If you haven't quite made your mind up yet, or still have a few questions to ask, take a read through the questions that we frequently get asked. Or, give us a call on 015394 33110 and speak to Joanna or Marie.
If you are looking for our booking Frequently Asked Questions click here
All properties featured in our portfolio are within the Lake District National Park in and around Ambleside, Troutbeck, Windermere and Bowness, Grasmere, Langdale, Hawkshead and Coniston areas, Patterdale and round Ullswater, Keswick area and North Lakes villages.
Our head office is in Ambleside. We also have a high street office in Keswick.
Your cottage will be quality graded and given Heart of the Lakes very own star ranking together with our unique “facilities” grade which enables clients to make an accurately informed choice.
Our very own Quality Services Manager is based at our head office and is able to help and advise at all stages to make sure you get the best from your property.
Probably the most asked question and certainly one of the most important…..commission charges are competitive with other agencies in the area and indeed considerably less than some of the large national agents. We are confident that we offer a real value for money service.
We can arrange a full cleaning and management service where required. However, if you are able to clean and manage your own cottage you will find our reduced commission very attractive.
Most owners are happy with 6/8 weeks for their own use. Some take none at all and others prefer to take weeks on an ad hoc basis. As we offer a bespoke service we are happy to discuss your personal needs in more detail.
There are a few ways to maximise bookings in your holiday home. If you are purchasing a new property ensure that it is in the right location, usually properties that are within walking distance of a shop and/or pub are more sought after than very rural properties. Parking at the property either on a drive or in a designated space is also very high on the list of customer priority.
Preparing your property to the highest quality standard that you can stand you in good stead – using the four-star quality grading from our quality booklet as a minimum standard. Also make sure that you have the highest facility grading by providing Wi-Fi, large TV’s, DVD’s or Film packages and high-quality appliances.
If you take a pet this could improve your bookings by up to 30%.
When we say “all inclusive” we really mean what we say. Your property will be visited by cleaners after each booking and inspected randomly by inspectors who check their work. Our resident housekeepers manage the cleaning, linen supply etc. and generally take care of other housekeeping issues.
Our maintenance team will respond without charge to any holidaymaker’s problems. If there is a minor problem at your property that will take up to half an hour to fix, there will be no charge for this apart from any parts that may have to be supplied. If the problem takes over half an hour to fix there will be a reasonable hourly charge or if an external contractor is required we will facilitate this on your behalf.
We will contact you by email or telephone should we need you to make any decisions about major work that needs to undertaken.
Our owners’ contracts are renewed on an annual basis. They usually run from January to December and are sent out in spring for the following year.
This will depend very much on the location and quality of the cottage but we are confident that our bookings are consistently above average with some properties achieving over 40 weeks annually.
We concentrate on selling holidays rather than short breaks although there are many bookings to be had by those owners who opt to take short breaks, particularly in the shoulder seasons of the year.
We can give you a better idea of what bookings to expect once we see your property.
In addition to our high quality and informative brochure, we concentrate on major newspapers, glossy publications, National Trust, Birds Magazine etc. together with carefully targeted website maximisation, regular e-shots to our extensive database, local offices and brochure outlets.
We are also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
This is all taken care of “in-house” by our skilled team thus ensuring that your description is fair and accurate and done in a similar and well-balanced style.
You will be given the opportunity to approve the description before we go to print.
We do not oversell your property and often find that clients’ expectations are exceeded when they arrive at the property.
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There are some statutory obligations which apply to all holiday cottage owners which should be adhered to; buildings, contents and public liability insurance, landlords gas safety certificate (if applicable), PAT testing, periodic electrical test every 5 years, private water annual supply checks, TV licensing, fire safety regulations and assessment and general risk assessment for the property.
The Visit England Pink Booklet will give you the information on legislation for holiday accommodation – this can be found at www.accommodationknowhow.co.uk.
All of the legislative requirements should be completed and documentation supplied to Heart of the Lakes prior to letting.
We have a specialist local insurance contact that we could put you in touch with who will offer favourable terms if you are an owner with Heart of the Lakes.
The policy will offer the right amount of public liability as well as home insurance and add on extras can be purchased such as loss of earnings.
Since 2005 the new regulatory fire order was introduced for self-catering accommodation and other accommodation housing paying guests.
This means fire risk assessments have to be done and minimum safety requirements adhered to.
We can carry out a fire risk assessment for you and help you get your property installed with the correct safety measures.
If your property is going to be available to holiday let for more than 20 weeks a year you will need to be registered for business rates instead of council tax, and we can advise you how to do this.
We will also advise on local regulations for refuse collection as your property will no longer be classed as a domestic property, it is necessary to pay for your refuse to be collected.
If you are a non-resident landlord you will need to register as such and we will need to complete a non-residents landlord certificate annually in order for you to be exempt from tax deduction.
If we do not receive an approval number form the Inland Revenue we will deduct tax from your rental income on a quarterly basis and submit it to HMRC.