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Maintenance Advice Archive

Hot Tubs In Holiday Cottages: Pros & Cons

Hot Tubs In Holiday Cottages: Pros & Cons

Holiday home extras are often a huge draw for holidaymakers and often make a property more appealing. One feature on the ‘must have’ list for holidaymakers is a hot tub. It’s somewhere people can relax in every season. However, there are some drawbacks. Hot tubs require a lot of maintenance, otherwise they don’t function, and in some cases become a health …

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Holiday cottage changeover checklist

Holiday cottage changeover checklist

It often feels like changeover days have to be carried out with military precision, or they end up chaotic and stressful. Especially in the high season when you literally have one guest out and the next guest in. You’re up against the clock to do a diligent clean, check for damage, restock the fridge and toiletries, clean the swimming pool …

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How to prevent frozen pipes and bursts

How to prevent frozen pipes and bursts

Extreme winter weather in recent years has produced freezing temperatures for prolonged periods in the UK. Subsequently, thousands of exposed holiday homes suffered burst pipes and leaks – causing substantial water damage. The cost and inconvenience caused by the escape of water can be extensive and stressful. A small pipe fracture can release thousands of gallons of water if left unnoticed. …

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How to remove stubborn stains from your holiday home

Running a finger over picture frames, checking under beds and inspecting bathrooms for hairs. The No1 complaint from guests staying at holiday cottages is ‘it’s dirty’ – in some instances guests will up and leave, demanding compensation or a threat of a bad review. A stringent housekeeping schedule during changeover will keep rentals in ‘tip top condition’. However, it’s inevitable …

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Heating oil spills: preventing a £30,000 clean-up

Heating oil spills: preventing a £30,000 clean-up

Rural holiday cottages that rely on domestic oil for heating are warned that they risk clean-up costs running into tens of thousands of pounds if their fuel storage tank leaks, and could face being uninsured. Many holiday cottage owners are oblivious to the fact that cleaning up oil spills can be extremely complex, expensive and time-consuming. Research reveals that homeowners …

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Top tips to add value to your holiday home

One way of breaking free from the price war in the holiday letting industry is by adding more value to your rental than your competitors are offering, therefore helping yours to stand out from the crowd. Adding value to your holiday home means you can ask for higher rental rates, attract more guests and get a better selling price for …

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Closing up a holiday home or cottage for winter

If you’re locking up and leaving your holiday home during the wilds of winter it’s important to winterise your property and take a few precautions to prevent it from deteriorating while you’re away. Here are some tips from fellow holiday home owners to make sure everything will be in order when you open the cottage back up. Fighting the damp …

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Fire risk assessments for holiday lets & cottages

Fire risk assessments for holiday lets & cottages

Firstly some facts: It is a legal requirement to have a Fire Risk Assessment There is no official form or template for Fire Risk Assessments You don’t need to be qualified to conduct a Fire Risk Assessment Your responsibilities As the owner of a holiday let, you have a duty of care to guests staying in the property.  You should …

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Being sued ‘myths’ for snow & ice outside your holiday home

There is nowhere more beautiful than the UK in winter, especially when it snows. Picture perfect white-washed scenes attract thousands of tourists to self-catering rural holiday cottages in winter – with the promise of blue skies, snow capped mountains and fresh air. However, once snow starts to thaw, pathways are left covered with compressed ice for weeks as temperatures remain …

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Ultimate guide to protecting holiday homes in winter

Statistics show that most second home house insurance claims occur during the winter, predominantly caused by extreme weather – frost, snow, flooding, storms, but also break-ins. This is understandable due to the very nature of holiday properties being locked up and left for long periods without inspection. Claims costs: Insurers paid out £1.4bn in ‘big freeze’ insurance claims in the …

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Resources to monitor UK weather warnings & flood alerts

Resources to monitor UK weather warnings & flood alerts

Time to batten down the hatches. The UK is experiencing one of the stormiest periods it has seen for several years, with heavy rain, high winds and snow. Storms have an enormous impact on properties – causing flash floods and structural damage. The last couple of winters in the UK have been extremely harsh. It’s estimated that insurance claims for …

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Boiler breakdown insurance for self catering holiday cottages

Boiler breakdown insurance for self catering holiday cottages

Winter is approaching fast, with dark cold nights and temperatures dropping by the day. During winter a greater strain is put on central heating and plumbing systems in holiday homes. It is inevitable that boilers will fail and pipes will burst at holiday cottages. As most self catering cottage insurance policies have winter heating warranties in the cover (temperatures must …

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How to prevent frozen water pipes at your holiday cottage

How to prevent frozen water pipes at your holiday cottage

There is no denying it, winters in the UK have been consistently extreme in recent years. Snow fall in October, sub zero temperatures from November to January – the unusual occurrence has become more usual and this winter is expected to be the same. ‘Big freeze’ insurance claims Insurers paid out £1.4bn in ‘big freeze’ insurance claims in the UK …

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Spring maintenance checklist for holiday let homes

Now is the perfect time to spring clean your holiday home. Not only do you have a duty of care to keep your property in good order, you also have to ensure your guests’ have a safe and disasters free holiday. This post is inspired after three days spring cleaning our holiday home. I recently bought a steam cleaner to …

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What causes pipes to freeze and burst?

