Q: What makes using Rental Retreats to rent out my vacation home different from doing it myself?
A: It takes a lot of time and work to rent out your holiday home. It involves a lot of administrative work, including determining an appropriate price structure over the course of the rental season, marketing your vacation home through a variety of channels, managing bookings, and responding to inquiries and problems from visitors, among other things.
All of this and much more is taken care of if you choose us as your rental partner. You will also gain from our 15 years of combined expertise, ongoing research, and understanding of the vacation business. All of which we put to good use to make sure you have the most profitable and pleasant rental experience possible.
The work involved in managing a booking is significant. Before, during, and after a stay, there is a large amount of labour involved in handling a booking. Prior to their journey, guests typically have a lot of questions and demand prompt responses. Sometimes transfers must be scheduled, arrival instructions and property guides must be updated frequently, and arrival times frequently need to be negotiated or changed as a result of changes to the travel itinerary.
Every reservation is unique. A quality rental company will run extremely responsive customer support and local guest liaison teams seven days a week.
You are starting a business by renting out your property. It is your legal and financial responsibility to make sure you are following the law and complying. You are required by law to gather and submit passport information for each visitor staying at your facility in addition to initial set up and fiscal compliance. We can stay up with legislative and legal changes. It is our responsibility to make renting out your house simpler for you. We can support you with this procedure because we have the resources and expertise.
Q.:What happens when someone books my vacation home?
A: We will email you, letting you know that your property has been reserved. On your private online spreadsheet page, you can see information regarding each individual booking.
Q: How can I track my bookings?
A: We maintain a real-time online spreadsheet with all of the details of our bookings. As an owner you will be given a link to access that spreadsheet. There you can see the income from all of your bookings, and you can see when you have been paid. You can also see what bookings you have coming up and what income will be coming your way. You can switch tabs to view prior years.
Q: I'm concerned that I don't have enough bookings?
A: If you're not receiving the number of bookings that you'd expect, the chances are that the rates are a little too high. Get in touch with us to discuss your rates and any other issues that may be limiting your bookings.
Q: How can I achieve more bookings?
A: Numbers really help! If you can accommodate more guests you increase the size of your potential customer base. Perhaps some of the best purchases you can make to help bookings are sofa-beds and folding beds. Having a cot available will be a big help too.
Q: Why is the first year the most difficult?
A: It takes some time to become well-known when you have just introduced your new property to the market. Visitors may also be suspicious of a lack of reviews, which may influence their decision to make a reservation. Please be patient in this situation; if your property is suitable and in a decent location, renters will find it. Naturally, we'll do everything we can to fill your space as soon as possible.
Q: Who writes the description of my vacation home and takes the photos?
A: In order to ensure that your vacation home has the best exposure and is advertised to potential consumers throughout the world, we take care of the photographs and the description. Your holiday home will be presented with expert photography and an engaging description written by one of our qualified content writers.
Q: How will potential customers find my holiday home?
A: Your holiday home receives broad global promotion through our website, major booking platforms, social media, and other online marketing initiatives.
Q: How much money can I make by using Rental Retreats to rent out my vacation home?
A: Your income depends on a number of variables, including the property's location, the number of weeks it is available for rent, the quality and amenities it offers, the time of year it is rented out, and more. During a meeting with you, we can broadly provide you with an estimation of income.
Q: How can I be sure I'm being paid fairly for my rental property?
A: We are your partner and have a shared desire to rent out your property for the most income. We make advantage of our industry knowledge, our expertise, data base, and data analytic capabilities as well as ongoing monitoring and research of vacation trends to guarantee that you constantly get the best income from your rentals.
We will also suggest various ways you might enhance your property for rental and so increase your rental income using our experience and ongoing analysis of the vacation rental industry.
Q: When and how will I be paid?
A: We make our payments to owners when we receive funds ourselves. This varies according to the platform that was used by the guests when making the booking. Typically though the payments are made approximately 3 working days after the guests have checked-in. More often than not, that is when we receive funds from the 3rd party sites. We make payments by bank transfer.
Q: In the event that my guests decide not to show up, what happens to my payment?
A: Guests need to pay the full costs of their stay within 5 weeks of arrival. Those funds are transferred to our owners shortly after the intended check-in date regardless of whether the guest shows up or not.
Q: I’m thinking about renting out my vacation property. Is there any legislation I should be aware of?
A: The particular laws and rules governing property short-term rentals are always changing. In addition to connecting you with professionals who may help you grasp some of the nuances related tax laws and other legal obligations, Rental Retreats will also try to advise you on the most recent legal requirements and specifications.
Q: Why will I require an accountant's services in Portugal?
A: When you make your property available for rent in Portugal, you are essentially carrying out a self-employed business (activity). Your accountant will next file your year-end tax returns and help you provide Facturas (Portuguese invoices) to any Portuguese visitors who need them. This is also required by law, therefore if you are renting, you must be able to provide this service. The accountant we suggest is incredibly helpful and will go through everything in depth with you. You don't have to see them in person; you can complete all of this remotely by email if necessary.
