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Preparing your home for rentals

Here at HomeCareontheWeb we are property management and rental experts, with more than 15 years’ experience caring for our clients’ homes as if they were our own. Some clients simply like us to keep an eye on the property and deal with any issues that may arise while they’re away. However, the majority of our owners also want our help with generating income by renting out their property.

So, we wanted to share a few steps you need to take to prepare yourself and your home before you can start to rent it out and generate rental income.

  1. Decide whether to go short or long term

The first step in preparing your home for rentals is to decide what kind of rentals you want to do – short term holiday rentals, or long-term rentals. The long-term rental market is really booming and there is a definite shortage of supply, which is pushing prices up. However, this is most suitable for owners who don’t want to use their properties and are simply using it as an investment. Some contracts have breaks for the summer months to allow owners to holiday there themselves, but tenants usually want a 12 month contract. To find out more about long-term rentals download our free guide Home Owners Tips for Long-Term Rentals

If you want to use your property, but aren’t here often and can be flexible as to when you holiday, then short term rental is a good idea. Although there is a lot of competition in this field, properties rent well over the peak summer months, but tend to be empty outside the season, so you can use the property yourself. There is now regulation in this industry and you need to register your property, inform the police station when guests arrive and pay tax on your rental income, but this is still a good way to maximise the investment in your property.

Download our Secrets of Successful Rentals Guide to learn more about renting out your property.

Once you’ve decided how you want to rent your property then you need to prepare your property for when guests arrive.

  1. Make sure guests are informed

Create an information pack which helps guests to enjoy their stay to the full. This includes contact information for you or your property management company, instructions on how to operate things like the air conditioning, washing machine and dishwasher and any rules and regulations you would like guests to abide by. This information pack should also contain information about the local area, so your tenants feel right at home and know everything they need to so that living in your property offers the best possible experience.

  1. Protect your valuables

Guests will look after your property to the best of their ability, but it’s best not to leave important things at risk. Pack away any items of value (sentimental or financial) and any delicate items you wouldn’t want broken and store them in a safe place. Many landlords buy new but easily replaced packs of cups, plates and glasses from Ikea so there’s no sentimental value and if things get broken it really doesn’t matter.

It’s also a good idea to remove any highly personal items such as photographs and keepsakes and make your property neutral, as this will help guests feel right at home.

  1. Clean, clear out and tidy

Clear your cupboards and fridge and make sure you have all the essential items for a short term or long term tenant. Then deep clean everywhere and perform any small maintenance tasks you may have been putting off to make sure everything is perfect for your guests’ arrival.

Organize cleaners who can handle the change over after guests leave and gardeners, if necessary, to keep your garden in good condition for guests and make sure the property is secure. Appoint someone to keep hold of your keys so that cleaners, gardeners and maintenance people can get access. Then you are ready to welcome your first guests and start generating income.

If this all sounds like too much work, call in the experts!

HomeCareontheWeb can take care of all of this for you. Our experience and multi-skilled team makes this easy, and we have processes in place to remove the stress from you. We are able to find you rental clients, taking bookings, handle payments and deposits and organize all the people needed to keep your property in great condition for you and your tenants.

Please browse our website to find out more about our property management packages and our rental management services, or contact our helpful team to find out more.

Renting long-term to families

Renting long-term to families

The long-term rental market is booming here on the Costa del Sol, with demand outpacing supply. If you’re looking to rent out your property long-term, the family market is a very good one to target.

This is because they tend to stay for a predictable amount of time, as they are bound by school years, and if they are happy and comfortable, they can be tenants for the whole of their kids’ school careers. Although it’s true that having kids around can cause some wear and tear on the property in terms of marks on the walls and furniture, our experience is that because they want a nice home for their family, they tend to generally be careful with the property and often make improvements which will appeal to future family renters.

They also have an excellent network, so when they choose to leave, they often recommend the tenant after them if they are happy with the property and your treatment of them. This minimises the time your property is empty, and makes it easy for you to get your next rental, as the people already know and like the property.

