Question about a holiday cottage

(36 Posts)
NettleTea Sun 04-Nov-18 11:21:55

Im taking over running MILs holiday cottage.
It will be completely redecorated as, although the building and location are wonderful, the interior design has dated
But thats not my question
Im wondering about allowing dogs. Under strict rules like not allowed in the bedrooms or on furniture, and not to be left alone in the house at any time.
Ive read that it can really boost your bookings, as more and more people have dogs, most often small dogs, and out of season in an area surrounded by countryside (we are on a farm with good footpaths) it may pay well.
Obv damage deposit for mess/damage and flooring/furniture considerations to allow deep cleaning between doggy and non doggy guests
any feedback? The place I read said 1 dog increases bookings by about 20%, 2 dogs by around 57% that is quite significant

OP’s posts: |
Nightmanagerfan Sun 04-Nov-18 11:28:31

If you do take dogs I’d make sure you have flooring that won’t be impacted by them, eg no carpet! And be aware that much as you tell people no dogs in bedrooms etc you can’t control that. Personally if you see it as a business I’d do everything you can to boost bookings and just plan accordingly.

We have a flat we Airbnb full time, in London so quite different, but here are a few tips in case useful:

We started off with all white bedding and towels, which isn’t sustainable! We now have mid grey towels and patterned bedding which is much easier to keep looking clean and fresh. We also have lots of spares - I think we have lost/had stolen/ruined about six sets of towels - I have no idea what people do to them! Again we stated off with John Lewis and now they are all primark

We bulk buy washing up liquid/nice hand soap/shower gel etc and just refill nice looking containers before each stay to save waste and ensure people get that feeling they’re the first to arrive.

Religiously put drain unblocker down the plug holes between stays - learnt the hard way with that one.

We got a Netflix subscription as that’s a nice bonus for people staying without too much extra cost, and we can advertise it as a perk.

I love managing the flat and you can make it so lovely! Enjoy.

madvixen Sun 04-Nov-18 11:31:41

To my mind, you either have to be totally dog friendly (no size restrictions, no restrictions on where they can go) or not allow dogs at all.
The people I know who are totally dog friendly tend to be fully booked most of the year. The halfway house type affairs don't really appeal to either market.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 04-Nov-18 11:33:03

We don’t rent anywhere that allows dogs but I understand I may be in a minority in that one.

gussiefox Sun 04-Nov-18 11:33:24

Have a browse through the forums on www.laymyhat.com Lots of discussions about dogs on there. You do need to consider making it clear if it is dog friendly in case subsequent guests have allergies. Good luck with your new adventure.

Knittedfairies Sun 04-Nov-18 11:34:54

Unless you can police the no dogs in the bedroom/on furniture rule, it’s not going to work. It’s either dog-friendly or no dogs allowed. You’d probably get more bookings if dog-friendly, but I avoid cottages that are.

Babymamamama Sun 04-Nov-18 11:35:59

We stayed in a dog friendly apartment this summer in the UK.

puckingfixies Sun 04-Nov-18 11:39:50

I prefer to book holiday cottages directly with the owner rather than line the pockets of OTAs such as Airbnb or HomeAway so I'm a member of a lot of facebook groups that facilitate this.

To be honest, if you state that dogs are not allowed in the bedrooms, most pet owners will scroll past your cottage - you would be considered dog tolerant rather than dog friendly (I don't own a dog but often see this response on posts).

I think you either have to accept pets in all areas of the cottage or go pet-free.

tabulahrasa Sun 04-Nov-18 11:40:40

See I book cottages out of season and take my dog, but I cross off ones that have rules like that.

So I don’t know that it will increase your bookings tbh.

Disfordarkchocolate Sun 04-Nov-18 11:42:48

As long as you're very clear. I always choose dog/pet free accommodation due to allergies, suitable accommodation is sometimes difficult to find.

Villanellesproudmum Sun 04-Nov-18 11:46:25

We book dog friendly cottages as we have one dog via Airbnb because the host can also see our feedback as a paying guest so they can see how immaculate we leave the place. We take our own blanket because she has a chair at home and if she goes on the furniture it’s covered.

You either have to be dog friendly or not, you could t realistically police those rules.

tabulahrasa Sun 04-Nov-18 12:08:19

I also never understand the logic behind insisting they’re not left alone in the house, but that they also have to be alone overnight...

mummymeister Sun 04-Nov-18 17:54:01

If you are going to take dogs then you have to accept that you cannot put any rules in place I am afraid. unless you are living on site and popping in and out everyday you cannot enforce rules like no dogs on beds or upstairs or anything else. you either have to take them or not take them.

also if you are taking over running this cottage then you will need to make sure it complies with the latest fire safety stuff and that you have a fire risk assessment, hard wired smoke alarms between the rooms and other stuff like that. If you are going dog friendly then go really dog friendly - provide old blankets and sheets to cover things with, dog bowls, information on dog friendly walks/beaches etc.

mummymeister Sun 04-Nov-18 17:56:39

oh and think really carefully about damage deposits. if you insist on them then you need someone to show each new set of guests in and be there to show them out/have a walk around when they leave. otherwise they will claim the damage was there when they arrived and you will have no way to prove this. used to be a hotel room cleaner and you would be shocked what people try and get away with. Also, look into the GDPR regs in relation to holding the information for a deposit and also consider the hassle if you have to withhold it.

