Manage your seasonal rental well

Unlike what people may think, a house that is rented seasonnaly will get damaged more slowly than a house that is rented out all year along. Here are the reasons why :

  • a tenant who is renting a house during 48 months can afford to lose his deposit as it is spread out over a long period of time. A tenant who is renting a house for 1 or 2 weeks will absolutely want to get his deposit back and will therefore be more careful. Losing £2,000 over 48 months isn’t too dramatic, however losing £2,000 over 2 weeks, that’s another matter…
  • renting your house weekly allows you to keep an eye on it regularly and to fix little problems one at a time when they occure, whereas bigger problems will be taken care of either by the deposit or by the insurance. That way, after 3 or 4 years, the property will have been looked after very regularly.

However, some precautions should be taken, on one hand to guarantee maximum comfort for your tenants and on the other hand to keep your holiday house in good state.

In this section, you will find out about a few ideas and practical tips that should be helpful for you!

To start efficiently a new rental season on the Ile de Re: the check-list

Your holiday property on the Ile de Ré hasn’t been rented for a few months, often from November to March, and as sunnier days are coming, it needs a deep checking in order for your season to begin in the best conditions.

Indeed, this “preparation work” is essential because it allow the season to begin well, avoiding any last-minute emergencies and breakdowns that can often turn out to be very expensive.


Remember to check:

  • the bedding : mattresses, pillows (square shaped), under-sheets (several for each bed), and duvets.
  • the quality and quantity of the crockery, dishes and cutlery, the state of the cupboards (inside and out), and the drawers.
  • the cleansiness of the filters of the hood, the dishwasher, the washing-machine and the dryer.
  • the cleansiness of the door slots
  • the cleansiness of the showers (plugs and joints) and the baths
  • the state of the hoover (with spare vacuum bags)
  • that the TV and DVD player work, and that the batteries of the remotecontroles work
  • that the Internet works
  • the presence of a cot and a high-chair
  • the presence of a hair-dryer

And finally, don’t forget to give the windows a deep clean, remember to leave some spare batteries in the house, some spare light bulbs and a few cleaning products.


Remember to check :

  • the tidiness of the garden (lawn freshly mowed)
  • the neatness of the terrasse (clean and dry)
  • the good state of the garden furniture (BBQ, parasols)
  • the cleansiness of the two bins (yellow and green)

THE SWIMMING POOLS MUST BE PRE-HEATED TO BE AT THE RIGHT TEMPERATURE (27°C) ON THE DATE WE WILL HAVE AGREED ON IN ADVANCE (around end of April). Don’t forget to make sure the security system of the pool works properly (alarm and cover) and to send your rental planning to your pool technician.

The pool of your holiday rental on the Ile de Re: some precautions to take


If the pool is heated, make sure you don’t tell your tenants that the pool is defenitely heated in October and in April. A lot of people are under the impression that it’s as easy to heat a pool as it is to heat a bath. However, if someone books in January for a week in April, beware of what you promise them regarding the pool : the weather is unpredictable that far in advance. If in April the weather is cold during the night and rainy during the daytime, you won’t be able to heat your pool up to 27°c (minimum temperature of a pool in April), and you will then have to cope with your tenant’s disappointment when they arrive. In order to avoid this tricky scenario, here are three useful tips :

  • for stays beginning before may, don’t commit to anything
  • be precise about the temperature : if for your tenant “heated” means 30°C whereas for you it means 25°C, you will have to deal with a disappointment or even worse… a conflict !
  • take some useful precautions by pointing out on the contract informations like : for bookings in April and in October, our commitment to provide a pool heated to 27°C will depend on the weather.


Trusting a skilled worker with the maintenance of your pool during the holiday season is fundamental : the maintenance of your pool can’t be put in the hands of an amateur handy-man ! Breakdowns happen regularily (quality of the water, heating system, cover…) and the work of a professionnal is needed at least once a week in order to guarantee that the pool works properly throughout the season.


The pool house must not be accessible to the tenants because it isn’t their job to look after the pool. You must therefore lock it and make sure the switch that opens and closes the pool is located outside the pool house.

