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7 ways to get your holiday let ready for spring

With a few weeks where holiday let bookings are at their lowest ebb, November-January is the best time for property owners to get things ship shape for the spring and summer letting seasons. From redecorating to reconsidering welcome packs and guest information, in this article we have broken down the seven key areas to focus on to get your holiday home guest ready.

holiday let

Painting and decorating

Painting and decorating never really stops. There’s always a scuff mark to clean off or a skirting board to touch up. However, January is a great time to do more thorough updates so that your home looks its best for you and other visiting guests this year.

painting and decorating


A few paint touch ups might be all that your property needs. Adding a lick of fresh paint by the doors where everyone brings in muddy boots, wet coats, wagging tails or sticky fingers, will do well to make sure they look bright and clean. Repainting internal and external walls (weather pending), redoing any silicone that’s shrunk or that’s looking tired, touching up the grout on the tiles and filling in any little cracks in the walls are all perfect jobs for these grey days when properties are largely empty. If the prospect of an external repaint is too much, pick a dry day to power up the pressure washer to freshen up cladded walls instead.


Now is also a wonderful time to consider changing the look in different areas of the house. Sales are still on, which makes it a good time to bag a bargain on new rugs, lamps, linens and other homeware items. With trends moving quickly, you can update the look and feel of your property with small details that give the sense of a well cared for holiday home, especially for returning guests who will definitely notice a difference year on year. It’s also an excellent time to purchase expensive seasonal items like outdoor furniture and electric awnings, which are typically discounted until spring. You might even opt to buy that hot tub you’ve always wanted.


If you want to do bigger refurbishments, now’s the time to get the ball rolling before the Easter holidays. If you own a holiday apartment, you may find that your leasehold agreement also restricts refurbishment to periods outside British summer time. Larger painting and decorating work, structural changes, new kitchens or bathrooms can all be done at this time of the year, leaving exterior work until the weather is a little more reliable in a few weeks’ time. 

Freshen up soft furnishings 

Freshen up soft furnishings 

The winter months tend to be hard on soft furnishings, whether it’s grubby dogs laying next to the sofa or the dust from a good long walk trailing in after people. So, it’s time for a spring clean! Deep clean the house and in particular do all those bits that require fiddly or professional help. 

Steam cleaning

While the property is empty, have upholstered beds and sofas professionally cleaned, and steam clean rugs, carpets and curtains. You might be able to do it yourself if you have the right equipment or seek the help of professionals to do it for you - to some extent it depends on what needs doing. 

Upholstered furniture usually benefits from a professional clean to prevent any tide lines from home steam cleaners. Curtains might be able to go in the washing machine or may require dry cleaning depending on the fabric. It’s always a good idea to open the windows after professional cleaning to let the air run through. It’s worth it though for a house that feels as good as new afterwards!

Replace and repair

You might also want to check cushions, linens and towels to see if any need repairing or replacing. Those aforementioned sales are ideal when it comes to linens; it’s still a good time to get really good deals on high quality duvet covers, and the like. 

Check mattresses and mattress covers to see if they need replacing, cushion padding and pillows to make sure that they still look and feel high quality and comfortable. If you haven’t already, pick up some pillow covers in the sale this year, they help keep pillows looking clean for longer and they’re cheaper than a replacement pillow too.

seasonal events

Prepare for seasonal events

We know that details can make a huge difference when it comes to guest experience, so now is a good time to make a note of upcoming seasonal events to see if there’s anything you can do to enhance guests’ experiences when they visit. At Christmas you might have put up a tree and decorations, but it’s not the only time of the year where you can make guests feel extra welcome with thoughtful details. For example: 

January blues and payday

We all know that January is typically the ‘bluest’ month of the year, so you might consider adding aromatherapy products to your bathrooms for a thoughtful emotional boost for visiting guests. Or prepare for payday at the end of the month, when people often start booking and planning for the months ahead by making sure your listing looks especially enticing. Perhaps consider a January payday promotion for that weekend only.

Valentine’s Day

The first big ‘holiday’ of the year is Valentine’s Day, so you might consider adding little details like a welcome bottle of wine, chocolates and flowers. You could make recommendations for a particular restaurant for the Valentine’s weekend, place scented candles around the property or even leave a handwritten note welcoming guests and wishing them a wonderful trip. 

Half term

February also brings half term (already!), so in contrast to Valentine’s Day, consider what you may want in the property to make guests feel welcome and entertained. February typically doesn’t offer great weather in the South West, so making sure there are games available suggestions for things to do in the local area, provide books, board games (with all the correct pieces, pencils and a dice!), and make sure all the practical paraphernalia such as high chairs are readily available and sparkling clean.


Easter is also just around the corner, if the supermarket shelves are anything to go by, and with it comes lots of opportunities to get creative with home decoration. Wreaths on the front door, hyacinths growing on the window sill, fresh flowers and updated hampers to suit the season are all charming ways to welcome people into your home for a memorable visit. An up-to-date list of Easter events, egg hunts, spring walks and family trails in your guest information is the perfect addition for Easter guests.