AnnabelleLecter Sun 04-Nov-18 18:08:22

We have a holiday cottage that we have just started letting. We allow two dogs. The last guests bought their own dog crate so they could go and eat out once or twice in the evening without their dog. Perhaps you could suggest that.
All of our bookings bar one going forward have pets so if we didn't allow them, we would have only one booking!
We haven't made any specific rules around dogs hoping that most people are reasonable.
We are aiming for damage limitation by having a stone floor with washable rug, leather sofa, a throw on the bed and providing a cheap dog towel (paw print on) in the hallway.

chloworm Sun 04-Nov-18 18:14:04

We used to allow dogs but despite house rules, people still let them on the sofas and beds. The cottage started smelling really doggy and the last straw was a big dog poo stain on the carpet. Now we don't allow them and are still really busy. Some people deliberately chose a non-pet cottage due to allergies. The cottage is in the countryside. Personally I'd never book a place that allowed dogs. No matter what they do tend to smell doggy.

AgentProvocateur Sun 04-Nov-18 18:17:46

I only go to places where dogs aren’t allowed. Even with a deep clean, you still get that dog smell and dog hairs, which I’m allergic to.

Mumtothelittlefella Sun 04-Nov-18 18:25:51

Allowing dogs can double your bookings so it’s definitely worth considering (Based on my professional experience and industry stats).

You can put in place rules such as no dogs allowed up stairs or on the furniture, and you can also charge for a dog (usually £25 per week). Consider whether you would take multiple dogs too and charge per dog.

To minimise the feeling of rules, instead offer dog friendly extras such as dogs towels (you can get these from charity shops and they will mean the renter won’t be tempted to use your main towels on their beloved pup). You could also supply a dog bed which should also avoid dogs on the furniture etc.

To give you some control you could specify what types of breeds you will accept. Some properties just aren’t suited to huge dogs. Owners should also make sure that dogs aren’t left on their own in the cottage so you could provide details of local kennels/dog day care should they want to take a trip or spend a few hours without their dog.

Make sure you factor dog damage into the terms and conditions just in case you need to clean carpets, rugs.

Ignoramusgiganticus Sun 04-Nov-18 18:32:06

How desirable will your property be? Is it in a really touristy area? Is it good value for the price. Does it look pretty? It might be that you will be busy anyway. Why not start off as dog free and then if you need to you can accept them later?

Penguinsetpandas Sun 04-Nov-18 18:35:09

We only go to places dogs aren't allowed, there's no option for that on searches, so probably isn't counting people doing that.

I would either allow no restrictions or don't allow.

Heratnumber7 Sun 04-Nov-18 18:38:20

We stayed in a cottage about a month ago that allowed dogs.
We don't have dogs.
The cottage smelled of dog. Wouldn't go there again.

Tinlegs Sun 04-Nov-18 18:42:30

DH works for a huge holiday cottage company.

People want dogs and without them you restrict your market and will not make as much money.

Oddly, we prefer no dog places but allow them in our own holiday cottage (seaside) but not in our city centre one. Wooden or slate floors, shake out / washable rugs and rules about picking up poo in the garden help a lot.

Botanica Sun 04-Nov-18 18:44:39

I have one small dog and often book dog-friendly holiday accommodation.

Agree with others saying too many rules will be unenforceable.

It's near impossible to keep a determined dog off furniture. Instead I would have some nice looking but washable throws on the sofa and armchairs that can be used.

I'd be ok booking somewhere with a no dogs upstairs rule but it can be hard to keep your dog down, and on previous occasions I've ended up building physical barricades out of our suitcases to stop the little monkey coming upstairs.

If you wanted to state this, what would really help is to supply a stair gate that can easily be removed. I'd happily use it to keep the dog downstairs if requested.

ICantFindAFreeNickName2 Sun 04-Nov-18 18:49:12

I avoid cottages that allow pets. I would do as a previous poster suggested. Start off saying no pets, then if you do not get enough bookings you can change to being dog friendly for the next season.

applepinkierainbow Sun 04-Nov-18 19:03:20

My in laws have a holiday house I manage for them. We have allowed dogs and (touch wood!) have never had a problem with them in the house. We have had issues with guests not clearing up in the garden though which I find infuriating. The house doesn't smell of dogs (we don't have a dog and I hate wet dog smell so would definitely notice!). We are lucky though that the house is large and airy with wooden easy to clean floors downstairs. We also use a very thorough cleaning company and make sure we have washable sofa covers etc. We definitely get more bookings due to it but agree with others that you could never police the upstairs left alone bit!

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