If you don’t already have a contract for your holiday rental property, now’s the time to get one. While the vast majority of bookings will go without a hitch, if a problem does occur it helps to have a contract in place that has been signed by both parties.
You’ll also project a more professional image by having one prepared and dispatched as soon as a booking is made.
All bookings should be accepted alongside a deposit. As part of the process, ensure two contracts get sent to the party lead. Both should be read and signed by the guest and returned to you along with their deposit. Once these have been received (either electronically or via hard copy in the post) don’t forget to also sign them and return one of the copies to your guest so you both have one to refer to if needed.
Of course before you get to this stage you need to know what your holiday let contract should include. Here are some essentials:
1. Contact details of you and your guest
Make sure your full name, address and contact number are included in the contract. You should also include the same details for your guest. If the booking is for more than one person, the lead person making the booking should provide details of everyone else in the party. It’s not necessary to have everyone’s full details, but names and ages are a good idea.
2. Property details
Note the length of stay and the start and end dates of the holiday. Also ensure you include the earliest checking in time and latest departure time. Any other requirements, such as information for picking up the keys and returning them at the end of the stay should also be clearly written down. For 100% clarity, make sure you add the property name as well (even if you only have the one to rent out).
Note how much should be paid as a deposit, the total amount payable and the balance outstanding. Make it clear when the final payment is due and say the booking will only be confirmed when the total fee for the holiday has been paid and received in full.
4. What to do if your guest needs to cancel
A full and clear cancellation policy should be included on the contract; this should include if it’s the guest who cancels, as well as if it’s you who instigates the cancellation.
5. Note all rules specific to the holiday rental property
These will vary according to the location and type of property. You may have a no pets and no smoking rule. If there are communal areas, make sure all the rules for these are adequately laid out.
This section should also state any additional costs e.g. the purchase of wood for a log burner etc, and any charges that will be taken for breakages or damages.
6. Covering all the bases
It’s also worth reminding your guests to arrange appropriate travel insurance. Furthermore you should add a statement absolving yourself of responsibility for any events or incidents that occur which are not in your control. It’s wise to hire a solicitor to review your contract and perhaps handle the wording, as this will ensure you are fully covered.
It makes good sense to spend some time creating your contract to cover yourself and your guests for all eventualities. Hopefully it won’t be necessary to use it too often, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.