There is growing interest in buying a property to let out as a furnished holiday home thanks to the tax benefits.
While buy-to-let owners are losing tax perks your holiday let will be eligible for Business Asset Rollover Relief and Entrepreneurs’ Relief, among other Capital Gains Tax benefits.
And owners can claim allowances for furniture, equipment and fixtures, with profits eligible to count as earnings for pension purposes.
But you must be able to prove you have let out the property commercially, not just lent it to family and friends, and you must let it for at least 105 days a year in lets shorter than 31 days.
That’s when a good holiday letting agency is very helpful, such as Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages – set up by Liz Daniel after she moved to South Wales from the Cotswolds in the 1970s.
After helping a farmer friend rent out a spare cottage for holidays Liz gradually set up her agency and has a wealth of tips.
“Sometimes new holiday cottage owners don’t realise that if you are doing up a beautiful property, people expect to have nice things in it – they are not going to trash the place,” she says.
Liz owns two holiday homes herself in the riverside village of Talybont-on-Usk in the Brecon Beacons National Park – one of Britain’s few Global Geoparks and International Dark Sky Reserves – and she practises what she preaches.
But not every pretty property is suitable for holidaymakers says Liz: “You need parking, it is a major thing.
“People who live in the country don’t worry about it but urban people fret about where their cars are parked. Think of the market you want,” she adds.
“One of the best properties to buy is just a little one that sleeps two or four. Anything that sleeps six or eight is really limited.
“You might get weekenders and school holidays but the rest of the year it is more difficult to fill because you won’t get groups of six or eight for a week most of the time.”
Larger properties are different, though: “Properties sleeping 12 and up are quite a good investment but you have to think carefully about your ratio of bedrooms to bathrooms and it has to have something extra – like a hot tub.
“How long the fad for hot tubs will last I don’t know but there has to be a wow factor.
“Sky TV and wifi goes without saying and there needs to be some sort of outdoor space. If you are coming on holiday to a rural area you don’t want to be in an apartment.”
Some properties listed by Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages (01874 676446; breconcottages.com) are…