For gardens to bloom in the summer months, spring is the time to put in the hard work, whether it’s tidying things up or doing larger projects, getting the heavy duty work done before growing season gets underway in March/April, will pay dividends and can transform a guest's experience.


If you’re considering big projects like garden landscaping, new patios and decking, book it in before the end of March. That will give you time to tidy up, get the grass growing and make sure it looks smart for guests arriving over the spring and summer.

Pressure washing

By now, most people's patios and decking areas are looking a little bit sorry for themselves. The algae has built up, muddy shoes have traipsed across them, and everything looks a little bit grubby. The good news is that it’s nothing a pressure washer won’t fix!


The winter weather will likely have left exterior paintwork in need of some TLC. Whether it’s paint spattered and stained with mud or bubbling where the rain and salty sea air has worked its magic, dry days in the later days of spring should see you sanding and painting so it all looks as good as new. It’s also a good time to get out any garden furniture, wash it down and oil any woodwork.


If you haven’t put those spring bulbs in the ground yet, get planting for a garden full of daffodils and hyacinths in a few weeks’ time. Now is also a great time to plant any bare root hedging or roses, prepare borders and plan for spring flowers, planters and hanging baskets when the weather is a little warmer.


Don’t forget to check any fences for broken sections (especially if you allow dogs at your property - it’s important to make sure the garden is secure). Replace any broken or rotten pieces of wood on garden furniture, and check for any rusty screws as well.

Tree surgery

The winter months are really the last time of the year until next winter that you can do any serious tree surgery or hedge cutting (it’s not permitted when birds are nesting). Check the health of trees and hedges and make sure any major tree surgery or pruning is done before those green shoots appear.

Update photography

Update photography

With all those updates going on, once the house and garden are looking the way you want them to, take a moment to review your online holiday let listing and make sure that it has up to date photography and information in place. 

If you have placed scenic shots of frosty mornings and Christmas trees up in time for the festive season, make sure you replace them (or move them to the end of your gallery) with imagery that’s seasonally appropriate as well as up to date with fresh, spring and summer vibes. Make sure your holiday let listing is an accurate representation of the property as it is now, so if you repainted the master bedroom a different colour - it needs a new shot!

Update your welcome pack

Update your welcome pack

While you’re updating your online listing, it’s a good opportunity to make sure your welcome pack is up to date as well. 

  • Have you added new items to your home that need instructions or guidelines? 
  • Are there new restaurants in the area that you want to tell guests about? Have any attractions closed in the past few months? 
  • Is there any particular booking information that you think guests would benefit from at favourite cafes and restaurants? 

This is the sort of thing that can require some research and can take a little time but will mean a lot to guests if it’s done properly.

essential checks

Book all essential checks

While you have a little time to think, check that you have your annual health and safety tasks up to date or booked in good time. After all, you don’t want to have to stop letting and lose peak season income because the gas safety certificate isn’t up to date!

Gas safety certificate

Gas safety certificates last for 12 months and are a legal requirement of any letting property. Letting agencies won’t agree to let your property without them and guests will sometimes ask to see proof as well.

Fire risk assessments

It’s important to make sure your property is in line with fire safety laws. A fire risk assessment will highlight any areas of improvement that are needed, and once again, it’s really important both for your peace of mind and that of your guests. Included in this should be checking fire and carbon monoxide alarms.

Electrical items

Portable Appliance Testing (or PAT testing) is essential for holiday lets. These tests aren’t a legal requirement but most insurance companies do ask for them, and at any rate it isn’t worth risking the fallout if something went wrong.

Holiday let insurance

Having the right level of insurance for your holiday let is really important for protecting you and your guests. So just make sure when this is due, and if any changes have been made to the property in the last year, make sure you mention them to your broker.

Chimney checks

If you have a chimney, spring is the perfect time to have it swept to keep it clean and tidy as well as to prevent dirt from building up and generating noxious gases over time. The current HETAS (Heating Equipment Testing and Approvals Scheme) guidelines suggest chimneys should be swept twice a year; once before the winter, and once after ideally.



Finally, take a moment to reassess your property and think about anything that might improve or upgrade the customer experience, set your holiday let apart from others and also entice guests back time and again. 

  • If you haven’t got a Netflix subscription for the property, is now a good time to add one? 
  • If you welcome dogs to the property do you welcome them with treats, bowls and beds? 
  • If you cater to families, do you also provide a list of local babysitters?
Details don’t have to be high tech to be really meaningful, but they can make your property feel extra special while making it even easier to settle in and relax for guests. And for that they’ll be eternally grateful!

Want to make the most of your holiday home this letting season? Contact HolidayHost for advice, support that will maximise your holiday let.