Many parts of the UK have experienced the coldest November in history, with temperatures plunging to -18C. After three consecutive years of prolonged snow and frost, it seems that winters in the UK are getting more severe. Last year, the insurance industry paid out £644 million for water damage that had escaped from burst pipes – and this winter is …

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Holiday home burst pipes warning

The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings for ice and snow in the UK. Consequently, a new wave of burst pipe insurance claims is likely. There are fears that this winter will see a repeat of last year’s unprecedented levels of water damage insurance claims caused by burst pipes during the cold snap. With the average burst pipe claim …

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Flood advice for holiday home owners

The recent major flooding incidents in Cumbria and Cornwall have highlighted the destruction that floods cause. With the wettest month in the UK being December, the worst could be yet to come. Comprehensive insurance policies cover flood damage, so if you have been flooded contact your insurer immediately to inform them of the situation and to obtain assistance. Below is …

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How to keep your second home safe this winter

Summer is over and for many, visits to your holiday home will be few and far between until the sunny weather returns. So now’s the time to give your holiday homes a health check to ensure they are ready for the winter ahead. Many weather related insurance claims could be avoided with some simple maintenance. Inspecting your holiday home now …

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Does overseas home insurance cover mould?

Does overseas home insurance cover mould?

As the summer holidays arrive, many overseas holiday home owners will be off to their properties to relax and unwind. Although some of you regularly visit your holiday homes, many only visit when the temperature rises – leaving the property locked up over winter. Parts of Europe have experienced a substantial amount of rain over the winter – especially France, …

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Prevent carbon monoxide risks at holiday lets & cottages

Prevent carbon monoxide risks at holiday lets & cottages

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be lethal. There have been a number of tragedies in this country and abroad in recent years. Most notably the tragic story of the two children who inhaled lethal levels of carbon monoxide in their holiday apartment on Corfu. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless and highly poisonous gas that can kill quickly without …

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Dealing with boiler breakdowns at your cottage

As temperatures drop, central heating systems are put under increased pressure and boilers often breakdown. We occasionally get calls from customers when this happens who have holidaymakers staying in their holiday let – “can we claim for the boiler repair and hotel expenses” they often ask. Boiler breakdowns and heating failures are not covered under a holiday let insurance policy. …

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Burst pipes – 3000 claims in one day

Finally, after weeks of freezing temperatures the mercury is beginning to rise, but be aware, as the thaw begins frozen pipes often burst. Most insurers are experiencing large volumes of claims following the big freeze. In fact, whilst discussing a holiday home burst pipe claim, our loss adjusters commented that one insurer received 3,000 claims on Friday. Have you checked …

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How to check if a home is at risk of flooding

Following the recent floods where holiday cottages and second homes in Cumbria were flooded, we continue our flood advice posts. According to the Environment Agency, one in six homes in England are at risk of flooding. And with climate change, the risk of homes flooding through rising sea levels, rainstorms and overflowing drains is expected to increase. Even if a …

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What to do if your holiday home is flooded

What to do if your holiday home is flooded

Following on from our last post on how to prepare for a flood and the subsequent floods in Cumbria, here is some advice on what to do during a flood and the steps to take if your holiday home is flooded. Always put your safety before property and be prepared to act quickly. Unfortunately, floods are becoming more frequent and …

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Holiday home flood risk: How to prepare for flooding

Holiday home flood risk: How to prepare for flooding

With the worst storms of the year currently hammering parts of the UK, forecasters are warning those with properties in the second home hot-spots of Cumbria, North Wales and Scotland to be prepared for flooding. The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings – with up to 50mm of rain expected to fall on already saturated ground, there is a …

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How to prepare your holiday home for winter

How to prepare your holiday home for winter

As the nights get darker and the bleak weather approaches, winter can be undeniably harsh for holiday homes. Unfortunately, break-ins tend to increase in winter as opportunistic thieves take advantage of darker evenings. There is also the onslaught of rain, frost, snow, flooding and storms – all these can cause damage and destruction at holiday homes. Although insurance will cover …

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Preventing bed bugs at holiday homes & cottages

Accommodation establishments with a high rate of occupant turnover such as self catering holiday cottages and apartments, should be on the look out for bed bugs, as infestations are most frequently found in these types of dwellings. According to the BBC there has been a massive increase in the number of bed bug infestations. Statistics from councils in London and …

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Holiday home security advice

Holiday home security advice

As previously discussed, theft and burglaries are expected to rise due to the economic downturn. Most house burglaries happen when a property is empty, and as holiday homes are only used for on average 30 weeks a year, they are particularly vulnerable. To help ensure your second home is as you left it upon your return, follow the basic security …

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What to do when pipes freeze or burst

What to do when pipes freeze or burst

If you discover frozen pipes in your holiday home, there is a significant danger that thawing pipes could burst if preventative steps are not taken. Cracks in pipes and plumbing joints may not be noticeable because frozen water is keeping them sealed, but as water thaws and expands, it could cause leaks and internal flooding. These may start slowly at …

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