Your property will particularly appeal to families if –

  1. You are near a good school
  2. The property has good public transport links
  3. The property has access to a secure pool
  4. The property has a garden
  5. The kitchen, living and dining space is generous and open plan

Steps you can take to attract family tenants

  1. Get and install a stairgate
  2. Make one of the bedrooms child friendly, by putting in bunkbeds or a desk
  3. If there is space which could be used as a playroom, illustrate this by putting in some toys and a play mat for example
  4. Brighten up the kitchen with a lick of paint or some new doors, as this is probably the biggest selling room in a family home

If you want to find out more about renting long-term, or would like advice on appealing to a particular market please contact us. We have a dedicated long-term rental website HomeRentalontheWeb, a lot of clients looking for long-term rentals and over a decade of experience managing long-term tenants. We can handle everything for you from inventory, to contracts, inspections and rent collection to ensure your tenants are happy and your property is being well looked after. Please contact us for more information.

Summer 2018 Property Owners’ Update

 

Summer 2018 Property Owners Update

The busiest part of the summer is upon us and according to the Minister of Tourism this year is on track to break records once again. Predictions are that Spain will receive over 30 million tourists between July and September. Many of these will be heading to Andalusia, which is the 4th most visited area in Spain for tourism (behind Catalonia, the Balearics and Canary Islands). Malaga Airport has already welcomed 1,930,866 people in June alone, a 1.2% increase on last year’s figure.  We hope that you are noticing an increase on last year’s rentals to reflect this rise and also the growing popularity in holiday rental properties.

If you are renting out your property, there are some changes in laws which can impact on your renters that we wanted to share with you.

First and foremost is the anti-social behaviour rules, which are now in place in Marbella. It is not permitted to walk around the town without shirts on, drink in the streets, or act in an anti-social manner. Tourists who are breaking these rules will first be warned, but then can be fined up to 750€ if they do not comply. Find out more

There have been weather warnings for a heatwave during August with temperatures climbing over 40°C in many places. It looks like the Costa del Sol will be protected from the highest temperatures, but please bear this in mind and make sure that your air conditioning and/or fans are working and you have clear instructions for use for tenants so they can be comfortable during their stay.

Recently there have been some large forest fires and the fire fighter’s representatives have released a map which shows that the Costa del Sol is at high risk of forest fires. It is important that tourists understand that they need to take great care with barbeques and fires during this time and that there are fines of 200€ for throwing cigarette butts out of car windows, as these can easily cause a fire.

Finally, if your tenants are hiring cars, they should be aware of the Spanish regulations on car seats for children. Children less than 135cm must be in seats which are suitable for their height and weight and may not ride in the front seat unless there are very special circumstances. Advise tenants that they need to request seats from the hire car company in advance, as they can be in short supply during the school holidays.

They should also be aware that drink drive limits are very strict here and that police often do spot checks on the main roundabouts during summer months, both in the evenings and first thing in the morning. The limits are 0.5mg of alcohol per ml of blood, this means in practice 2 small glasses of wine, or 2 small beers maximum for women and 3 each for men, so you need to take care.

For more information and advice on renting out your property browse our website and read our blog. Remember that if you need support with rentals management we are here to help you every step of the way with our comprehensive property management service.

Top tips from the Costa del Sol Property Management Specialists

 

HomeCareontheWeb has been dedicated to property management and rentals on the Costa del Sol since 2003 and our founders have owned property in Spain for more than two decades. The company was started from a need for support from the founders Tony and Gill Sidebottom for their Spanish property. Having evaluated all the options, they didn’t feel that anyone would really care for their property in the right way. So, rather than use someone they didn’t really trust, they decided to set up a company that would do things the right way and HomeCareontheWeb was born.

Coming from the position of owners and understanding their needs from the inside, has enabled Tony and Gill to set up a company that really cares and is prepared to deal with all the issues which can arise when an owner does not live in the property. Good property management requires a lot of people and so over the years they have built a large multi-skilled and multi-lingual team who are able to handle anything and everything that is thrown at them, without needing to worry the owner.

