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CLIENT SERVICES

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Gower Holidays' Client Desktop
(FAQs...and the place where you can find some useful info.)

Speaking to Gower Holidays

At Gower Holidays I am committed to providing the best level of customer service that I can. As the business expands and I continue as a sole trader I believe that it may be difficult to catch me on the phone at certain times as I could be in meetings, on site visits, updating the website or dealing with enquiries. To make it easier for you to speak to me on the phone I am designating certain times when I will definitely be available to answer the phone. To view these please click here.

Outside these times, please contact me and I will respond as soon as I can. This is usually the same day and always within 24 hours.


Topics covered below

Property administration documents
Do you have a list of letting weeks showing when the School Holidays are?

Do you have an example price guide of what I should be charging for self catering accommodation?

Questions about this website
How do I update the search facility?

Where can I advertise a special offer?

What are your current terms and conditions for advertising?

Do you have a privacy policy?

Can I pay for an 'enhanced listing'?

Beware of the Internet Scam
What is this Internet Scam that you have mentioned?

Other questions
Should I have a web address/domain name?

Help! I can't open some of these pdf documents

How can I make sure that guests treat my property with respect?

Where can I see examples of these postcards that you have on offer?

Tax implications
Do you know what the current rules for Furnished Holiday Lets are?

Do you know what the current rules for Let Properties are?

Legal
Providing Wi-Fi for your guests

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)

Fire Safety


 

 

Do you have a list of letting weeks showing when the School Holidays are?

The dates for 2015 can be viewed by clicking here.

Do you have an example price guide of what I should be charging for self catering accommodation?

The example price guide for 2012 can be viewed by clicking here.

I don't decide which band a property goes into. They are only guidelines and some clients will pitch themselves at a certain level. Others will take e.g. most of the prices from a particular band and then push the peak season price higher again. As all the bookings are taken by the owner themselves, only they can decide if they are pitched correctly by the number of bookings that they get. In lower season, some people will also introduce special offers to try to fill up the weeks.

There are other example price guides around, but this is the one that I have found has worked for my property for over six years and I have extrapolated the price bands on either direction based on that.

How do I update the search facility?

In order to update your bookings in the search facility, you must first apply for a username and password from me. The instructions of what to do next can be found here.

Where can I advertise a special offer?

The place for clients to advertise their special offers is on the Special Offers page. You don’t need a username or password and you can post as many offers as you want, as often as you want, but the accommodation that is advertised MUST be advertised with me elsewhere on the website, so the offer is not open to all accommodation providers in the area.  All offers will be checked by me, before they “go-live”.

There is a link from the menu on every page of the website (excluding the search facility) to the Special Offers section. Please note that you can only place special offers for the properties that you advertise with me.

Tips:
Give as much information about your offer as possible. Include dates, prices, your phone number, email address and link to your website or page on this site for more information.

What are your current terms and conditions for advertising?

The up to date terms and conditions can be found here (.pdf)

Do you have a privacy policy?

There is a link to the current privacy policy at the bottom of each page. It can also be viewed here. (.pdf)

Can I pay for an 'enhanced listing'?

In the event that enquiries are slower than desirable, one option to consider which may give you extra promotion for a property, is to pay for an enhanced listing.  If you choose to go ahead with an enhanced listing, your stage 1 advert will be placed in the top section of the accommodation page (self catering or B&B etc) with the links to your website or stage 2 advert as normal.

The enhanced listings will operate on a set of conditions as follows:
* the page will have a maximum of 5 enhanced listing properties on it at any one time
* an enhanced listing can run for a maximum of 7 consecutive days in any 28 day period
* an enhanced listing can only start on a weekday (which is not a bank holiday or a time when I am on holiday) and cannot finish on a weekend or bank holiday
* in order to get the best of the enhanced listing, only 1 property of its type and specification will be allowed on the enhanced listing page at any given time. E.g. s/c sleeps 2, s/c sleeps 4
*cost for the trial will be £10 for a minimum of 2 days plus £2.50 per day thereafter to a maximum of 7 consecutive days
*payment will need to be received before the enhanced listing is put live

If you are interested in placing an enhanced listing, then please email me. 

What is this Internet Scam that you have mentioned?

Rest assured that this scam is not particular to my business it covers anything sold on the internet. For much more detailed information and to check if an email that you have received and that you think is suspicious is one that we already know about, please click here

What is the advantage of having a web address/domain name?

If you have a stage 2 advert with me and you don’t have a web address, then it might be a good idea to invest in one.
e.g. www.faircroftgower.co.uk which is used for Faircroft in Rhossili.

