So, you have a holiday home that you let out to paying guests and at the present time, you can’t accept paying guests or stay in the home yourself. What can you do at this time?
I’ve been speaking to lots of people in the industry who market holiday homes for paying guests and it appears that housekeeping and maintenance are high on the agenda along with hot tubs and location.
For the foreseeable future when we are back to the ‘new normal’, it is likely that holiday homes in the UK will be extremely busy as with current restrictions it could be quite challenging going overseas for a well-earned rest. Having a holiday in the UK in a holiday home could be extra special at this time for those who need the confidence of self-isolation and social distancing.
At this time maintenance within the holiday home should be considered as contractors could easily work within government guidelines.
If you are carrying out structural changes or large projects then get in touch with your local authority to see if the works comply with current building regulations.
For servicing of equipment such as gas or electrics then this should be straight forward using your nominated contractor. At this time, paper trails of discussions with contractors are vital so that you are able to demonstrate that you have done everything possible to ensure that servicing of vital equipment has been kept up to date. Of course, it is also important that whenever a contractor completes any work then there should be a certificate or job sheet to back up the works completed.
Remember that you are offering sleeping accommodation and this is classed as high risk with your local authority and fire service and they expect maintenance and equipment servicing to be of a good standard within your business.
During the Coronavirus pandemic I think that cleaning and disinfection has been a focus for a lot of us and we are already thinking how we are going to ensure that our properties demonstrate that they are safe and clean.
At this time we are all waiting for the government guidelines to let us know the procedures to follow regarding any additional control measures to implement. Will the government state a time period within stays? This is being implemented by one holiday operator within Portugal of a 72 hour gap between using properties. This is for the safety of the housekeeping team and the next guests.
Some cleaning companies are recommending fogging as an option to provide a safe environment. If you are going to consider this, then ensure that you use a reputable company to provide this service and they are fully trained. Products used during the cleaning process have to compliment the fogging process for it to be effective.
At this time it will be a good opportunity to look at the services of the housekeeping team and ensure that they will be able to follow any future government guidance effectively. At this time it’s expected that the cleaning and disinfection process will take longer than prior to the pandemic.
If you take a look at our ‘preparation to open during lockdown’ post then you will see a detailed list of what to disinfect.
Recruiting a competent housekeeping team for cleaning your property is vital. It’s not something that you can overlook as your guests will always notice areas that have been missed and that’s when the complaints start.
Regarding providing a safe environment, we are reliant on the scientists informing us of what they know about this virus and the transmission. I believe that we can reduce the risk, but not completely eliminate the risk. I am sure that some guests will be bringing their own cleaning materials with them to focus on hand contact points as well. So, it’s best to let the guest know what you have done for cleaning and disinfection allowing them to make the choice of staying.
Membership of Holiday Homes Advice
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