The first person to join the founders was a software developer, to build a bespoke system for the owners to be able to interact with the company whenever and wherever they wanted to. There is an owners’ area where they can check reports on their property, look at bookings, ask questions and make sure everything is under control. This is a key tool which ensures transparency and good communication and builds trust, leading to positive long term relationships with our owners.

We have responded to owners’ demand to rent out their properties by creating two sub brands – HolidayRentalontheWeb which is dedicated to short term rentals and HomeRentalontheWeb for long term rentals. These have their own website, which are the ideal marketing platforms for promoting rental properties. We have also set up partnerships with other companies such as Novasol Holiday Rentals, to increase the reach of our owners’ properties and bring more bookings.

Over 15 years, we have gained a huge amount of experience on how to care for properties and the peculiarities of how things work here on the Costa del Sol. Our team knows about all the regulations, how to present documentation and handle the utility companies and tenants. We can do this with ease after so many years, but remember how tricky it was that first time. This is why it is so nice to be able to take it off our owners’ plates and handle it all. Being able to deal with everything from cleaning and maintenance to rentals and issues such as break-ins, gives our customers total peace of mind and allows them to focus on their busy lives. Read our testimonials

As we’re generous folk, we like to share our hard won knowledge with property owners on the Costa del Sol and have produced a number of guides which you can download for free on our website. These contain our insider insight on long term and short term rentals and finding the right property management provider. We hope that these will help you to avoid making costly mistakes and allow you to plan for common issues when you start renting out your property.

You can download the guides by clicking on these links –

The secrets of successful holiday rentals on the Costa del Sol

How to rent your property long term on the Costa del Sol

Top Tips for finding the right property management company on the Costa del Sol

We also share lots of tips and information each month on our blog, which will help you get it right, when so many people get it wrong. This will put you ahead of your competition, get you more bookings and valuable repeat customers.  Read our property management articles

We hope these guides and articles will help you to make a success of renting out your Costa del Sol property. Remember, we are here to help if it seems too much!

Before you go, one final tip for you – don’t forget long term rentals! Most owners focus on holiday rentals and therefore there is a lot of competition for a relatively short season. However there is a growing demand and a lack of supply for long term rentals on the Costa del Sol at the moment. This means prices are going up and we can normally secure a tenant for our clients very quickly. We take care of inventory, checks and rent collection, plus handling any problem that tenants might be facing, so you don’t have to. Owners receive monthly payments and can have tenants for several years at a time, with very little stress. This is an excellent way to earn steady income from your property throughout the year.

Best of luck renting out your property, we hope you have an excellent summer and that your property is full over these key months. If you’re not getting the results you hoped for, please speak to us and see whether we can help you increase your occupancy and reduce the stress and strain.

Tips for successful property rentals

Tips for successful property rentals

As we prepare for the summer season, we wanted to offer you advice on how to make the most of your bookings and share some simple things that you can do to minimise costs and reduce stress when renting out your property. With over a decade of experience in renting out properties for our owners and taking care of them all year round, we’re the perfect people to give you the advice and support you need.