Q: How much tax will I have to pay?
A: If you are a foreign property owner who is not a resident, the Portuguese government will give you a somewhat better rate. Please seek the counsel of an accountant so they can explain this to you more clearly. In most cases, you can earn up to €12,000 before paying income tax (subject to conditions).
Q: Why do I require fire safety equipment and a rental license?
A: You must have this in order to rent a property. It follows that you are totally in compliance with the law and that your home is secure and up to code. Only legally rentable homes will be accepted, and we can arrange for the rental license on your behalf for a very affordable price. Again, in order to comply with the license and the legislation, your property needs fire safety equipment in order to fulfil the license. We work with a business that places all the required equipment in the appropriate locations. On your behalf, we can oversee the installation and we can assist with the licence application. The cost of the license includes the application to the competent authorities, plus local municipal fees as well as inspection and other related costs. Contact us for more information.
Q: Is an Energy Certificate required?
A: Since November 2013, having a valid Energy Certificate is required for all rental homes. The certificate ought to be in your property records if you bought your home after 2009. The certificate has a ten-year expiration date. If necessary, we can help you get a current energy certificate.
Q: What is the situation with SEF, and who will take care of this?
A: As a renter, you are legally required to have all visitors to your home, paying or not, including children, family members, and friends, registered with SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras), the immigration and border control agency. You don't need to worry because you will be totally compliant with this facility because we are fully registered with SEF and submit this information on your behalf.
Q: What happens if a guest causes damage to my holiday home?
A: It is important to us that you feel at ease when you rent out your holiday home. Fortunately, it's very unusual to have guests cause damage to a property. We take a damages deposit from guests, and this helps to encourage guests to take care in our properties and it also covers any minor damage that might be caused. After guests leave, the property manager checks the property and, anything of value is reported broken or damaged, we initiate a conversation with the guest, offering them the chance to explain. If necessary, we deduct any make-good expenses from the security deposit. We must consider reviews because these can be very delicate situations. As poor reviews can have an adverse effect on subsequent rentals, we normally don’t penalise guests for minor damage such as broken glasses, or crockery.
In the case of major damage, owners are able to pursue guests for compensation through the courts however that tends to be expensive and time consuming. It's best to have an insurance policy to cover any larger losses. There are specialist insurance providers for the holiday home industry. Here is a link to one such provider: https://intasure.com/expat-and-eu-resident-insurance/holiday-home/
Q: What happens if a guest injures themselves in my holiday home holiday home or causes damage to neighbouring properties?
A: Two insurance policies should be in place for each property:
- Local Accommodation Insurance is a type of civil liability insurance that provides coverage for any material or bodily harm that may be brought on by the activity of providing local lodging services to third parties, including visitors. It includes aid and protection services assuring the appropriate operation of the space in addition to fulfilling the legal requirement to get civil liability insurance.
- Multirisks Insurance - In the case of a local accommodation establishment whose unit is part of a building under a horizontal property regime, the holder of the operation is also obliged to conclude or provide proof of the existence of valid insurance that guarantees property damage directly caused by fire in or from in the accommodation unit. The Multirisks insurance covers this legal requirement, as well as guaranteeing the full protection of your property and your business.
Q: How long will my agreement with Rental Retreats be in effect?
A: Our owners are free to ask us to stop taking booking on their behalf at any time. If there are future bookings in place, owners are responsible for handling any cancellation costs incurred in the event that they are not able to honour those reservations. If you do decide to stop working with us, it is best to plan in advance, block the calendars to prevent future bookings and allow the confirmed bookings to proceed.
Q: Can I use the property myself?
A: Yes, our owners are always able to use their property. We only ask that owners inform us of dates that they would like and honour our bookings if the property has already been booked by a guest for the nights concerned.
Q: Can I keep my personal belongings in my vacation home?
A: Yes, of course, but they should be kept in a location that is lockable and marked for the owner.
Q: What would happen if I wanted to reserve my home for friends, relatives, or even myself?
A: This is perfectly fine; all we ask is that you confirm with us beforehand if the dates are available so we can reserve them for you. Some of the websites we use charge penalties if we change or cancel any reservations. Although it is our goal to update calendars as soon as possible, we may have a booking awaiting processing so it’s best that we block off the dates and confirm that has been done before you or your friends book flights. Just keep in mind that we are renting on your behalf, so if you give away high season dates, your income will be adversely affected.
Q: What would happen if I decided to sell my home?
A: Renting the property that has been reserved by our customers is our first priority. If you're seeking to sell, we'll typically take your property off the market so that viewings and other events don't bother visitors who are already there and we don’t line-up bookings far in advance that we won’t be able to honour.
Q: I've received a poor review?
A: Even our best properties sometimes receive poor reviews. At times guests book a property that is not suitable for them; maybe there are too many stairs or they get upset by noise when staying in a property on a main road. Poor weather conditions can really upset guests. These frustrations can be vented in a negative review. You may have done everything right but still get a poor review. However, usually poor reviews can be avoided. It may be of help for you to see our advice for how to prepare a holiday home.