Holiday Home Insurance
Insurance for holiday cottages is a specialised business, and we recommend using a company who is fully conversant with your particular needs such as Boshers Insurance or Intasure Insurance.
Please mention our name should you contact either company.
Tax Rules for Holiday Homes
The tax law surrounding Furnished Holiday Lettings (FHLs) can be confusing, but HMRC have issued some recent tax guidelines for FHLs. If you are looking for a local accountant with a Tourism Division and the the skills and knowledge to guide you through the ins and outs of owning a holiday cottage then go to Larking Gowen.
The key pieces of legislation for owners of self-catering accommodation are the Occupier’s Liability Acts 1957 and 1984 which say that the person who controls the premises (‘the occupier’) is liable for the physical safety of everyone who comes onto the premises. Occupiers have what is known as a ‘duty of care’ to guests and visitors, and must make sure that the premises are reasonably safe for the purpose for which guests were invited to use them.
Under this particular legislation you cannot be prosecuted and fined, sent to jail or receive a criminal record, but you can be sued for compensation.
Again, the detail associated with Health & Safety Requirements is extensive and covers not only the obvious hazards but also the fixtures, fittings and equipment in your property. The legislation checklist clarifies what is needed.
Fire Risk Assessment
If you have paying guests on your property, it is a legal requirement that you carry out a fire risk assessment. The government gives guidelines on Fire Risk Assessments for Holiday Homes. Here is a suggested format.
The law does not require any particular measures to be in place, but you must show that you have adequately managed the overall risk.
You are now legally required to have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms fitted within your holiday home. These should be installed in rooms in which there are gas boilers, fires or any fuel burning appliance or open fire.
Your gas boiler and any other gas appliances must, by law, be serviced and have a gas safety check carried out by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer every year.
You have a legal obligation to ensure that any electrical appliance in your holiday home with the potential to cause injury is kept in a safe condition for your visitors to use. You or someone appointed by you, should conduct regular visual checks of your appliances.
Whilst there is no legal requirement for you to undertake Portable Appliance Testing (PAT), it is good practice and will help to demonstrate a general duty of care if these checks are carried out in conjunction with regular visual checks.
Quality Assurance Accreditations
Accreditations exist to clarify the standard of accommodation which the guest can expect, and the subsequent tariffs which can be charged. Click Quality Assurance Accreditations for more information.
And if you need further information on any of aspect of managing your holiday home, please don’t hesitate to contact our experienced team on 01328 856853.