  1. Save on unnecessary extra laundry costs by having a locked cupboard or wardrobe in your property – We strongly advise that you have a lock fitted to one of your cupboards or wardrobes. This avoids having to pay for the laundering of your linen, towels and kitchen tea towels that have been used by holiday guests. As well as preventing the guests from using your linen, it enables you to store and use your linen for your own visits. If you don’t already have a locked cupboard or wardrobe in your property, please contact us and ask about how we can assist you with fitting a lock or installing a lockable storage container, and save yourself unnecessary laundering costs.
  2. Make sure you are declaring your income correctly with the newly updated form – If you earn rental income on a property in Spain it’s very important that you declare it correctly. Please note that the Online Form – Modelo 210 has changed slightly for 2018. Here is the link for the new form – https:/www2.agenciatributaria.gob.es/wlpl/OV17-M210/index.zul If you have any doubts on what to declare and how to do it, please check with our rentals team. We offer support and guidance to our owners on how to comply with the rules and ensure you’re not at risk of any fines or penalties.
  3. Try to increase your rental season – One of the key ways to increase the income you earn from your property is to try to increase your window for rentals, through effective marketing and making sure your property is well set up for off peak rentals. We are seeing people booking later into September and October and these extra months can make a big difference to your income. Christmas is another good time for bookings if your property is prepared and marketed correctly. Check out our tips for increasing off peak rentals
  4. Consider renting long term – Another way to make good year round income is by renting long term. There is a much higher demand and lower supply of quality long term rentals compared to holiday lets, so it’s easy to find a tenant. We have a specialist long term rental department and are actively looking for more properties, so please talk to us if you want to rent your property long term and read our blog for long term rental tips
  5. Don’t try and go it alone, trust the experts – Last but not least, the best way to remove the stress of renting your property is to trust the experts. We’ve been offering property management services and renting out properties for owners for over a decade. We have the skills, manpower and experience to take everything in our stride. However, if you’re trying to do it alone, then meeting guests, making sure everything is working, fixing problems and dealing with payments and deposits can be a real pain. By signing up with a property management and rentals package with HomeCareontheWeb you can relax knowing your property is in safe hands and you can simply sit back and enjoy the income.

For more great tips like this, download our Secrets of Successful Rentals guide or contact our property management and rentals experts.

Are you and your property ready for the winter?

Are you and your property ready for the winter?

The summer is over and although we are getting more off peak bookings this year than before, from October onwards the holiday rental market quietens right down and your property may be empty. If you will be locking up your property for the winter, make sure it is secure and ready for colder, wetter weather. If not, then you need to think how you can keep it full for the winter months, as well as during the summer.

This time of year is the perfect time for planning and preparations and here are three important questions you should ask yourself to make sure you’re ready for the winter season.

  1. Do I want to let my property sit empty?

This is obviously an important consideration, as an empty property isn’t generating any income, and can become damp. If the answer is no, then you have two viable options, one is to decide to come and use it more yourself over the winter months, or invite friends and family to use it for an off-peak holiday and the other is to look for a long-term rental. Demand is growing for long-term rental properties and supply is low, so this is an excellent option to generate income steadily throughout the year and never have your property empty. Of course you don’t earn as much per week with long-term rentals, but it is low stress, secure and over the year you could earn more because you don’t have months where you’re not earning. Here are five reasons to rent long term

  1. Could I get off-peak holiday rentals?

Not all properties are suitable for off-peak rentals, but if you have a cozy property with an open fire (or good heating) and a location which appeals to the winter tourists, then there is potential. For example, if you are on a golf course, then golfers are an excellent off peak target, or if you are close to some lovely hiking or mountain biking routes then this can also be a good draw. Talk to your property management company about how you can make your property appeal to these off-peak bookings and realistically how many rentals over the autumn and winter you can expect, so you can make a decision. We’ve put together some tips on attracting more off-peak bookings on our blog to help you prepare.

  1. Can I maintain my property over the winter or do I need some help?

Even though our winters here on the Costa del Sol are mild, they do take their toll on properties, as most were built for the summer and not for the colder months of the year. The properties were made to keep the heat out and this means they get very cold and often damp if they are not properly ventilated and heated. High winds and rain can also be a problem, causing damage and letting the water in and although this is no big deal if dealt with quickly it can cause big problems if you leave it for months. If you aren’t in Spain over the winter, we recommend having someone on the ground who can check your property regularly, air and heat it and keep any problems at bay. We’ve also put together 10 tips for maintaining your property in the winter to help you get prepared.

We are here to help with professional property management and maintenance services to support home owners whether the property is sat empty, or has rentals. If you want to rent out your property our long-term rental department can guide you through the process and make it easy for you, and our holiday rental team will work to get you as many bookings as possible throughout the year. Browse our website to find out what we can do, or request a quote.