The controle of the heat pump must not be accessible to the tenants. Indeed, the tenants must not be able to adjust the temperature of the pool depending on their personal preferences. You must therefore place the controle box of the heat pump in a safe and hidden place (inside the pool house for example).


If the pool is equipped with spot lights that light up during the night, we advise you to switch them off completely when you are renting your house. Indeed, this type of lighting uses up a lot of energy especially when your tenants forget to switch them off during the daytime… A less radical solution can be to use a timer that will automatically switch off the lights after a certain amount of time (2 hours for example).


Finally, I will conclude with the security of your pool that can be insured by 3 diffrent systems: alarm, cover or fence.

  • the fence is by far the safest of safety equipements as long as it is up to the safety standards. But the fence has two disadvantages: people who are very focused on the design of their garden will see it as a drawback, and the fence, unlike the cover, doesn’t maintain the pool at a certain temperature.
  • the electric cover gives your pool maximum security and helps to keep the water at a good tempaerature. Depending on your budget, the cover can be outside the pool (less expensive) or hidden inside the pool (more aesthetic solution).
  • in any case, avoid souple covers and complicated alarms that are less reliable.

The bedding: think scalability, comfort and cleanliness


Your holiday home on the Ile de Ré must satisfy everyone’s needs. If you are renting a house with four bedrooms, you could be greeting 3 couples with two children and one baby, or maybe 2 couples with four teenagers, or even 1 couple with an au pair and 5 children. Here are a few basic rules to make sure you can satisfy everyone.

Do not have too many bunk-beds in your property. Indeed, even if they allow you to save space, they are not adapted for adults. If you have three bedrooms, one with a double bed, another with twin beds and finally one with bunk-beds, how could you possibly satisfy 3 couples?

Do not have too many pull-out beds either, they are often uncomfortable and less appreciated by adults.

Also try to avoid 140cm double beds which are often not wide enough for couples. This small detail could provent a couple who is used to sleeping in a bigger bed (180cm) from renting out your house.

Finally, try to avoid small single beds (70 com) that are too short for adults or tall teenagers.

The last detail we tend to forget is the bed-frame. Do not equip your beds with a bed-frame at the foot of the bed because of taller people. If the length of the bed is 190cm and your tenant mesures exactly 190cm, this means his feet will be touching the bed-frame… Imagine how uncomfortable that would be !

To be more concise, in a house with 3 bedrooms, 2 double beds of 160cm and 2 single beds of 80cm would be a good compromise. In a house with 4 bedrooms, make sure you have 2 double beds of 160cm and 4 singles of 80cm.


The bedding must be, above all, comfortable, but also up to the high standard of a holiday home on the Ile de ré. Your mattresses should be neither too hard nore too soft, to be able to satisfy a greater range of clients.

The comfort of the bedding is mainly due to the quality of the duvets and pillows:

regarding the duvets, adapt them to the climate of the Ile de Ré : neither too heavy or too light. Try to avoid duvets filled with feathers that are more expensive and more likely to provoke allergies. Also make sure to have a few extra blankets for each bed. They are quite cheap and can be replaced regularily.
when it comes to the pillows, don’t go for the cheapest ones, but rather for better quality ones that will last longer. Finally, depending on the standard of your holiday home on the Ile de Ré, you should make sure you have two pillow per person, so 2 pillows for each single bed and 4 for each double bed.
Don’t forget to equip your house for a baby as well : a cot if you have enough space or a travel-cot if you lack space. If you have a travel-cot, I advise you to also use a small mattress in it to make it more comfortable for the baby. As for a high-chair, a good idea is to get the basic Antilop one from Ikea… so easy and practicle !


Holiday homes on the Ile de Ré are not university halls! The pillows must always be clean, without any stains and must be changed as often as needed. Renting a villa on the Ile de Ré with dirty or worn out pillows is just not acceptable today.

Duvets must also be washed at least once a year. It is better to equip your beds with duvets rather than blankets. Duvets are protected with duvet covers whereas blankets are used without any protection which is obviously less hygienic.

