Expert advice on holiday letting property in the UK

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What's the Best Advice ?

There is a plethora of so called "experts" offering landowners professional and well intentioned advice on how to diversify from farming.

A fair proportion of advisers, however, have a vested interest for you to spend your hard earned cash on an exciting new project. Architects, planning consultants and surveyors relish new build opportunities for the fee income it will generate for them.  Likewise pod and lodge designers are desperate for new sites to show off their latest glamping products to holiday let guests. Eco energy equipment and telecoms manufacturers need land to install their kit.

Having attended numerous trade shows and glamping exhibitions during the past 12 months it is easy to get carried away with the enthusiastic sales pitch that often comes with these opportunities. Before you take the plunge and place an order you should set aside time to carry out your own thorough market research. The key starting point in formulating a diversification plan should be the business case underlying the proposition;

  • is there sufficient demand for the product/service?
  • who is the existing competition?
  • how can you set yourself apart from competitors?
  • what are the market trends in the sector?
  • is the business sustainable in the longer term?

Seek advice from independent sources. Be cheeky and counsel second opinions from individuals with relevant business experience who have actually worked at the "coal face". It is common practice for sellers in any sector to put a gloss on the sales revenue figures. Often forgotten are operating costs hidden in the fine print of their blurb and it is critical that you can identify these to establish the real net profit margin and break-even point for the venture. Once you have had a chance to verify the returns that have been promised you will then be in a much better position to assess the payback on the investment. If the project looks as though it will meet your financial needs you can then decide which supplier to use to implement your plans.

If it sounds too good to be true, proceed with caution.




15. January 2019 by Nick House


One door closes, another opens. Here are 7 pertinent reasons why demand for holidays in the UK should step up.


1. Higher cost of flights to EU destinations as airport charges for UK carriers increase

2. Even greater airport and ferry port congestion from longer waiting times for Brits in immigration queues,not forgetting Operation Stack on the M20 to Dover.

3. Fear over costs of hospital care on holiday as European Health Insurance Card could be withdrawn .

4. Confusion over passport validity over whether there is too much or too little time to the expiry date.

5. Possible introduction of International Driving Permits for EU countries

6. Upsurge in foreign visitors, particularly from the US, taking advantage of weak pound

7. Memories of great weather last summer




16. November 2018 by Nick House


An all too common mistake landowners make in converting redundant barns for holiday lets or, setting up a new glamping site is a high density layout for the accommodation. This involves too many units on top of each other with little or no secluded outside space for guests to use. The objective to make more money by having more capacity to sell is folly. Guest privacy is becoming very precious and having neighbours in close proximity is a significant deterrent when it comes to searching for a peaceful haven in which to relax for their well-earned break.    


Nick House


6. November 2018 by Nick House

Carry on Glamping




    Is the boom in glamping holidays here to stay?

There is no doubt about it, the UK has experienced a significant surge in the popularity of glamping over the past 3 years. Google recorded a 118% hike in searches for glamping holidays during the past 12 months. What's fuelled this growth? There are 5 key factors driving this demand;


    1. Quality of products. Leaky wind blown tents have undergone a radical transformation.

         Safari tents  and yurts now come with all the creature comforts.


    2. Sense of fun and adventure. Consumers are looking for a different holiday experience rather

        than run of the mill cottage. It's far more fun for children sleeping under a canvas, in an eco

        cabin or a tree house.     


    3. Cost. Breaks in posh tents aren't cheap but flexible booking rules enable you to stay for 2 or

        3 nights unlike cottages which often restrict bookings to a minimum of 7 nights during the high



     4. Festivals. Outdoor music and food festivals are now all the rage and very much part of the rural

         social scene between May and August. Ageing festival goers have rekindled interest in living under

         the stars for a few nights and are now taking their young children away on holiday in a posh tent.


      5. Warmer climate. Summer 2018 was a scorcher with temperatures nudging upwards the

           letting season is extending beyond the school summer holiday.


     Will the sales of glamping holidays continue to trend skywards?

I think that the growth in sales will soon level off. Business opportunities for land owners to set up a site  still exist, but guest expectations of comfort and a unique experience will raise the bar higher. This shift will require operators to invest in more expensive structures and upgrade facilities to tempt customers who are becoming spoilt for choice. 





4. September 2018 by Nick House

Is Buying a Holiday Lodge a Dream Investment ?



 When you've been flicking through the newspaper over the week- end you can't have missed the pages of glossy adverts selling  brand new sexy looking, state of the art holiday lodges in small managed parks set in an idyllic rural landscape. These new build developments usually have a view over a lake, a restaurant and shop on site and, are only a 10 minute drive from the beach. 

To tempt buyers  further the developer is offering what appears to be a very attractive guaranteed rental income deal amounting to an 8% return on the investment for the first 3 years. This is a seductive and powerful proposition. What's more the purchase of a spacious 3 bedroom lodge could come in at £150k cheaper than a similar size period holiday cottage that you've been eyeing in the same area. 

Is the sales pitch too good to be true?  Here is the reality check; 

1. Length of lease. The purchase will be for leasehold title for your plot which could be as short as 20 years. Read the fine print, there'll be lots of it. What happens at the end of the lease? Are you obliged to buy another new lodge from the park operator?  Can you sell your lodge before the end of the lease? What is the projected residual vale of your lodge if you want to break the lease? Will you have earned a payback on your dream investment ?

2. Rental incomeIs the 8% guarantee net of bookings        commission and cleaning costs ? What is the estimated rental      income once the guarantee expires? If you don't take up the      guarantee are the letting arrangements on an exclusive basis        via the park operator or do you have flexibility of choosing    another agent or, finding bookings yourself?

3. Brand position. What profile of holiday guests is the park        operator looking to attract ? What is their pricing policy ? The        ambiance of the site will be influenced by the visitors and the wrong crowd could affect your enjoyment when you stay there.   

4. Management charges. These costs can often amount to   £2.5k pa. What do you get for your money? Is there lodge owner representation on the site's management committee ? What controls are in place to prevent significant price hikes? 


Buyer beware !


Nick House

House Nouse



5. June 2018 by Nick House