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[June 28, 2014]
Ask the experts ; Your holiday let questions answered [Western Morning News (England)]
(Western Morning News (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Q. I intend having a housekeeper to look after my tiny holiday cottage. Do I need to provide storage for bed linen or can I expect the housekeeper to look after it? - JS, East Devon A. Gaby Wakley, property manager for Helpful Holidays, says: The answer to your question depends on whom you employ. Some housekeepers will be happy to store linen at home, whilst others simply won't have the space or want the responsibility. Many owners of small cottages provide a lockable chest or trunk in which to store linen, or choose a bed with drawers underneath for storage, so these might be viable options if your space is limited. If you do have a cupboard on which you can mount a lock, you then have somewhere practical to stash consumables such as teabags and spare loo rolls, as well as the linen. It also means that guests aren't tempted to help themselves to an endless supply of clean towels and linen. Alternatively, it may be worth exploring the possibility of using a laundry to process linen and towels, relieving your housekeeper entirely from the responsibility of laundering and storing linen.
Q. Is there any reason why we can't sell eggs from our chickens to the guests in our holiday cottage? - MG, West Cornwall A. Melanie Cassidy, property manager for Helpful Holidays, says: If you keep fewer than 50 laying hens, there's no requirement for you to register with the Egg Marketing Inspectorate (EMI) as a producer or the Great Britain Poultry Register and you're free to sell your eggs without having to mark/stamp them. You must, however, display your name, address, the best before date and advice on chilling eggs after purchase. It's best not to classify eggs by size, or to say they're free range, from garden chickens or organic etc, unless you're absolutely certain you comply with relevant industry standards. As you'll be supplying direct to the consumer rather than on a large-scale commercial basis, you're exempt from regulations relating to the control and prevention of salmonella, but it's wise if you're buying new hens or chicks from a large flock to check they've been tested. More information can be found at www.gov.uk/ eggs-traderegulations.
Q. We don't want to update the rather overgrown old tennis court in the grounds of our holiday home. Should we still make it available to guests? - BB, Exmoor A. Gill Nicholls, property manager for Helpful Holidays, says: A facility such as a tennis court is very popular, not just with families but also outside school holidays when couples holiday together. Even if the tennis court is not brilliantly maintained, it will create fun for families and amateur players and is worth advertising, providing it is clear of weeds and has a net in reasonable condition. However, you must make the condition clear in the description of your property so that guests know exactly what to expect, and do clarify if you expect guests to provide their own racquets and balls. Providing the tennis court will give your property an advantage over those without and help to secure the important early and late season bookings.
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