Holiday Homeowner Advice

Tips and advice for holiday homeowners

Tips to help with your experience on Simply Owners.

Avoid Disputes

Disputes can become very expensive and damaging to an owner's reputation and business with negative reviews and even claims via the courts for misrepresentation, compensation and costs etc.

Know Before You Go

Simply Owners encourages holidaymakers to take advantage of being able to have a meaningful discussion with owners BEFORE making a booking to ensure that they have thoroughly explored any issues they may have. Such discussions facilitate the creation of a good match meeting the needs of both parties.

So for example: it may be that you as an owner are happy for a dog to be inside the property and therefore state ‘dog friendly’ but if the garden is not fenced in or the dogs cannot go upstairs or need to be on a lead outside the property because of traffic etc, it is important that such points are declared at the outset.

Establish A Very Effective Contract

Ensure you have a very effective booking contract in place detailing EVERY aspect of the arrangements.

There are many excellent sites on the internet with model contracts and booking forms for holiday rentals. We have included just three links below for consideration but there are many more. We strongly advise that you take some independent legal advice on creating your own specific booking contract to ensure that it is comprehensive and covers every aspect you need.

https://simply-docs.co.uk/Online-Holiday-Bookings/Holiday-Accommodation-Booking-Form

https://www.schofields.ltd.uk/blog/3982/holiday-let-email-examples/

https://www.pdffiller.com/75160757--Booking-form-Holiday-let-with-terms-and-conditions-March-201212doc-

It will be difficult for you to resolve disputes if discussions, booking contracts and all copies of correspondence are not secured.

Do not Over Sell

The biggest disputes we have witnessed relate to ‘misrepresentation’ with holidaymakers arguing that the property, its location and facilities etc do not reflect those detailed on the advert.

By all means provide as much accurate information about your property as possible, its location, and its contents on your listing to promote it to those viewing it on our site. However, it is MUCH better in the long term to acknowledge, when necessary, that your property may not be suitable for a particular holidaymaker. If you take a booking knowing it is not a suitable fit, your guests will not only have a less than desirable experience but there is potential that they will leave a negative review or file for a claim in the small claims courts.

So for example: if a car is really necessary to get to the beach or to the shops it is better to state this.

Avoid Litigation

Some countries and regions have legislation specifically relating to holiday rental properties and this is subject to change. It is important that you identify exactly what is needed by way of licences in your location and continually review such legal responsibilities to ensure that you are operating within your area’s legal framework. You can include any license numbers on your listing to give holidaymakers confidence that you are a legitimate owner. Similarly there will be a raft of Health and Safety issues relating to holiday rentals and it is important that you familiarise yourself and keep up to date with these to avoid any legal challenge.

The link below is an excellent start for considering the health and safety issues you may need to accommodate.

https://www.schofields.ltd.uk/blog/4060/holiday-cottage-health-safety-legislation/

Simply Owners does not have the resources, in terms of time or legal expertise, to investigate disputes between owners and holidaymakers. We are unable to collect all the information, assess the legitimacy of it and make judgments as to who is right or wrong. If disputes cannot be resolved amicably between both parties, then the ultimate place for a ruling on matters is in the courts. Simply Owners will support both parties as best we can with any information we have but will have very little weight to bear on legal matters as we are not party to the contract.

When Simply Owners becomes aware that criminal proceedings are being issued against an owner then we will suspend that owner’s listing as a neutral act until the case has been ruled upon. It would be remiss of us to allow future holidaymakers to follow in the footsteps of a situation that was found to be illegal.

Selling your property with future bookings
Should you need to sell your property while it has future bookings, you need to take appropriate steps:

Option 1. – Selling a property with future bookings

Ensure your buyer is contractually obligated to meet the future bookings on the same terms and conditions as those currently agreed with future guests. The benefit of contracting the new owner to honour the future bookings is it can remove any concerns of the future guests and mitigate cash flow issues. The downside is it could reduce the level of interest in the sale. You should offer your future guests a full refund immediately that your property goes on the market or the option to leave the booking in place with the new owner, assuring them that their holiday will be under the same terms and conditions as those already agreed. Communication is vital in this respect.

Option 2. – Selling a property outright without obligating the new owner to pre-existing bookings.

If you are selling a property outright, in an ideal situation you would not have any future bookings. If you have the unfortunate circumstance that you must sell your property and cannot honour future bookings, you must contact and refund future guests immediately. Guests could have organised travel arrangements and could incur significant costs finding alternative accommodation and may well be able to claim back not only the cost of their holiday but any legal costs and compensation.

Behave appropriately

Owners should never sell their property and attempt to defraud or deceive holidaymakers. Simply Owners take pride in being a trusted platform and we will put considerable resources behind legal efforts and tracing agents against any owner trying to defraud holidaymakers. Ultimately, we will ensure owners end up paying all costs incurred by holidaymakers and Simply Owners if they have behaved inappropriately when selling their property. These costs could include court costs, travel arrangements, alternative accommodation, finder fees etc. This can amount to several thousands of pounds.
Any owners behaving in this way would also be in breach of contract with Simply Owners for bringing the company into disrepute and we would pursue this through the courts.