Rental returns for Costa del Sol properties

Rental returns for Costa del Sol properties

Spain is a very popular destination for expats to buy investment properties, second homes, or as a place to retire, with 35% of buyers considering buying in Spain according to an article in The Telegraph. In the same report, it states that these properties can be an excellent source of income due its popularity as a holiday destination and growing interest in holiday rental properties.

The Costa del Sol, has a thriving rental market, with high rental yields for both long term and short term lets. As we reported in our last blog, long-term rentals can be an excellent choice for landlords, as a stable, secure and stress free way to generate income from your property.

A new study has shown that long-term rentals in coastal areas, particularly on the first or second line of the beach offer 5.67% rental yields – up from 5.37% in 2016 and well above the 4.3% national average. The main reason for this increase in prices is lack of supply, as property owners in these prime beachfront properties choose short-term holiday lets over long-term rentals, yet demand continues to increase. Read the full article

Property owners can get seduced by the higher per week revenue from a holiday rental, without looking at the annual yields. Typically, a property would rent short term in peak summer and Easter for the same for one week, as one month for a long term, but properties are often empty when renting out short term.

Occupancy depends on the quality of the property, the area and the marketing, but regular rentals are normally only seen in Easter and from June to the end of August, so even at full capacity over those months you would only be looking at 13 weeks of rentals. Of course, it is rare to be fully booked every week, so usually you would count on perhaps 10 weeks per year.

With long-term rentals, demand is high and people stay in a property for many years if they are happy and well looked after, marketing is easier and so the annual return is often higher and the costs of management are lower. Owners who are renting long-term also do not have to worry about the new holiday rental legislation, so it’s an easier process all round.

Long-term rentals is not for everyone, as if you want to use the property in the low season, then holiday rentals is a better option. However, if you have your property as an investment it is a very appealing option to consider.

Please contact us and we can evaluate your property and estimate the rental yields from short and long-term rentals and help you decide the best course of action for you. We have also created two free guides – Secrets of Successful Rentals and Home Owners Tips for Long Term Rentals which you can download and will help you to make up your mind.

As Costa del Sol Property Management experts, we also manage the property, market it and handle all the tenants and any issues they may have, so you can just relax, knowing it is in safe hands.

The effect of the Holiday Rental Law in Spain

costa del sol property management

It’s been a year since the holiday rental law came into force and after a period of uncertainty, the dust has settled and owners are getting on with the important job of renting out their properties for the vital summer season.

As we reported in April, the biggest recent change has been the requirement to register with your local police station and then register passport details of all guests over the age of 16 within 24 hours of their arrival. Other than that, once the property is registered you can just continue as usual.

There were concerns that owners wouldn’t want to register and would look to long term rentals instead, but figures released this spring show that an average of 33 properties in Malaga were being registered every day, with owners realising that this income stream was important and it was necessary to comply. There are around 11,000 registered holiday rental properties in the Malaga province and we’re seeing lots of demand from holiday makers for quality holiday rental accommodation in the best areas.

The holiday rental sector makes an important contribution to tourism, offering visitors a more flexible alternative to hotel accommodation and much needed availability for the record numbers of visitors expected to visit southern Spain once again this year. The tourism authorities estimate that if the registrations continue coming in, that there could be the same number of beds available in holiday rental accommodation than in hotels by the end of summer, and think long term it may even exceed it.  The demand for rentals and Spain’s competitively priced properties are leading to an increase in buy to let investment, with the Sunday Times recently promoting this as a good option.

All of this is great news for the holiday rental sector on the Costa del Sol, but if you are an owner, it means that you have more competition to deal with. Increased competition means you have to work harder to stand out and attract the bookings. There are a number of ways to do this; you can undercut your competition on price, improve your property’s décor or facilities to really impress, or focus on a particular sector, such as families and really make your property work perfectly for them.

Effective marketing is also vital to make sure your target market can find you when they are booking their holidays. There are two routes to these bookings, online direct bookings and also travel agents. We have both these routes covered thanks to high-ranking websites, social media and a partnership with Novasol – the largest holiday home rental company in Europe. Novasol give our owners a presence on their 11 individual language website and in 1.5 million catalogues which are delivered to over 15,000 travel agents. You will also be featured on our dedicated holiday rental website HolidayRentalontheWeb.

