Holiday rentals in Malta have increased substantially over the past years and people who invest in a second property in Malta as a buy-to-let are also continuously on the rise. Preparing the property for a holiday rental in Malta may sound like a simple process but there are actually so many nitty-gritty details to keep in mind that many property owners fall foul at the initial stages of their novel experience. This generates bad reviews which set them back immediately and bad reviews are hard to erase. In this short blog post I will try to point out key things to look out for and to keep in mind when you are renting out property as a holiday rental.
- Holiday rentals tend to be short term rentals with people coming into your property to stay for the duration of their vacation. Since they are on vacation they usually are not in the mood to do any chores around your property, however they want cleanliness with a capital C. Therefore it is best to simplify things as much as possible. Unless you plan to provide daily cleaning help which is generally frowned upon as it is considered disturbing to the renters, stick to simple décor that can be easily managed. Forget the heavy shades, the rich upholstery and the deep carpets if you cannot afford regular cleaner or regular laundering bills. Clear furniture surfaces of excessive accessories, and remember – to work well, it’s all about adding a homely feel to the hotel room. Don’t overdo the ‘homely’.
- Always leave clean sheets, pillow cases, bed covers and blankets. There is nothing more put-offish than dirty linen in a rental. Decide if you will be including also towels for your guests. Some rentals do not come equipped with towels for the guests, in which case you have to warn guests to bring their own. If you do leave towels and they are fine towels, specify to your guests that they are not to use them for the beach or pool. Alternatively, leave beach towels available as well. It may mean more laundering, but at least your fine towels are safe. Having said that, make sure you have spares of linens available both for the guests (accidents do happen) and for yourself (as back to back bookings may occur).
- Protect mattresses with mattress covers that can be washed with every guest changeover.
- Do leave some basic food items in the larder so that your guests can find them on arrival. Simple things like a loaf of bread, some biscuits, milk, pasta, a bottle of mineral water, sugar, tea and coffee. These basics are especially appreciated when guests arrive late in the day or after a long trip so that they have neither the time nor the mood and energy to seek out shops and do any shopping. Some companies offer this at an extra cost but we suggest that you offer it FREE. This will definitely start you on the right foot with your renters.
- Always allow at least one day in between the departure of a guest and the arrival of a new one. This time will allow you to inspect the condition of the apartment after the last guest leaves, as well as give you or the cleaners plenty of time for a thorough clean-out. Some guests, especially those who arrive with children, tend to leave some level of upheavel around a property – sand on the floor, finger-marks on furniture, toothpaste smears in the bathroom etc
- Always charge a security deposit upon confirmation of booking. This will serve to cover any expenses that may arise from damages caused. You can reverse this deposit into their account within a few days of their departure after you have checked that all is intact.
- Enjoy the experience of hosting people in your rental, but keep in mind that this is a business, and as such, it must be treated with attention, diplomacy, money-sense and professionalism. Leave your contact number available and be ready to answer the phone at all hours as emergencies, as lost keys or burst pipes do happen. But don’t badger guests during their stay by inviting them to events or trying to sell them products. All you have to concern yourself with is their time of arrival, and their time of departure and the rest will take care of itself.
The holiday rental business has become a do-it-yourself business where owners are quickly understanding that by advertising their holiday rental in Malta with portals can definitely achieve them good revenue. Having said that if you are not the handy person and do not have the time to manage your holiday rental business it is recommended to contract a property manager who can take care of these tasks. They take care of arrivals, departures as well as any maintenance that may be required during or between rentals.
This article was written by Marika Azzopardi, a freelance writer and journalist. A frequent contributor to national English language papers and magazines, she writes about a bevy of topics including art, people and life in general. She is also the author of children’s books and short stories, delving into adult fiction from time to time.