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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.

Rental regulation and tax changes in Spain

As all property owners renting out their property in Spain know, a new holiday rental law came into force in 2016, regulating the short term rental industry and adding in 2017 that owners also had to register passport details of all the guests and submit them to the police station. This change forced thousands of owners, who had not been declaring their rental income to register and start paying tax here in Spain.

The next step of this process to make the industry more transparent, and ensure owners are paying tax, is that property portals and estate agencies doing rentals have been obliged to pass their clients’ tax details over to the Spanish Tax Authorities from the 1st of January. They are being asked to file these retroactively, going back to January 2018, so it’s very important that all your taxes have been paid and you are properly declaring your rental income. Find out more

The government has also been trying to get involved with long-term rentals and passed a new law on the 19th of December to try and lower long-term rental prices and make the market more stable. However, this law only stood for 35 days, due to concerns about local governments setting a limit on rental prices in urban areas being an overreaching measure. This means that the law regarding rentals has gone back to the original law, which states a 3 years mandatory rental renewal plus one year tacit renewal. Experts believe that the government will revisit this topic during this year to boost tenants’ rights, but for now it’s back to the status quo. Find out more

If you have any doubts about renting out your property and the laws or regulations in place, please contact us. We are property management and rental experts, with many years’ experience helping owners maximise income from their properties and we can help you register your property and make sure you’re complying with everything in the right way.

HomeCareontheWeb is looking for owners who want to rent out their property for holiday rentals and long-term contracts for 2019, so please get in touch and find out how we can help you to start generating rental income.

Spring clean your home

Spring has sprung here in Spain and we’ve had some beautiful weather, with warm temperatures and sunny skies. This is the time of year that we always advise our property owners to have a bit of a spring clean and take a look if there are any maintenance tasks that need to be done.

Although winters in Spain are mild, when there aren’t people in the property and when it is cooler and wetter and the wind gets up, problems can develop. So either go down to the property and assess it, or get a property maintenance company such as HomeCareontheWeb to do it for you.

We start with an inspection, which checks windows, doors, paint work and shades outside the property. We check for signs of damp inside and out, as this can often develop over the winter. We then look for signs of wear and tear and things that need to be refreshed or replaced before you welcome new holiday makers. The key things we look at are the bedding and towels, the paintwork and the furniture inside and out. Then we will send a report over to the property owner and log all the details in the owners’ area on the website, with pictures and suggestions on what should be done.

One of the very common maintenance tasks, which many people overlook, is cleaning the filters on your air conditioning units. Under the new holiday rental regulation, air conditioning is essential if you are renting out your property and it’s something that rental clients really need. However for owners it can be expensive and troublesome, breaking down, not cooling as well as it should and using a lot of energy.

You will be very pleased to know, that by cleaning or replacing a dirty filter, you can reduce your air conditioner’s energy consumption by between five and fifteen percent. Cleaning the filters also improves the performance of the unit and so guests will need to have it on for less time, reducing those bills even further.

Air conditioning filters should be cleaned or replaced every year, depending on the model and how much you use it. Make sure it’s on your list of spring cleaning tasks to prepare your property for the summer season. Check out this home cooling infographic with energy saving tips on how you can help guests stay comfortable in your property this summer, while minimising the impact on the environment and your wallet.

The annual spring clean and routine maintenance is very important to keeping your property in good condition, getting to grips with any problems early and avoiding any nasty surprises. Our cleaning team can undertake an annual spring clean of the property, giving it a real deep clean, air it and get it ready for the first arrivals of the season.

By taking our property management and maintenance package, your property will be cared for and looked after by professionals who really care. Wherever you are, you can relax in the knowledge that we’ve got it covered! Contact us to find out more, or request a quote.

Make getting more rentals your New Year’s Resolution

Make getting more rentals your New Year’s Resolution

Happy New Year! We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that you are looking forward to an excellent year ahead.

What was your New Year’s Resolution? If you own a property on the Costa del Sol, then getting more rentals in 2019 should be right there alongside going to the gym, getting a new job, or spending more time with the family.

If you are only getting a few rentals each year, that’s thousands of Euros of lost revenue which is just passing you by! There are lots of ways to generate more income from your property, whether it’s improved marketing, maintenance to make the property more attractive to your target groups, or simply better images. Download our secrets of successful rentals guide for ideas and inspiration on how you can improve your performance.

Our job as property managers is of course to take care of our clients’ properties, but increasingly the demand is more to generate rental bookings and handle them for our clients too. To make this easy for owners and rental clients, we have developed a holiday rental website where holidaymakers can browse, book and pay online. You can monitor bookings through your owners’ area and we will handle everything that the guests need to have a great holiday, without bothering you.

