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Holiday lets

If you want to let out a property as a holiday home for short periods of time, you need to make sure the arrangement is recorded in a holiday letting agreement.

This is a short term agreement between you and paying guests at your property, setting out the terms of the letting and the amount of rent you will charge.

If you want to rent out a property to paying guests you must make sure you and your possessions at the property are protected.

If things get broken or the holidaymakers refuse to leave the property you need to make sure you can take action quickly and get the result you want with little time and expense.

It is important to set out in the agreement what you expect from the guests whilst they are in the property and what is included in the rental.

Always use an Inventory to list all of the items in and at the property so that both you and the guest know what is there. Any breakages can be deducted from the deposit taken at the start of the letting.

A furnished holiday let (FHL) is a specific category of rental property for holiday purposes. Where a holiday let is an FHL, the owner has certain tax advantages and benefits.

For a property to be classed as an FHL, it must be:

  • located in the UK or EEA

  • furnished to a standard that allows for everyday habitation

  • available to rent as holiday accommodation for at least 210 days per year

  • used as a holiday let by tourists and holidaymakers 

  • commercially let to members of the public for a minimum of 105 days per year

  • a short-term rental that is not rented out for more than 31 continuous days under a single let

The property cannot be classed as an FHL if the total number of lettings of the property that exceed 31 continuous days total more than 155 days during the year.

For more information, see the government’s guidance.

If you require assistance determining whether a holiday let is an FHL, you will need to seek specialised tax advice from a professional tax advisor.

Letting out a property is an important decision and depending on the type of letting you must use the correct document.

Typically, a holiday letting agreement is used to make sure that the guests do not get any right to stay in the property past the agreed time. 

A holiday letting agreement makes it clear to your guests that they are only able to stay at the property for holiday purposes and that no tenancy is created. Other types of agreement do not have this wording.

Unlike other types of letting agreements, a deposit taken for a holiday let is not subject to the same rules and does not need to be placed in a tenancy deposit scheme account.

Holidaymakers can stay in the property until you ask them to leave or for as long as their agreement says. They should be given reasonable notice to leave.

If you have a written agreement with the guest, it should say how much notice they should be given.

As the holidaymaker is what is called an 'excluded occupier', they must leave the property at the end of the term. If they refuse, you can seek possession without getting a court order.

Holidaymakers can stay in the property until you ask them to leave or for as long as their agreement says. They should be given reasonable notice to leave.

If you have a written agreement with the guest, it should say how much notice they should be given.

As the holidaymaker is what is called an 'excluded occupier', they must leave the property at the end of the term. If they refuse, you can seek possession without getting a court order.

Generally you must register with the council before renting out property in Scotland. However, holiday lets are exempt from this.

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