buying a holiday chalet to let

DCLane

Found in the Yorkshire hills ...
My parents had one near Penzance in Cornwall for a while, similar to the picture you've shown (still there but now surrounded by houses/Sainsbury's/Jewson's). They probably earnt enough to cover a fortnight's summer holiday there each year, although a bit of that was cleaning/maintenance. Learning from this was:

- Income goes through self-assessment. As long as you've a record of incoming / outgoing that's fine.
- I'm presuming there's site fees for ground maintenance, etc. That'll need factoring in.
- Where will you advertise it? Somewhere like airbnb exists now which helps.
- You need someone nearby who will check it over after each let and do cleaning if needed. Don't presume the guests will leave it clean.

Keep clear records. A friend's mum ran her 8 chalets off a couple of pieces of A4, but she's bright.
 
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Johnsop99

Über Member
Location
Bude, Cornwall
We have recently been looking into doing the same thing and came across the moneysaving expert article. It immediately stopped our research and we started looking for other ways to invest our small windfall.
 

Dave7

Legendary Member
Location
Cheshire
As probably previously mentioned, may have to sell back to site owners who control prices.
Site fees, permissions, etc
Absolutely.
When we found a really eager buyer for ours the owner prevented it. Legally he couldn't so he told the "buyer" he could only have a 5 year contract.......that was for a van he was paying £25K for.
So basically we were forced to sell it to him.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
We've got a static caravan thread somewhere.

Ours is just 70 miles away and we only got to use it for 3 months last year. Your site fees can vary from £2k up. Ours are £3.5k and a chalet is probably double. We're not expecting to be able to open it up in March with covid.

If renting out, then treat it as such and not a second home. People will damage it. We haven't let ours out other than family occasionally using it for free. You'll have grounds maintenance, although that site looks open and the site may cut the grass.

We inherited ours - in-laws got too old to go - we actually used to go to look after them - i.e. cook and clean when our kids were young.

Your site looks great, nice and quiet. Ours is a family owned site and relatively quiet compared to Presthaven nearby - now that's my idea of hell.
 

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
Sub-letting is not allowed on some sites, although the OP indicates it is on his chosen one.

I would still want written permission from the owner for my plans.

However you look at it, advertising for holiday lets is different to allowing friends and family to stay for a few days now and again.

Letting is frowned upon my static's site, which is fine because I never had any intention to do it.

Some of the fixtures and fittings in a static are fragile in comparison to a house, so I think they are not good for letting to strangers.

A 'holiday chalet' may be more robust.

The depreciation on a static is savage, like a car.

Holiday chalets/lodges tend to be much better in that respect, and the tenancy/lease agreements tend to be more favourable in that you may get a 20 or 25 year agreement on the site, compared to a static in which you are never more than a year away from possible eviction.

My brother had a £100k+ lodge for a few years.

It was smart, and close in build quality to a house.

He sold it back to the owner for nearly what he paid for it, in comparison to a static which would have depreciated at least 50% in a similar period.
 

SpokeyDokey

64 and a little bit.
Moderator
My first thought was why chose a chalet on a holiday park? Frankly it sounds like my idea of hell. As a potential customer these are two words which immediately turn me off. My wife and I are young and in our 60s. We travel a lot, home and abroad, as do many of our friends. None of us would want to be on a holiday park. We are part of a market which is as important, possibly more important, than family school holidays etc.

I am serious with this thought. You need to consider your market carefully in terms of location and type. Location would relate to both the area of the country which needs to offer reasons to visit and the locality, holiday park etc.

Standards need to be high, fully self-contained and maintained at a high level. We're often attracted by small, quirky accommodation cabins, yurts etc. in quiet, pleasant surroundings. Ideally no children, easy out of main season. A good pub, particularly for food, within walking distance is a strong selling point.

It's also worth keeping in mind people in our situation expect good value for money. This doesn't mean cheap but realistic for what's on offer and the time of year. I'm currently looking for a few days away in early May. Many places are writing themselves out of the picture with the ridiculously high price being offered.
Most definitely this ^^^.

We always look for good value and we have been plotting a Tour of the Lakes for Spring next year (despite living here it seems like a fun idea).

And some of the prices for accommodation and food are simply crazy in some establishments. It's not that we can't afford it we simply resent being ripped off.

