 (legislation.gov.uk)

This type of accommodation is popular among tourists, business travellers, and anyone looking for a comfortable and convenient place to stay during their trip.

Unlike long-term rentals, holiday homes cater to travellers seeking temporary lodging for holidays or weekend getaways.

Whether it’s a cosy cottage by the beach, a stylish apartment in the heart of a city, or a charming countryside retreat, this type of accommodation offers a home away from home for individuals, families, and groups seeking temporary lodging during their travels.

What is a holiday let? | Property types

When buying a holiday let property, you will have a few options, Holiday lets encompass a wide range of properties, including:

  • Apartments and condos
  • Cottages and cabins
  • Villas and houses
  • Chalets and lodges

These properties come with amenities similar to those found in a home, such as bedrooms, living spaces, kitchens, and bathrooms.

Depending on the property and the owner’s offerings, additional amenities like Wi-Fi, hot tubs, gardens, and more might be available to enhance the guest experience. Get our holiday home inventory list here.

Is Airbnb the same as a holiday let?

Airbnb is a popular online platform that allows property owners to list their holiday lets for short-term rentals.

While Airbnb is a widely recognised name in the industry, it’s important to note that not all holiday homes are listed on Airbnb, and not all properties listed on Airbnb are holiday homes.

Airbnb is one of many platforms where property owners can market their properties to potential guests.

How does a holiday let work?

The process of owning a holiday home involves several key steps:

  1. Property Listing: The owner lists the property on various platforms, providing details about the property, its amenities, location, and availability.
  2. Guest Booking: Travelers browse through listings, select a property that suits their needs, and make a booking through the chosen platform.
  3. Check-In: The owner or property manager provides check-in instructions, and guests arrive at the property on the agreed-upon date.
  4. Guest Stay: Guests enjoy their stay, exploring the local area and making use of the property’s amenities.
  5. Check-Out: Guests follow the check-out procedures, leaving the property in the same condition they found it.
  6. Cleaning and Preparation: After check-out, the property is cleaned, prepared, and readied for the next set of guests.

The best holiday letting agents will do this for you and more to ensure you maximise your property’s revenue.

The difference between a furnished holiday let and a short term let

While the terms “holiday let” and “short-term let” are often used interchangeably, there are slight differences.

A holiday home is typically associated with leisure travellers seeking a holiday experience.

On the other hand, a short-term let can encompass a broader range of stays, including business trips, temporary relocations, and any stay that is not the typical long-term rental arrangement.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, in many areas, you need permission to operate a holiday property. Check local holiday home regulations, and homeowners’ association rules before listing your property.

Yes, you can stay in your own property, but keep in mind that your usage might affect potential rental income and business rates calculations.

Yes, many owners manage multiple properties. Effective organisation and potentially hiring property management services can help.

While unique properties can attract attention, any well-maintained property in a desirable location can be successful.

In Scotland, there is no specific minimum amount of time that a home must be rented out to be considered a holiday home.

Yes, you can operate a pet-friendly holiday home. In fact, we strongly recommend it if you can, over 30% of bookings we receive include a dog. It is important to establish clear rules and guidelines to ensure both pets and guests are comfortable.

A holiday rental property offers a unique opportunity to share your property while earning income. Whether you’re renting out your property through Airbnb or other platforms, it’s important to consider local regulations, deliver outstanding guest experiences, and maintain the property’s appeal to ensure a successful holiday home venture.

New to holiday home ownership?

Get our comprehensive holiday let investment guide