Close Icon
Setting up a holiday let business in North Cornwall

Setting up a holiday let business is an exciting and rewarding opportunity. With demand for staycations at a record high, particularly in the beautiful areas John Bray Cornish Holidays portfolio covers – Rock, Port Isaac, Daymer Bay and Polzeath, there has never been a better time to start holiday letting.

To help new holiday home owners start their letting journey, our locally-based property experts summarise all you need to know when setting up a holiday let business in North Cornwall.

Use our quick links to navigate to a particular topic or read on for our detailed guide to setting up a holiday let business.

Setting up a holiday let business in North Cornwall

Running a holiday let business in North Cornwall

Benefits of a holiday let business

Setting up a holiday let business in North Cornwall

setting up a holiday let business - holiday home in cornwall with pool

There are many decisions to consider when setting up a holiday let business, but first and foremost you must identify your key audience. Once you have decided on who you wish to attract, you can create a holiday let to suit your guests.

Know your audience

Our Sykes Cottages Staycation Index shows that our UK staycation bookings are currently made up of 41% couples, 27% adult groups, and 16% families.

Whilst family holidays can be the most lucrative audience as they book peak season weeks, couples are also a key market that may be more likely to book out of season.

If you’re trying to appeal to couples, consider features such as a hot tub or log burner, to create a romantic retreat all year round. For families, think of features like entertainment or games rooms.

As around a third of Brits now take their pets on holiday with them, it’s also worth considering dog-friendly features like an enclosed garden or dog shower.

Get your property ready for letting

There are a number of legislative checks and documents required in order to holiday let a property. These include a gas safety certificate, fire risk assessment, electrical safety checks, and other health and safety features such as smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.

At John Bray Cornish Holidays, our local team can use our network of suppliers to help owners organise these documents and checks.

We would also be happy to send you a copy of our full Holiday Let Health and Safety document – simply contact our team today on 01208 228910 or email

In addition to health and safety checks, there are a number of legislative documents required for holiday letting. These include public liability insurance, the correct holiday let mortgage if you’re buying a property, and a TV licence.

You will also need to sure your property is registered for the correct council tax or local business rates, depending on its usage. To find out more about the requirements of qualifying as a Furnished Holiday Let (FHL), visit the HMRC website.

Furnishing your holiday let

furnish your holiday let - seascape lounge

Deciding on how to furnish your North Cornwall holiday home can evoke a lot of questions. Our property experts detail their top tips when setting up your holiday let business.

  • Ensure soft furnishings such as beds, sofas and chairs are comfortable for a good customer experience
  • Make sure you have adequate dining and sofa seating for the number of guests your property accommodates
  • Consider zip-and-link beds to provide flexible accommodation options for families, couples or groups
  • Invest in high quality fittings to maximise your holiday let investment
  • Ensure the interiors match the aesthetics of the holiday property with a consistent theme
  • Make the most of your location – showcasing local artwork and photographs
  • Think from the perspective of your guests, what would they like to see when holidaying away from home
  • Remember to furnish the outside too – furnished gardens, balconies and outside space are always popular

How to equip your property | Inventory checklist

inventory checklist - how to equip your property

It’s key to ensure your property has ample equipment for the number of guests it accommodates.

Here at John Bray Cornish Cottage Holidays, we can provide an extensive guide on how to equip your property. Please contact a member of our team for a copy of our Helpful Hints guide. Below are a few of our ‘must-haves’:


  • Cooker
  • Hob
  • Fridge
  • Freezer
  • Toasters
  • Kettle
  • Microwave
  • Crockery – plates, side plates, bowls, mugs
  • Cutlery –forks, knifes, tablespoon, teaspoons
  • Glassware –tumblers, wine glasses, pint/beer glasses, jug
  • Cookware – saucepans and frying pan
  • Cooking utensils
  • Pantry provisions – salt, pepper, tea bags, coffee, sugar
  • Cleaning provisions – washing up liquid and bin bags. Dishwasher tablets and washing powder are recommended if you have appliances

Dining Room

  • Dining table
  • Chairs
  • Coasters
  • Placemats


  • Sofa/seating
  • TV
  • Basic Freeview
  • WiFi
  • Board games
  • Pack of cards


  • Cot
  • Stairgate
  • Highchair
  • Changing mat
  • Waterproof sheet for cot
  • Safety latches for cupboards


  • Bath mat
  • Bath towels
  • Hand towels
  • Disposal bin
  • Loo rolls – initial provisions
  • Toilet brush and holder
  • Loo roll holder
  • Mirror
  • Hand soap
  • Shaver point or adapter
  • Heated towel rail
  • Sanitiser


  • Duvets
  • Pillows (2 per person)
  • Mattress protectors
  • Pillow protectors
  • Bedside table
  • Mirror
  • Coat hangers
  • Additional blankets/throws


  • Dog bed/blanket
  • Dog bowls
  • Poo bags
  • Toys
  • Treats

Running a holiday let business in North Cornwall

running a holiday let business

When it comes to running and maintaining your holiday let business there’s a lot to consider. From managing bookings, cleaning and changeovers to marketing your property. There are many tasks that require attention.

