Although the costs of running a vacation rental will vary depending on location, size of the property and how much of the operational running costs are outsourced, it’s important to take steps to save on any unnecessary costs and streamline your expenses as far as possible.
If you employ any staff such as cleaners, housekeepers or office staff and are unable to maintain your current workforce due to Coronavirus, you may be able to furlough employees. As part of a range of business support measures, the UK Government has established a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme where you can apply for a grant which will cover 80% of their usual monthly wages, plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions. At the time of writing, the UK’s furlough scheme is available up until the end of June 2020.
Mortgage payments are likely to be one of the biggest expenses associated with a vacation rental property. The UK Government has set out a Payment Holiday policy which aims to ease the financial burden of mortgage payments during Coronavirus. Under the policy, homeowners and landlords can apply for a 3-month payment holiday, where you do not need to make any mortgage payments. Consumer advice service Which? has published comprehensive advice and FAQs which outline how the process works.
Furthermore, if you are self-employed, you may also be able to claim a grant through the UK Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme – this provides up to £2,500 per month in grants for at least 3 months.
It makes sense to temporarily reduce or eliminate any expenses associated with your vacation rental for services that are not currently being used. Start by cancelling any TV subscriptions such as Sky, Netflix or Amazon Prime. If there is a landline in the property, you could also cancel this for the time being or negotiate a lower priced package. You could also temporarily pause any guest-related services such as laundry and contract cleaning (although these will be important to pick up again as soon as bookings resume).
If you use a smart system such as Hive to control the heating remotely, make sure the settings are turned down or are off completely to save on energy bills. If you use the services of a gardener or window cleaner, look at reducing how often they visit – if you live locally, can you perhaps take on some garden maintenance work yourself?
Last but by no means least, if you live near to your vacation rental, have a clear out of the property and sell anything you no longer need or are replacing to raise funds e.g. garden furniture, kitchen appliances etc. Try eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Amazon MarketPlace and Gumtree to sell on unwanted items.
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