This shortened web address points at the stage 2 advert whose actual URL is:
http://www.the-gower.com/self-catering/Faircroft/Faircroft.htm

The advantage of having a web address is that it could be included in any other form of advertising that you might have, in correspondence, on business cards and it is much easier to quote over the phone, to direct people to a place where they can find more information about your property.
Web addresses are inexpensive addition to your advertising. Please contact me if you require any further information.

I can't open some of these pdf documents

In order to read the .pdf documents that are available for download (above) you will need a version of Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is free to download by following this link:

http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html

How can I make sure that guests treat my property with respect?

Following on from an email that I sent out to all my clients, I am pleased to say that I received a lot of feedback from you as to how you try to ensure that your property is left in an acceptable state after guests have departed.  I’ve heard some horror stories, which I have been able to sympathise with from my own experience of having a settee chewed by a dog and a pile of human faeces left in the middle of my bathroom floor.

I’ll try to summarise what you are doing and what you have suggested that we do:

  • Make a blacklist of people whom we would not welcome to our accommodation (unfortunately, although you can make your own personal blacklist, we certainly could not share that information between us or put it on the website as it would contravene the Data Protection Act).

  • Trust your gut instinct.  If you’re not happy with the booking, don’t take it.  Be prepared to lose money by turning down a booking you feel is 'iffy'.

  • Be prepared to ask people to leave and refund their money.

  • Take a bond (an amount of money on top of the balance of the holiday) to cover breakages and extra cleaning, that would be returned if the property is left in what you deem to be an acceptable state. 

    I have been surprised as to how many of you are taking bonds.  They range from £50 to £250 and are taken either in cash on arrival or by cheque up front.  They are then usually returned (minus any deductions), by cheque, within seven days of the guests’ departure.   I have taken legal advice as bonds taken for Assured Shorthold Tenancies need to be held by a third party and not the landlord.  However, I was told on 08/07/09 that
    “The tenancy deposit scheme only applies to tenants who occupy properties under the terms of an assured shorthold tenancy and therefore will not apply to holiday lets”. 
    This could of course change in the future and I recommend that you take your own legal advice if you intend to start holding bonds.

  • Clearly spell out in a welcome pack how you expect the property to be left when the guests leave.  Remind them that the bond will be withheld if additional cleaning is needed. 

  • Put signs up in the property in appropriate places to the effect: "please respect the furniture", “please clean oven after use”, “please take bin bags out” etc.

  • Make your guests complete a booking form with all the names of those in their party.  (This also protects against extra visitors “just turning up”).  Make sure that they are signing up to your terms and conditions.  Ask them to return the booking form to you with their deposit/balance when they book.

Postcards advertising Gower and Gower Holidays

Three Cliffs postcard
Rhossili Postcard
Horton postcard
Oxwich postcard
Rhossili Bay postcard
 

Taxation

Gerald Thomas & Co, Chartered Accountants in Swansea have provided me with the following documents that explain the rules applied to the taxation treatment of Furnished Holidays Lets and (longer term) Let Properties. The information in the documents is correct at the time of publishing (12/08/11).

Furnished Holiday Lets

Let Properties (longer term rentals)

 

Providing Wi-Fi for your guests

I sent out a warning to my clients on 24/01/11 regarding securing your Public WiFi connection and the Template Public Wi-Fi Access Terms and Conditions. If you allow your guests to use your internet connection, it is really important to safeguard yourself by following this advice from ecrime Wales:

"Accommodation providers are being warned that unless they secure their wireless networks they could be liable for criminal activity under new laws brought in this year.

In Wales alone, reported cases of e-crime have more than doubled in the past 10 years, according to the country's tourist board, and the Digital Economy Act, which came into effect in June, makes network providers jointly responsible for an offence.

Visit Wales, together with e-Crime Wales, has sent out a fact sheet to tourism businesses, including B&Bs and other accommodation providers, containing instructions on how they can protect themselves.

e-Crime Wales' police manager Andrea Barnard said: "If guests act illegally online while on a B&B operated user network, the responsibility for any unlawful ac tivity rests with the network owners, the business itself.

'If a guest has not signed a terms and conditions document in order to gain access to the network, and downloads indecent images of children, for example, the B&B will be held as liable for this action.'

The new fact sheet, which is also free to download, gives step-by-step directions on how to add passwords to limit online access, write disclaimers and encrypt networks to make them more secure, all of which it says will protect against illegal activity.

For further information or to download the fact sheet, go to: www.ecrimewales.com/tourism "

 

Energy Performance Certificates

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)for holiday lets

General information on EPCs

Fire Safety

General information on fire safety for properties with paying guests

Information on complying with the fire safety for people who provide sleeping accommodation

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