A holiday let management company, like us, can tailor service packages to suit the individual owner and their property. We offer owners a virtually ‘hands free’ letting experience, where our in-house managed service team can organise the changeover, linen and maintenance. This full property management option is popular with owners that live further away from their property.

With two local offices in Rock and Port Isaac we’re mere minutes from your holiday property, meaning we can take care of it to an exceptionally high standard.

We can also offer marketing and booking services to owners that prefer to take care of the day-to-day running themselves or appoint a dedicated caretaker. We take the time to understand each owner’s needs and requirements, and then support them.

Here are a few of the main factors to consider when running a holiday let:

Holiday home cleaning, housekeeping and laundry

Cleaning is one of the main factors of a changeover. It’s imperative your holiday let is cleaned to a high standard, especially in light of the pandemic. Guests expect a first-class service, and anything less will drive negative feedback.

Before the arrival of your guests every surface should be cleaned throughout the property, all linen and towels must be washed and replaced. At John Bray Cornish Holidays we work with a network of local housekeepers to provide the cleaning, linen and laundering for your property, ensuring all linen is spotless and of a high quality.

Holiday let maintenance

With the surge in demand for staycations it’s vital to make sure everything is in working order. Occasionally things get broken, but it’s important to replace or fix broken items in a timely manner.

During the changeover, regular checks should be taken. Including testing lightbulbs, electrical appliances and ensuring there is nothing missing from your inventory checklist.

In the summer months it’s important to take extra care outside. Changeover tasks include cutting the grass, weeding exterior areas, and cleaning outdoor furniture.

If this feels like an overwhelming task, our experienced maintenance team can manage all aspects of your property’s upkeep including caretaking.

Marketing your holiday home

marketing your holiday home - bedroom with four poster bed

Over the last few years, holiday cottages have become increasingly popular, and with lots of competition in the market it can be difficult to put your property in the spotlight.

An experienced holiday letting agency, such as ourselves, provide an eight figure marketing budget and a dedicated regional marketing team to help you get the bookings you deserve.

With millions of website visitors each year, we’ll ensure your property is showcased on both the John Bray and Sykes Cottages websites for maximum exposure.

For more information on how we market your holiday home, download our FREE owners guide.

Benefits of a holiday let business

Cornish holiday bolthole - benefits of a holiday let business

There are many benefits of setting up a holiday let business in North Cornwall. Whether it’s to generate income, ensure your second home is well cared for by a team of local professionals, or simply to provide a holiday home for you and your family.

Your own North Cornwall holiday home

Many of our holiday home owners have been guests for years, returning annually. The main reason for investing in a holiday let is the benefit of your own holiday bolthole. Holidaying with flexibility and offsetting the costs of your own holiday by letting out your property to guests.

Your holiday home should be somewhere you love to spend time, not just a source of potential income. With breath-taking coastline, award-winning beaches and beautiful countryside, there are plenty of fantastic locations to choose from in North Cornwall.

Seaside holidays and walking breaks have been popular for years, and it’s a trend that looks set to continue. So, choosing a prime location within close proximity to a beach will ensure a high level of bookings and a great return on investment.

Holiday let income

coastal property - port isaac cornwall

Several of the holiday homes we market achieve over 30 bookings per year, especially those in popular coastal locations.

If you would like a free, no obligation property income appraisal to give you an idea of your proposed holiday let income, please call our New Property Consultants on 01208 228910. We can also talk you through our industry-leading dynamic pricing tools, which adjust prices in line with demand to earn owners a higher income across the year.

It’s important to remember that holiday let income is seasonal and properties attract fewer bookings in the winter months. That being said, holiday lets offering short breaks can earn up to 30% more. Bookings for short breaks have seen an 111% increase in the last two years, so it is worth considering.

At John Bray Cornish Holidays we have developed a short break structure which gives owners the option to decide whether to accept short breaks and when. This also allows owners to achieve the best possible revenue from each available week. We will never accept short breaks for less than your agreed floor price, giving you peace of mind your running costs are covered.

There are other ways to increase your holiday let income, including adding value-added features like:

      • A hot tub
      • Open fire/log burner
      • Sauna
      • Pool table
      • WiFi
      • Pet-friendly

Accepting pets in your holiday let will boost occupancy rates and in turn increase your holiday let income. With one in three guests now taking pets on holiday, you will broaden your opportunity to reach a wider audience.

Let your Cottage with John Bray Cornish Holidays

With over 50 years’ experience in the self-catering holiday letting market, we are proud to offer an exceptional service to both our owners and customers.

Join over 350 properties working with North Cornwall’s leading holiday letting agency. Request your FREE owner’s guide or call our team on 01208 228910 today.

*Statistics published in Sykes Staycation Index 2021