We are property management experts with over a decade of experience in helping owners attract holiday rental bookings and dealing with all the hassle of preparing the property, welcoming and looking after guests during their stay and handling payments. If you have a property on the Costa del Sol and want to earn rental income, contact us to find out how we can help you get bookings and delight your guests so they come back time and time again.

Get ready for the peak rental season

Get ready for the peak rental season

Are you prepared for the arrival of the crowds for Easter? This marks the start of the peak rental season and we’re expecting a great year, with plenty of early bookings coming in and predictions of another record tourist season. Is your property prepared to receive paying guests?

It’s vital to delight your guests, so they become repeat bookings and recommend you to their friends. A happy customer is your best calling card and can make you thousands in future bookings, so make sure your property doesn’t let you down.

As we mentioned last month, the winter rains have caused a lot of damage in some areas and even if you property wasn’t flooded, we would expect at least some damp in all properties which have been left empty over winter. Now is the time to deal with these problems, as properties take time to completely dry out and lose the tell-tale smell of damp which is so off-putting to holiday rental guests. Read our tips for dealing with flood damage or damp on our blog to know how to handle it and get the property opened up, heated and well ventilated in time for Easter.

Here are five ways to get ready for the rental season –

  1. Make sure your property is registered under the new holiday rental law and that you have registered at your local police station (link to the blog)
  2. Give your property a fresh coat of paint
  3. Check your furniture – Take a critical look at your sofas, chairs and tables and make sure they are in great condition. If sofas are looking a little tired, consider reupholstering, or using a nice throw or cushions to brighten it up. Replace any broken furniture, and consider how you can hide any damage and protect furniture, such as buying a nice tablecloth for the dining table. Make sure you check your outdoor furniture as well to make sure it’s in good condition, replacing cushions, or recovering them can give a lease of new life to your outdoor furniture.
  4. Deep clean – After a long, wet winter, you should get in there and do a very deep clean, air the property and heat it to make it clean, fresh and ready for your guests.
  5. Look at your marketing – The start of a new season is a good time to check how well your marketing is working for you and how many bookings you’re getting. Check your listings and photography and make sure they represent you well enough, see how many bookings are coming through a particular channel and look into other options if you don’t feel that you’re getting the visibility you should.

HomeCareontheWeb are Costa del Sol property management experts, with years of experience in rentals management and a large and well-oiled marketing machine behind us. We have a number of well ranking websites for short and long-term rentals, partnerships with rental giants such as Novasol and advertise online and offline to reach the maximum amount of holiday rental clients in the UK, Scandinavia, Germany and Northern Europe. Get in touch with us today if you need some help with getting more rental bookings in 2017.

Important update on the Holiday Rental Law in Andalucia

Important update on the Holiday Rental Law in Andalucia

We recently attended a seminar on the Holiday Rental Laws, where the police were also in attendance, to inform everyone of the new procedure that is now in force and wanted to give you an update following on from our introduction to Andalucia’s holiday rental laws.

All Holiday Rental properties that are registered with the Junta de Andalucia and have a registration number now have to register with the appropriate police station. (The correct station to register at depends on the area in which your property is located.) You then must register passport details of all guests over the age of 16 within 24 hours of their arrival.

Whilst we have always taken copies of the guests’ passports, we have not had to submit the information to the police. Now with the new law, once a property is registered with the Junta de Andalucia it also has to be registered with the police and passport details submitted.

The cost for us registering your property at the police station is 60€ + IVA (this includes providing copies of all the relevant documentation).

Please contact us to arrange the registration of your property with the relevant police station. If you would prefer to do the registration yourself, please also contact us as we can help.

Read our articles on the holiday rental law by clicking on the links below

How to comply with Andalucia’s new holiday rental laws

Summary of Andalucia’s holiday rental laws

How complicated is it to register your property to comply with the holiday rental laws

For more information, contact us on: info@homecareontheweb.com or call +34 952 83 95 95

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