Renting Out Your Static Home
Here are some top things that will be worth keeping in mind if you’re considering letting out your static home:
Don’t get confused by the differences between a static caravan let and a park home. Speak to a specialist in insurance, such as Cover4Caravans if you’re at all unsure as to what those differences are.
Holiday lets and longer-term or permanent lets may be very different. Remember that some sites or local councils may prohibit longer-term occupation or out-of-season letting.
Site Owner’s Permission
Check whether or not your site owner’s permission is required. It may well be.
Your income may be taxable. You’ll need to check your exact position with HMRC (the old Inland Revenue or Tax Office).
Comply with prevailing safety legislation. This will probably be a condition of insurance and may include things such as regular gas safety checks and the installation of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Get an overall safety inspection done. That includes not just gas and electrics but also looking for sharp edges, things that are broken and might be dangerous and so on.
Be aware of your site obligations. Your site might permit letting your caravan but they may well expect you to take responsibility for noisy and disruptive guests. If you do not select your guests carefully and they cause trouble on the site, the site owner may come looking to you for restitution. At the very least it could cause friction so try to somehow vet your guests in advance – and carefully.
Don’t oversell your static in advertisements. Guests that are hugely disappointed upon arrival because they find things you’d somehow managed to overlook in the ad, are likely to become angry and frustrated. That’s something neither you nor they need so don’t undersell your caravan but equally don’t exaggerate even by omission.
Understand your contents cover. Some policies might cover holiday guest use but they may restrict the items included under cover. Borderline things might include gadgets, TVs, music systems, antiques or any item over a specified value. Check this beforehand and don’t be caught out by unpleasant surprises.
Be sure you’re equally clear about malicious damage. It may be something that’s comparatively rare but it’s a theoretical possibility and the costs for you may be significant – so understand what your policy does or does not say on the subject.
Be aware of your responsibilities for the wider area in ads. Try to remember that you’re not just selling your caravan for a holiday but also the site and indeed the wider areas surrounding it. Emphasize the positives but also make clear that (e.g.) a car might be essential for shopping or that a wind-farm is immediately adjacent. As per the above, this is to avoid arguments upon your guests’ arrival.
You may legitimately ask for a deposit against damage but make sure this is underpinned by a detailed inventory supported by photos and that your guests sign it upon arrival in your presence. Under no circumstances should you see the deposit as yours and something you can dip into for whatever purpose.
Holiday Rental Agreement
Use a formal holiday rental agreement. This should make clear all costs and charges including the position on gas and electricity, cleaning and so on. Do not spring cost surprises on your guests at the last moment – that might land you in legal trouble.
Inventory and Rental Agreement
Send copies of the inventory and rental agreement to your guests in advance and encourage any clarifying questions. Don’t present it to them as a fait accompli upon arrival.