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Advice for property owners from the UK

The whole world is talking about Brexit and many people are worried about where it will leave those of us from the UK who own properties here in Spain. Unfortunately, we don’t have a crystal ball to know how the renegotiations will go and whether we will leave with a deal on the 29th of March, but we’ve been reassured by the advice from the British Consulate and the clauses in the agreement which protect the rights of UK nationals living in Spain.

The British Ambassador to Spain Simon Manley spoke to Spanish paper El Pais in December about the agreement which was proposed by the EU and said “Citizens’ rights is a key part of the agreement, so this represents a big step forward in providing certainty for UK nationals living in Spain”. We know of course that this deal was rejected by MPs, but hopefully, these key points will also be included in any renegotiated deal as well.

The British Consulate did a series of events around the Costa del Sol last month, speaking to British expats there about Brexit and there is another Brexit talk in Manilva on the 6th of February. These talks were a great way for residents to ask their questions and the overwhelming message was don’t worry, but just make sure that you are legally registered to be living or owning property here in Spain. Make sure you have your Foreigners’ Identification Number (NIE) and are registered on the “padron”, which is like the council register for residents. Find out about the residency requirements on the Gov UK website.

It is expected that anyone living in Spain before March will be protected, but that moving to an EU country after that date may be more difficult. It is unlikely that holidaymakers will be effected by any rule changes, so tourism should continue to be strong, no matter what happens. The property market is already strong with non-EU citizens buying properties here, so while there may be a few additional barriers, it shouldn’t be a big issue.

The uncertainty seems to be around those retiring here who want state provided healthcare, which is covered by a reciprocal agreement, but may not be in the future.

There are people who are selling up and moving back to the UK to be on the safe side, but many more who are taking a wait and see approach and believing that both the UK and the Spanish government want to keep the positive relationship between the two countries and protect the rights of expats living in Spain. The Costa del Sol has been a popular destination for tourists and foreign residents since long before the UK joined the EU and we believe will continue to be for many years to come. Quite how the politicians will sort it out remains to be seen, but we are continuing to enjoy the wonderful way of life here and enjoy income from our rental properties and we hope you will continue to do the same.

Founder of HomeCareontheWeb Tony Sidebottom commented; “This on going situation is frustrating for all of us, as everyday the news tells us yet another situtaion or story, whilst we the public and businesses carry on regardless.

One thing is very clear is that no matter if Brexit happens, or even if it doesn’t, we at HomeCareontheWeb are here to ensure your property and guests are professionally taken care of.”

If you need support with registering yourself, making sure that you are legally protected and managing your property while you are in the UK, we can help. Our comprehensive property management and maintenance packages include lots of support and advice for our owners, so please feel free to contact us and make sure you are covered for any eventuality.

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.

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.

Take advantage of the long-term rental off-peak market

Take advantage of the long-term rental off-peak market

September is here and this marks the end of the high season and the start of the quieter off-peak season. Although September is getting more popular for holidaymakers and it is slightly extending the traditional summer season, there’s no doubt that by the end of the month there won’t be as many holiday rental clients to go around.

If you like to use your property over autumn and winter, then this will suit you fine, but if it is just sitting empty and you want to maximise your income, then you need to think differently. Long-term rentals are in high demand in September, as families are trying to settle kids into school and work opportunities pick up after the summer lull. It’s a great time of year, as many long-term renters will have been frustrated by the holiday season, won’t have been able to see properties and are now desperate to find a place to call their own.

We have a lot of long-term rental clients and not enough quality properties to fill their needs. This means landlords are in a very good position. Competition is low, especially for the non-Spanish market, who can’t use the long-term property rental sites here due to the language. These foreign residents are often willing to spend more than their Spanish counterparts and will sometimes even accept a shorter contract, allowing you to have the option to still rent out your property in the summer months, as some people return to their home country over summer.

Long-term rentals may not bring in the same per week as a holiday rental, but because your season is all year round and tenants tend to stay for years if they are well looked after, it’s a steady, predictable income stream. You don’t have to compete with thousands of other properties, so it’s easier to find tenants and because supply is limited, prices are on the rise.

Long-term rentals are also not governed by the rentals laws that have been making things more complicated for short-term rentals. Plus, there’s not much to do – no key holding or meet and greet, no cleaning at the end of each week. Once you have your contract signed and the tenants are in, you’re simply collecting rent each month and occasionally dealing with issues as and when they arise.

We have a range of long-term rental management packages available. These start from the most basic, where we offer advice and one year of keyholding, plus marketing your property to get you a tenant, up to the most comprehensive. With our all-inclusive rentals management service package we can help you set up the property, handle all the tenant’s requirements throughout the tenancy and offer legal support for contracts and changing over utilities, so you don’t have to do a thing.

We’ve condensed all our years of experience into a guide to help you decide if renting long term is right for you and offering tips on how to make the most from this style of renting. Download the guide for free – Home Owners Tips for Long Term Rentals or contact us to find out how we can help you start renting your property long-term.

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.

New legislations to control holidaymakers’ behaviour

 

New legislations to control holidaymakers’ behaviour

Marbella Town Hall is reacting to issues with rowdy and badly behaved tourists by fining people from June this year. If you are renting out a property in the Marbella municipality, it is important that you understand the new rules so you can help your tenants comply.

These have been mainly designed with hen and stag parties in mind, but it can also impact the unsuspecting holiday maker who wants to enjoy the sunshine by having their shirts off in the street for example, so it’s best to be informed.