And finally, don’t forget that mattresses and pillows must absolutely be protected by clean covers. We advise you to use good covers made out of coton and with a waterproof layer to them. Throw-away covers or plastic covers are unacceptable.

6 good ideas to manage the keys of your holiday rental on the Ile de Re

Reducing the number of keys as much as you can is always better for the comfort of your tenants and for you own tranquillity. In some cases, when you have 10 different keys on the same bunch, it can be such a hassle to find the right key for the right door ! Here are six useful tips regarding your keys …

  1. All your keys don’t necessarily have to be on the “tenants’ bunch”. Also, remember to permanently leave certain keys on certain doors of the house. In this case, leave a big key-ring on the key to make it easier to find, if for example someone were to accidently remove the key from the lock,
  2. Always keep a spare key in a safe place,
  3. Create a chart to be able to open several doors with the same key (and therefore to reduce the number of keys). For example, if 3 doors lead to the main part of the house and a fourth door leads to an annex in which you wish to keep some personnal belongings, it would be a good idea to have a PASS key that opens all four doors (your key), and another key that only opens the main part of the house (the tenant’s key).
  4. Hook a pretty and big key-ring to the bunch, on which you can leave a phone number (in case you lose your keys) BUT don’t leave the adress of the house (for obvious reasons!)
  5. Use barrels that open with a key from the outside but that you can close with a button from the inside. This system is a lot easier and has many plus points : no more looking for you keys when you want to open the door from the inside,  no more keys hanging around the house (less risks of losing the keys and less risks for children), and finally, in case of emergency, finding the button to open the door is immediate so no more risks of staying trapped inside the house.
  6. Always have several bunches of keys: 1 for you, 1 for those who look after your house (cleaner, gardener…), and 1 or 2 for the tenants (up to 3 depending on the number of guests).

Whatever the size of the house, the tenants bunch of keys must not carry more than 3 keys.

The key amenities for your accommodation on the Ile Re, room by room?

Being a property owner on the Ile de Ré, your personal needs concerning the equipment of your house are not necessarily the same as those of your future tenants.

If for example you are an “anti-tv” kind of person because you believe it’s better to spend your time on the Ile de Re at the beach rather than watching TV, that’s your point of view and it probably won’t be shared by your tenants. Only if you decide to rent your house, you have to put yourself in your tenants place so that your property meets their expectations. If we go back to the example of the TV, it’s more likely that the number of people who wish to watch TV (even if it’s only for 30 minutes a day) is superior to the number of people who don’t want to watch it at all.

Another point that deserves thinking about is the importance of not confusing luxury and good basic equipment. I have seen properties for rental on the Ile de Ré that are luxurious but badly equipped, and vice versa properties that are more modest but very well equipped. If we refere ourselves to a “normal” tenant, we can say he won’t be looking to spend a holiday drinking out of Baccarat cristal glasses or eating out of Wedgwood china plates. That is luxury. However, a “normal” tenant won’t want to spend a holiday for a week with 6 people sharing 8 chipped plates and drinking out of 6 old mustard pots in lieu of glasses. What a “normal” tenant really wants is 12 wine glasses, non-chipped of course, no matter if they are made out of luxury china or if they simply come from the famous swedish brand that we all know. That is what we call a good level of equipment.

Equipping your house properly nowadays is easy and rather inexpensive. Interior design shops are full of products that are attractive, practical and not too expensive that will allow you to offer to your tenants a good level of equipment and comfort that they are fully entitled to expect.

