Holiday Let Rules and Regulations … A Guide

Holiday Let Rules and Regulations … A Guide


Some Pointers to Help You if You Own a Holiday Let

This article will hopefully give you useful information as a holiday venue owner in England.


Available to Book

If you have property that you would like to let as a holiday premises, then it must be furnished and available to book for at least 210 days a year.

As the legislation currently stands, it means you can still use the property for 22 weeks in the year if needed.

Lets or stays are limited to those less than 31 days. 

In the holiday ‘arena’, lets usually last anything from 2 days (a short stay) to 2 weeks (someone’s annual holiday).


Find out how Vista Retreats can help you and your holiday property.


Check Your Mortgage

It could be you still have a mortgage in place on the holiday property in question.

Be sure to check the details of your mortgage agreement.


 TV Licence

As the law currently stands, a single TV licence (£159) covers up to 15 accommodation units. 

Find out more here.


What About Broadband Provision

Today, guests almost without exception want broadband/WiFi provided as part of their stay. 

There are many providers and there can be some great deals.

What Are the Tax Implications

You are best to seek professional advice  and support from an accountant about the tax implications that renting out a holiday cottage entails.

Here are some areas that could affect your tax.



The current rules and regulations specify that if you have a property registered in your name that is a furnished holiday let, then you need to declare its rental income to HMRC.

Find out more here:


VAT – always something to be aware of, particularly if your rental income exceeds the VAT threshold.


Allowable Expenses – these include costs associated with letting your property. This amount needs to be deducted from your gross rental income, so you can then work out your taxable profit. 


Capital Allowance – this is for your holiday let’s furnishings and equipment used outside the property for maintenance. You can claim back up to 50% on these types of purchases. There are incentives for environmentally-friendly purchases, allowing up to 100% claims.


Capital Gains

Capital Gains is the tax on the profit made when disposing of an asset that’s increased in value. 

CGT applies to holiday lets, however sometimes, in certain circumstances, Entrepreneurs’ Relief can be claimed. 

 Ask your accountant for more information. 


Business Rates

You can find out more from your local authority, but as a rule, if you own a non-domestic property, such as a holiday cottage, then you’ll need to pay business rates.

Business rates usually apply if a holiday let is available for booking 140 days or more per year.

Some property owners will be entitled to small business rates relief, so it is definitely worth researching. 

Council Tax

Sometimes a bit of grey area, but paying business rates can mean you don’t pay council tax. 

Always check with your local authority first, though.


Furnished Holiday Letting Tax

Applies on income that qualify as a Furnished Holiday Let.

Your property must be in the UK, be fully furnished, must be commercially let and must not be let for long term lets (over 31 days).


Health and Safety

Time consuming but necessary, your Health & Safety policies, risk assessments and checklists are essential.

There are experts who can do all this for you, which does save you time.

However, if you are doing it yourself, the key thing is to minimise risks throughout your property and in its surroundings.

This includes garages, garden sheds, ponds, pathways, driveways, fences, walls and many other items. 

PAT testing is required annually, as are gas safety checks, chimney sweeping, CO2 alarm and smoke alarm tests.

Chimney sweeping is sometimes needed on a more regular basis. Ask your chimney sweep for details. 


Fire Risk Assessments

Fire Safety Risk Assessments are a legal requirement and the fire safety measures you put in place could save lives if there is a fire.

This includes smoke detectors, fire action notice, and firefighting equipment which again must be checked regularly.

If you have a log burning stove, open fire or hot tub (wood burning or electric), then you will need to assess all risks and take the necessary steps to minimize risk.


Find out more here: 

Water Supply

Something you might not think about is the water supply to your holiday let. 

Are you on the mains water supply or on a bore hole, or a mix of the two?

You have to ensure the water and filter system on your property is safe and fit for human consumption, and it needs to be tested every five years, and more often in other circumstances.

Also consider the risk of Legionnaires’ Disease and seek to put measures in place. 

Gas Safety

All appliances must be maintained including annual checks.

Paperwork must be retained for at least 2 years.


Electrical Safety

It is recommended that electrical installations are inspected and tested every five years. PAT testing of electrical appliances needs to be done annually.



Buildings and contents, public liability, employers’ liability insurance (where applicable) will need to be researched and paid for.



Getting the furnishings completed to a good standard is essential. 

Where possible it is helpful to have some washable soft furnishing so cleaning is easier.

Spare sets of bed linen, towels, throw etc are also essential so there isn’t the pressure of getting everything, including laundry turned round in a few hours if you’ve got a same day turnaround!  



It is handy to have an inventory of the items in your cottage so you can keep track of anything that goes missing, is damaged or is broken.

Remember to provide the correct amounts of items for the guest numbers. 

So if your cottage sleeps four, then you’ll need four glasses, cups, knives etc. 



If you have a pet friendly cottage then bear in mind that some guests will have pet hair allergies.

In depth cleaning is key.

The option of hypo-allergenic pillows, duvets and similar is also handy to have. 


Holiday Listing Companies

From smaller listing companies to huge ones, there is a wide variety of listing options available. 

The key elements to research include prices, commission rates, and how they handle your booking.

You can list on multiple sites, however you must remember to update all of them if your tariffs alter.

Also be sure that all your booking platforms are up to date.


Discover more about Vista Retreats holiday listings here.



The Disability Equality Act of 2010 requires that your cottage has a written access statement.

This would include details of accessible features, facilities and features both in the property and around it.  

Guests should have access to this document. 

Making a property accessible is a huge task and can include adjustments to steps, stairs, paths, entrances, toilets, lighting and more. 

Depending on the age of your property it’s not always possible to make the adjustments.

It is a minefield, so click here for some help.

Get in touch with Vista Retreats today!

 Please note this article does not constitute legal or financial advice. Details correct at time of posting.