Many of our friends are not remotely short of money and apply the same type of judgement call.
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
As a landlord I can tell you there is a raft of regs you have to meet, safety standards for gas, electric, fire etc. Unless you live near you’ll need somebody to manage it for you and someone to clean. An odd job man to cope with any maintenance issues.
If you think you can cope with all that go ahead but don’t undertake it lightly.
 

tom73

Veteran
Location
Yorkshire
@PaulSB and @SpokeyDokey are bang on like them we are happy to pay a bit more. If is worth it many placers are not worth it and it's not hard to know when they are taking the pee. It's only a click away to soon find others that are worth it. Yes you want to make money but got treat customers as cash cows. We've come access plenty that do.The location and what's on offer is key equally we look at what you get provided. It's often the little things that make you think I like this place/remember it and go back. A few boardgames , books , maps of local area. Spare shopping bag even a umbrella. Get your welcome pack/ book right more info the better and not just have a list of do's and don'ts.
A locally made food hamper always go's down well. A pint of milk in the fridge go's along way after a long drive and all you want is cuppa.
Don't just provide one of every thing either or pot's and pans you'd not be happy using. Or and remember not every is right handed. :smile:
(My Swiss army knife has saved be a good few times.)
You need to keep it clean if you have someone do it make sure you still keep an eye on it. We've stayed in places that I've left cleaner than when we arrived.
Just think what would I like to see and what are the little things that you are always forgetting. What would I expect for the money.
Not everyone will treat the place nice but a good many will and not assume all the looking and sounding respectable renters are.
They are often the ones who leave it looking like a bomb site.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
I remember a time when my dad let someone from work borrow our van (when I was young) for a week and they did a fair amount of damage, and that was someone we knew.

On Presthaven, a few years ago, an owner rented out a very nice van. Who ever had it, thought it was OK to leave a 'used but still hot' BBQ under the decking then go to the pub. Burnt the van down and melted the two next to it. That ended up with a site wide ban on BBQ's.
 

MontyVeda

a short-tempered ill-controlled small-minded troll
My sister's 'really nice holiday cottage' is a lot more than a chalet, but as a business venture it's been a great success.

She has learned a few lessons along the way, such as not allowing all-male or all-female groups, which keeps away the rugby boys and hen parties who just trash the place. Change-over day is busy as she's got to get the place spotless before the next group come in. Almost all of her bookings come via an agent (used to be on Hoseasons, not sure who she uses now)... that sets the prices (eyewateringly expensive), but does make sure the place is booked for most weeks of the year (or was, pre-pandemic).
 

Phaeton

Grumpy Old Barstool
Location
Oop North (ish)
I think your thinking is correct, over the next couple of years people will be looking at homegrown holidays, I know for us had had planned a US holiday last year, now rescheduled to September this year, which we are currently trying to get out of as we do not feel even by that time it will be safe to spend 10 hours in a cigar tube in the sky.

But as others have said a chalet property might not be the way forward, it really will depend on the terms of the site, ground rent, payable facilities, length of contract & the dreaded buyback clauses. as @Dave7 mentioned, the site owners often have veto over the new buyers, which means they just veto everybody & you are forced to sell to them. I'm not sure chalets would be as bad as static caravans, as they are a more permanent fixture & probably more robust but do your homework properly. The best option but probably not practical with £77K is to buy a cottage, then logically you have the income from the property & still an appreciating asset, it might be worth looking into a BTL mortgage & your money as the deposit.
 

oldworld

Senior Member
The other thing to consider is the competition where you intend to buy. Take a look on Airbnb, there is are a lot of people offering flats and cottages for fairly low weekly rents.
If the letting is in an annex to someone's house their operating cost will be lower than yours will be on a site.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
Another issue that isn't widely known. A lot of these 'properties' are owned or used by villains, who use it as a cost effective and anonymous means of living away from the area where they ply their trade, and thus (they think) satying off police radar.

Two problems:

The police are very wise to this, and keep many such sites, quite literally, under close surveillance. Sometimes with the knowledge and co-operstion of the owners (usually the big firms) or sometimes completely without (more usually private owners, who are less likely to be trusted to keep schtum, and more likely to actually be associates of those persons of interest).

I know this as I spent some time working on a unit that did just that - as well as other stuff - across 5 regional faeces.

And people like that tend not to have boundaries like normal folk, and when they do misbehave it is often well off the scale.

Ive seen these places from a perspective that most people don't enjoy, and there's too much chance of things going a bit bobby for me to ever get involved in any of them no matter how nice and Q they look, and thats never mind all the other pitfalls.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Another issue that isn't widely known. A lot of these 'properties' are owned or used by villains, who use it as a cost effective and anonymous means of living away from the area where they ply their trade, and thus (they think) satying off police radar.

Two problems:

The police are very wise to this, and keep many such sites, quite literally, under close surveillance. Sometimes with the knowledge and co-operstion of the owners (usually the big firms) or sometimes completely without (more usually private owners, who are less likely to be trusted to keep schtum, and more likely to actually be associates of those persons of interest).

I know this as I spent some time working on a unit that did just that - as well as other stuff - across 5 regional faeces.

And people like that tend not to have boundaries like normal folk, and when they do misbehave it is often well off the scale.

Ive seen these places from a perspective that most people don't enjoy, and there's too much chance of things going a bit bobby for me to ever get involved in any of them no matter how nice and Q they look, and thats never mind all the other pitfalls.
:ohmy: Freudian slip perhaps?
 
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