Here is a check list that goes through each room (I didn’t mention the equipment that obviously can’t be avoided in a property for rental on the Ile de Ré such as a fridge, a TV, an oven or a washing-machine):


  • a Nespresso coffee machine as well as an ordinary coffee machine. Having a few extra caps is much appreciated by the tenants
  • a high chair. Go for the Antilop one from Ikea: cheap, easy to clean and to fold away.
  • an electric kettle (essential for our English tenants’ tea-time)
  • a toaster
  • an oister knife (essential on the Ile de Ré!!!)
  • a blender
  • an oven that sized depending on the capacity of the house
  • if your house is equipped with a gas cooker, always have a gas bottle there too
  • a micro-wave is always much appreciated by young mother to heat their baby’s bottle
  • kitchen utensils (pans, frying pans etc…) adapted to the number of tenants, clean and in good state. Every year, this equipment must be checked and renewed if necessary.
  • dishes that are adapted to the number of tenants
  • don’t forget wine glasses. That doesn’t mean cristal wine glasses, but when you are on holiday on the Ile de Ré you want to drink good wine in a nice wine glass.
  • table mats and oven mitts
  • a cupboard with basic things like olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, washing liquid, and a new sponge. However, never leave behind open packets of food or drinks.
  • a folder that contains the instructions of the main devices: washing machine, dish washer, dryer, fridge…


  • hairdryer: at least one, maybe two if the house is big
  • some small bins (1 per bathroom)
  • clean toilet brushes (that you must check at least once a year


  • at least one baby bed or a cot. Remember to have a matress cover for the cot to make it more comfortable
  • clean and suitable pillows. Dirty pillows full of stains are not acceptable! Most clients will want two pillows (that means 4 pillows for a double bed). If you only have one per person, make sure you have a few spare ones somewhere in the hou se.
  • clean duvets and adapted to the weather (nore too thick or too thin). Because of a matter of hygiene, duvets are preferable to blankets.
  • Make sure you have a few extra blankets for young children or people who are sensible to the cold.
  • If there aren’t any shutters, the curtains must be thick enough to not get any daylight in the bedrooms
  • an extra TV in at least one of the bedrooms (generally in the parents’ room) is a plus point if your house is big


  • One or several sofas adapted to the number of tenants and the size of your house. If your property is meant for 8 people, a sofa with 3 seats is not big enough. You will need to complete it with some armchairs or another sofa.
  • a TV adapted to the size of the room… Grandma’s old square TV is not acceptable!
  • International TV channels (such as CNN, Sky News, ITV, BBC News…)
  • a DVD player. You can put away VHS players that take up too much space and aren’t very useful…
  • Internet access if essential. A large majority of clients will refuse to rent a house that isn’t equipped with the internet. Here is some key advice for the wifi password. The initial wifi password of the Internet box is always too long and too complicated. I advice you to change it with a shorter password that will be easier to remember. It will be a time-saver for you and for your tenants.
  • an iPod dock that will give a modern aspect to your property. You can put your old CD player away.
  • a few blankets for the sofa… Evenings can be chilly on the Ile de Ré!
  • a folder that contains instructions for the main electronic devices: TV, DVD player, iPod speakers, wifi password…


  • a dryer is necessary if there isn’t enough room elsewhere in your property to dry your linen. But even even if you have a dryer, a washing line is desirable to hang out your beach towels. If possible, put it under a shelter.
  • a hoover (that works of course!) and with some new bags to put in it. If you can, buy one that wroks without a bag.
  • a broom to sweep the floor with, a dust pan and brush
  • an iron and an ironing board


The equipment of the garden is a very important aspect. Our tenants are mainly city dwellers and come to the Ile de Ré to spend some time outdoors:

  • remember the BBQ, preferably a coal one. Go for a high quality BBQ (Weber if possible), or make sure you are able to change other BBQs regularly.
  • Sun loungers and chairs to lie down comfortably in the garden when the sun is out. Make sure you have enough… for example, if your house is for 6 people, at least 4 sun loungers are necessary. If your house has a swimming pool, sun loungers are compulsory!

Finally, I would like to finish by saying that it is necessary to have a cupboard (or a room) that the tenants can’t access but that you can easily open (and that the agency can also open) that contains:

  • a few extra basics like light bulbs, matress covers, batteries for the remote-controles, hoover bags…
  • a few food basics that will prove you know how to take care of your tenants. These can be:
    • coffee caps and tea bags
    • salt, pepper, vinegar, sugar
    • loo paper, kitchen roll
    • sponges
    • bin bags
    • washing up liquid