Would you rent your house out?

There is an article in this week’s Telegraph titled “How to make money from a manor house“. It discusses hosting weddings, festivals, running a B&B but nothing of rent out the whole house. Barring the obvious need to find alternative accommodation (or go on holiday), renting out one’s house brings fear to many but perhaps irrationally. There are properties on this website which have been rented out, day in, day out, for 15 years with no trouble of note. Clearly the family silver is locked up (though not in every case) and perhaps the Monet is in storage but everything else is just left ‘as is’. The market for staying in other people’s houses is huge and guests are not looking for pristine hotel rooms but somewhere with character and homeliness.

Insurance is important but there are providers who understand the market and associated risks (contact if interested). There are ways to filter out obvious trouble-makers (e.g. £2,000 deposit or perhaps a reference) and gut feel counts for a lot. Is a 60th birthday party really likely to involve terrorising the neighbours and burning holes in the dining room carpet? Some owners decamp to stable cottages in the grounds and are ‘on hand’ should trouble arise, but more often it is simply the guests knocking to ask where the tin opener is kept.

For large country house owners that disappear over Christmas or to Italy in the summer there is a considerable income opportunity. The choice is either an empty property or (say) £12,000, a few extra cleaners and some happy guests. The visitors are invariably grateful for the opportunity to spend a week/weekend in an environment which is usually unobtainable and will keep an eye out for trouble. Have a think!

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