We have developed partnerships with travel agents and tour operators in the UK and Ireland, as well as with Europe’s largest provider of privately owned holiday homes to drive bookings to our clients’ properties. Our large team of customer service, maintenance and management experts looks after the clients so they come back for more, generating valuable repeat bookings, and you don’t have to lift a finger!

So if your New Year’s Resolution was to get more rentals this year, you know what to do! Talk to the property management experts at HomeCareontheWeb, sign up for a property and rentals management package and start earning more rental income from your property.

Promoting the Costa del Sol to boost tourism

Promoting the Costa del Sol to boost tourism

If you own a Costa del Sol property and you rely on holiday rentals to generate income, you will be pleased to hear that the local authorities are working hard to promote the Costa del Sol and expand the tourism sector. It would be easy to rest on its laurels, as one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations, but they know that the competition from other holiday areas is fierce and they need to keep exploring different markets to remain current and keep popularity high.

Following a summer packed with attractive events to draw in tourists to the area, there were a number of high profile events in September too, which aimed to extend the traditional tourist season and appeal to a different type of traveller.

Malaga Fashion Week created the longest haute couture catwalk in Europe, by converting the important shopping street Calle Larios into a fashion mecca. The two-day event attracted designers from around the world and around 15,000 fashionistas watched the shows each day.

Gibraltar also attracted the crowds on the weekend of the 21st and 22nd of September with the MTV Gibraltar Music Festival. This amazing event brought nearly 30 music groups to Gibraltar, with internationally renowned artists such as Stormzy, Two Door Cinema Club, Rita Ora, Chase & Status, Sister Sledge, Suzi Quatro and The Boomtown Rats. This attracted lots of tourists to stay on the Western Costa del Sol, to enjoy a sunshine holiday and then take advantage of the buses to go to and fro the festival each day.

To increase tourism from the United States, Marbella Town Hall has been contacting luxury travel organizations and in September signed an agreement with Virtuoso, the largest network of luxury travel agencies in the States. This should boost the number of luxury travellers coming over with big budgets to spend. Find out more

The Andalusian Council, the Junta de Andalucia, is also looking for ways to reach new audiences and to extend the season. They have budgeted nearly €10 million to promoting and developing tourism inland, with a focus on cultural and off-peak tourism. This will be a real boost to inland areas such as our stunning white villages, which have underdeveloped tourism sectors. Find out more

The tourist boards for each area and the local Town Halls will also start the rounds of tourism fairs that promote the destination amongst tourism professionals and encourages them to send their clients to the Costa del Sol. One of the new initiatives they are preparing to present at the most important Spanish Tourism Fair in January, is a platform to help tourists visit the places where popular films and TV series have been filmed.

All of these activities will boost tourism throughout the year and help property owners benefit from the lucrative holiday rental market and earn rental income. This is where our professional property management and rentals team come in. We can take the stress out of renting out your property, market it to maximise your bookings and manage every step of the process, so you don’t have to. Get in touch with us today, if you want to rent out your property for the next season, or need some support to increase your current bookings and make it easier for you

Spain becomes the world’s second most popular tourist destination

 

Spain becomes the worlds second most popular tourist destination

Great news for anyone involved with the Spanish tourism industry came out from the UN World Tourism Organization last month. It revealed that international tourist arrivals grew by 7% in 2017 and that they expected it to grow by a further 4 or 5% this year. If these predictions are proved correct, Spain will overtake the US as the second most popular tourist destination and bring in even more income for the people working in tourism.

For property owners looking to generate rental income from their properties, this tourist growth will obviously lead to more bookings, especially as experts are predicting that rental homes are going to be more in demand this year. There is a travel trend for people who want to experience the destination like a local and therefore are choosing holiday rentals rather than hotels. This, combined with limited hotel beds during peak season, leaves us in no doubt that 2018 will be a great year for people with short term rental properties. Find out how we can help you generate more rental income

Another thing that is on the up is interest in moving to Spain, which is fuelling demand for long-term rental properties. One surprising side effect of the Brexit uncertainty is that more retired people are trying to make the move now, as they are concerned that once Brexit has been implemented it may be hard. Companies who help people to move abroad within Europe have reported big increases in enquiries and people moving, and expect this to continue this year while it is still easy to relocate.

Companies who offer long-term rentals on the Costa del Sol like our company HomeRentalontheWeb report growing demand and limited supply and are looking for quality properties to add to their books.