In Summary

The best way to sell your property is with no future bookings. The second-best option is to maintain trust with any holidaymakers that have future bookings and offer them a full refund in the first instance and contract the new owner into honouring the holidays on the same terms.

Avoid Scams
Protect Your Login Details

When logging into Simply Owners you must ensure the address in full is:
https://www.simplyowners.net/login
and that your browser indicates that you have a secure connection, normally by means of a padlock icon. You should not enter your Simply Owners login details into any other address or into any links clicked via emails.

Last Minute Bookings

Our advice is to think very carefully about accepting last minute bookings. We advise owners to NEVER let anyone in your property without having the balance cleared in your bank. Take precaution if the name on the enquiry is different to payment details. Make sure you have sufficient time to find any information out about those making last minute enquiries. Do not hesitate to ask potential guests for their photo ID if you are unsure. Last minute bookings are great for cash-flow, but you must make sure you have done due diligence for last minute short stays.

Communication With Simply Owners

We will only ever email you from one of the three email addresses below:

  • enquiries@simplyowners.net
  • marketings@simplyowners.net
  • security@simplyowners.net

Please do not respond to any other email formats or links. If in doubt please call us on 01623343343.
Never give your login details to anyone.

Communication With Holidaymakers

Be aware of email phishing attempts. Don't click links in emails from holidaymakers. Don't enter or share your Simply Owners account details except on the login form on simplyowners.net.

The initial contact from the holidaymaker will come via the Simply Owners messaging system. We have numerous systems in place to mitigate and deter spammers and scammers and block such messages.

Unfortunately a scammer can pose convincingly as a legitimate holidaymaker at this stage with a simple message requesting a response for price or availability. Most attempted scams come further down the line when they are independent of the Simply Owners systems and in direct contact by email or phone with the owners.

The main fraud homeowners need to be aware of that is attempted across the sector is called the "cheque overpayment fraud".

A renter submits a business cheque for more than the required rental fee, this will show on your bank balance but needs 20 days to clear and the scammer can cancel this any time during this 20 day period. They claim the over-payment was an accident (they wrongly included car hire, or paid for two weeks instead of one) and request the difference is refunded. As requested, you refund the difference between the rental fee and the overpaid amount. Their cheque bounces.

If a renter sends a cheque for more than the rental amount, rip up the cheque and request that the renter sends a new one for the correct amount.

Keep copies of all correspondence and notes of communications with holidaymakers.

Only give instructions and details on payment methods during the receipt of a phone call from the holidaymaker on the unique phone number you provided to Simply Owners. Never make the call to a holidaymaker to discuss payments! Your phone number is unique to you and this method protects both you the holiday-home owner and the holidaymaker. Protect your phone from abuse and never allow any unauthorized person to use it to deal with payments from holidaymakers. Always take payments on a recognized credit/debit card, bank transfer or via an organization such as Paypal.

NEVER SEND YOUR BANK DETAILS BY EMAIL, EXCEPT AS A SIMPLE CONFIRMATION, TO CONFIRM THE DETAILS GIVEN TO THE HOLIDAYMAKER ON THE TRUSTED PHONE CALL.

Make Your Property Listing Attractive And Increase Your Bookings

We have created some tips and advice to maximise your listing effectiveness:
Improve your property listing

Provide Reassurance And Confidence For Bookings

Respond to enquiries in a timely manner, we expect first contact to be made within 48 hours of the initial enquiry. We have seen many owners lose bookings and end up in disputes over cancellations because the holidaymaker has lost confidence in the arrangement. We have had many holidaymakers distraught in that they have failed to get a response from an owner about access to the property etc with just a few days before they need to leave for the airport etc. Regular communications and information is very beneficial as it not only reassures the holidaymakers and also bodes for a great review. Great reviews give confidence and reassurance to potential future guests.

Use Simply Owners Payment Protection For Simply Owners Bookings

Simply Owners is proud to have a 100% security record for both owners and holidaymakers over the 8 years of trading.

We guarantee 100% payment protection for your holiday makers at no extra cost, providing that the prescribed method of making payments has been followed carefully and precisely, by both the holiday homeowner and the holidaymaker.

Letting any concerned holidaymakers know how stringent our vetting procedures are (for both owners and properties to list on our platform) will help reassure them. Further, we are so confident in our verification and security processes, we provide a free Payment Protection certificate.

Simply Owners only provide advertising space for holiday-home owners and connect potential holidaymakers with them directly. It does not vet any properties nor verify any comments or content entered in the advert by you, the holiday-home owner. It is you, the holiday-home owner, therefore that is solely responsible for the representations made in the advert placed with Simply Owners.

IT IS CRITICAL THEREFORE THAT YOU CHECK EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR ADVERT, BEFORE IT GOES LIVE, TO ENSURE ALL DETAILS ARE CORRECT.

Also, as Simply Owners does not have any kind of contract with any holidaymaker, financial or otherwise, it cannot be considered a ‘renter’ and drawn into any form of rental agreements, licences or any form of contract with the holidaymaker or third party.