Here are the key behaviours that can be punished with a fine of up to 750€ –

  • Walking around the streets in swimwear or without shirts on – swimwear is for the beach and pool only, not for the towns
  • Wearing clothes or carrying objects of a sexual nature
  • Acting in an anti-social manner and drinking on the streets
  • Littering and flyering

Quite how this will be enforced remains to be seen and anyone who is doing this will first be warned so they can respond. However, it is important to be aware that police will be more vigilant on anything that they consider to be anti-social behaviour and that fines can be up to 750€.

We don’t expect this to impact on the majority of people coming on holiday to Marbella, as most tourists are well behaved and respectful. However, if you do cater to hen and stag parties in your holiday rental property, we’d recommend warning your guests in advance, so they know how to behave.

As these laws are passed and start to be implemented, we will keep you updated so that you can inform any tenants. Hopefully the new laws will reduce bad behaviour and make this a more attractive holiday destination for all.

Did you know that if you’re renting out your property we can also help you to manage all aspects of property rentals and make it easier for you? We are property management and maintenance specialists and handle everything from communicating with tenants, taking bookings and deposits, responding to problems and cleaning and maintaining properties before and after rentals. Our aim is to take as much off your plate as possible, so you can just relax and enjoy the rental income, without the stress. If that sounds good, contact us today.

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.

Great start to 2018 for tourism

Great start to 2018 for tourism

There was a big jump in visitors to Spain in the first two months of the year, with a 5.9% increase on the passengers arriving by plane in 2017. Overall, there were nearly 10 million passengers coming from international destinations in just two months and there was a big increase in passengers arriving via low cost airlines. Most passengers came from the UK, followed by Germany. On the Costa del Sol, there was a 7.8% increase in passenger numbers in January compared to the same month last year and a 5.4% increase in February.

If you are renting out your property, this increase in visitors in the quieter months is great news. The ideal situation is try to stretch out the rental period and have more consistent bookings throughout the year. It’s better for the property to not sit empty and of course it is better for your bank balance too.

However, off peak visitors want and need different things than the traditional holiday maker, so if you want to appeal to them, you need to prepare your property a little differently and also market it in a different way.

The key things to think about are –

  • Is your property warm enough or can you make it more comfortable for them in some way?
  • Is your area good for off peak activities such as golf, hiking and cycling? Is it within easy access of the Sierra Nevada ski resort for a day’s skiing?
  • How does your development feel in the winter? If there are plenty of year round residents that’s perfect, but if it turns into a ghost town over the winter, then this won’t be good for visitors.
  • Do you have any facilities on your development which work well in the cooler months e.g. a heated pool, sauna, gym or tennis courts?

If you have answered all these questions and think your property could be good for an off peak rental then please get in touch with us and find out how we can market your property to extend your rental season. Read our five tips for making your property appeal to off peak visitors on our blog which will help you to cater to them better.

What makes a good off peak rental, is also a good long term rental, so if you want steady year round income, this is something you should consider. The long term rental market is much less competitive than the holiday rental market and we have more demand than supply of good long term rentals. Our dedicated long term rental division can take care of everything for you and make sure the tenants are paying their rent and looking after the property well. It’s an excellent option if you don’t use your property much.

We hope that 2018 is a great year for you and that your property generates a good income for you and is the perfect home from home. Our property management and maintenance experts can help you make renting out your property easy. Contact us today for a quote.

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.

2017 Holiday Habits

2017 Holiday Habits

Last month we posted about the 2018 travel trends we expect to see this year, to help you to tap into these new trends and earn more rental income. To help you further, we wanted to share the ABTA findings on how UK holiday makers behaved last year, to drill down into what’s popular and where they feel the growth areas are. The more you understand what holiday makers want, the better you can cater to their needs and market your property better. Here are the highlights –

People took more holidays and plan to spend more

The great news is that, despite uncertainty and concern about global events, UK holiday makers took more holidays in 2017 than any time since 2011, a total of 87% of the participants taking a holiday last year and 57% taking a holiday abroad. In 2018, many are planning to spend more on their annual getaway. Western Europe, in particular Spain, was very popular and is expected to be a very strong destination in 2018 as well, with 62% planning to spend their holiday in Europe.

Popular Holiday Types

There was an increase in people taking beach holidays in 2017, going up from 38% in 2016 to 41% in 2017. 9% of people rented a private holiday home, 9% went on holiday to see a music event and 7% took an activity holiday and all these areas are expected to grow further in 2018. Given our great selection of holiday rentals, the amazing activities to enjoy on the Costa del Sol and the fantastic concerts and music festivals here, these trends should benefit owners of holiday rentals on the Costa del Sol. When asked about their plans for 2018, 47% of the participants of the ABTA survey plan to take a beach holiday this year, so as ever our beautiful beaches will be a big selling point.

How are people booking?

Most people are booking their holidays online, and this increased in 2017, to a whopping 83%. So it’s very important that your holiday rental has a strong online presence with a secure and easy to use online booking facility. If you are considering property management and rentals with HomeCareontheWeb, you will benefit from the strong web presence and secure booking system on our site HolidayRentalontheWeb.com. You will also be promoted via the network of 11 language websites of our partners Novasol and their travel agent network, to reach the maximum number of people and achieve the most bookings on and offline.

What will people spend in 2018?

ABTA’s survey revealed that people are planning to spend more on their holiday this year – 31% of the participants. Millennials are most likely to spend more – 39% of those aged 25-34 and 34% of 18-24 year olds say they expect to spend more on a holiday next year.

If you want to rent out your property to take advantage of the appetite for European holidays, now is the time to do it. Getting a reliable and experienced property management company such as HomeCareontheWeb on board, preparing your property for rentals and marketing for spring and summer starts now. We are looking for villas with pools and centrally located apartments and penthouses all along the Costa del Sol, so please contact us to discuss how it works and let us start marketing your property. To read the full ABTA report click here.

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