We are struggling to find the right long-term rental properties in popular areas and the lack of properties is definitely pushing prices up. Long-term rental is a very good option for anyone who has a property in the Costa del Sol which they rarely use, as it is stable and a great way to secure rental income all year round. In many cases, you can earn more with long-term rentals when you look at the whole year, as the income is steady. We’d definitely recommend that owners consider the option of renting long-term, as it will be very easy for us to find them tenants.

Find out more about our long-term rental packages or contact our helpful team to discuss your options and make sure you generate as much income as possible from your property this year.

Happy Holidays!

On behalf of all of our team, we wish you a very Happy Holidays, and health and happiness in 2018! We hope you have a wonderful time, wherever you are spending the holidays, and that you can be with friends, family and loved ones.

At this special time of year we always like to give back to those less fortunate than ourselves, so we’re helping the homeless on the Costa del Sol. We collaborate with a local homeless charity and contribute savoury and sweet pies to their Christmas meal and presents so that everyone can get a little something this year. All our generous staff are making donations to this cause, and the company is doubling what they raise so we can help as many people as possible.

At the office, we are collecting warm coats, blankets, scarves and rucksacks, to give to the homeless. So if you have anything in the house which you don’t use anymore, please drop them in to the office and we’ll make sure they get to people in need. Where to find us

Christmas Opening Times

It has been a very busy year for our property management and property rentals team and we continue our hard work throughout the festive season. We will be closed on Monday 25th and Tuesday 26th of December and the 1st of January, but open as normal throughout the rest of the holidays.

Please let us know if we can help you with property management or renting out your property in 2018, or browse our great holiday rental properties and start planning your next holiday. We look forward to hearing from you!

Travel trends for 2018 and how Spain will be effected

Travel trends for 2018 and how Spain will be effected

2017 was another bumper year for Spain and travel insiders have said that early bookings for next year are already higher than normal. This year’s limited availability in peak times is definitely pushing travellers to book early for the best accommodation and flights.

We are now looking ahead to 2018 and were very interested in the predictions from Booking.com on how travellers will behave next year. Read on for how these trends will effect Spain and people renting out their properties here on the Costa del Sol.

Nostalgic Trips

One of the travel predictions for 2018 is that more people will want to revisit their favourite childhood holiday spots to remember the best of their family holidays. “Travellers say that former family holidays recall the fondest memories, even more so than childhood sweethearts or family pets. Millennials look set to be even more sentimental with 44% of 18 to 34 year olds keen to hark back to favourite family destinations.” This is great news for Spain’s Costas, as many of us had our first foreign holiday here and look back fondly on the sandy beaches, food and sangria!

Walking & Wellness

Wellness breaks are a growing trend and research shows that almost one in five people are planning to take health and wellbeing trips in 2018. Walking holidays, cycling and water sports are particularly popular active holidays.

We’re thrilled about this prediction, as the Costa del Sol is a fabulous place for hiking outside the hottest summer months. Amazing walks in the area include hikes in the Mijas hills, climbing the iconic La Concha and walking the Caminito del Rey. It is also growing in popularity with cyclists, with quality equipment hire and excellent routes, plus of course our great year round weather and this is a segment which is definitely set to grow. If you have a property within easy access of any of these great hikes or cycle routes, or have trails from your door, make sure you advertise this, as it can help you obtain some excellent off peak rentals.

Water sports is a classic draw of the Costa del Sol and there are many options to choose from. As this is still an attractive aspect of a holiday in Spain, make sure that you help guests by sharing good companies and providers, so they know that they can SUP or go sea kayaking easily from your holiday rental.

Group Get-Aways

25% of people surveyed plan to do a group holiday in 2018, up from 21% in 2017. Friends are choosing to go away together to improve the holiday experience, but also to make luxury accommodation affordable. This is a trend that owners of luxury villas on the Costa del Sol can definitely tap into. If you can sleep six or more people and have some lovely extras such as a private pool, outside bar and BBQ area, or lovely communal spaces, then this market could be excellent for you.

Live like a local

The study reveals that “in 2018, rental homes are going to be particularly popular” as “One in three travellers (33%) say they’d prefer to stay in a holiday rental (a holiday home or apartment) over a hotel”. This is obviously great news for our holiday rental business and anyone looking to rent out their property in 2018! As they want to live like a local, it’s important to share recommendations and insider knowledge to help them easily embrace everything the area has to offer.

These predictions are great news for Spain and the Costas in particular, and early bookings and continued instability in other parts of the world lead us to predict another excellent year for holiday rentals on the Costa del Sol. If you haven’t rented out your property before, or you would like to achieve more bookings, please speak to us. We have over a decade of experience with property management, maintenance and rentals and can help you to earn rental income, while minimising stress.

Find out more about next year’s travel trends by reading the full article here

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.

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.

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