Holiday Let Cleaning Tips

Part 1: Guiding Principles and Best Practice
Published on
9 March 2021

In 2020, cleaning and safety became one of the key focuses of the hospitality industry getting back on its feet after the initial lockdown, and as businesses settled back into welcoming customers, a central part of their communications.

In December, we predicted 8 top staycation trends for 2021 – and a continued focus on health and safety was number 4 on our list.

So, with cleanliness, health and safety likely to play a key part of holiday let property marketing, at least for the first half of the year, what can you do to reassure your guests and run a safe business?

We asked Jamie Cowan, a Cumberland holiday let mortgage customer and owner of 7 self-catering cottages for his thoughts.

Why it’s important

Jamie told us that one of the most important aspects of running a holiday let (even before COVID), is cleanliness.

It’s one of the key criteria your holiday let will be judged on – affecting guests’ first impressions, overall comfort and experience, and ultimately, public reviews (cleanliness often has its own category), recommendations to friends and family, and their likelihood to make a repeat booking.

So it’s always important, but over and above the usual, these are some things that Jamie and his cleaning team are doing at the moment:

Reassuring guests

Collectively known as Caerlaverock Cottages, Jamie's portfolio is listed on several booking websites, one of those being has a set of ‘Safer Stays’ principles, that Jamie has signed up to and displays on his cottage listings. The principles include:

  • Cleaning and sanitisation to government guidelines
  • Temporary removal of some non-essential high touch items
  • Safe key collection and key drop
  • Hand soap or sanitiser provided
  • Social distancing measures where appropriate

If your booking agent doesn’t offer their own set of COVID safety principles, you might want to sign up to a nationally recognised accreditation scheme, like Visit Britain’s ‘Good to Go'.

Other things you can do to reassure guests include:

  • Demonstrate your additional cleaning measures via property imagery and descriptions
  • Encourage guests to comment specifically on the cleanliness of accommodation within their reviews

Changeover Day

Before the latest lockdown, when he was still able to welcome guests, Jamie told us how he’d adjusted his cottage changeover days:

We ask guests to strip the beds, and leave the property clean and tidy. Guests are asked to leave a little earlier than usual to ensure there’s a good period of time between them leaving and cleaners arriving, and to open all the windows and ventilate the house, for the sake of our cleaning company. There are 7 staff and we need them to feel safe when they’re coming to do their job.

Resources and Links

For more information and advice, check out the links below, or read part two of our Holiday Let Cleaning Tips Series, where industry suppliers Out of Eden talk us through the type of products to be using right now, and the ways their customers have adapted the management of their properties throughout the pandemic.

VisitBritain Good to Go Scheme

Association of Scottish Self Caterers coronavirus cleaning guide

Caerlaverock Cottages

For more expert advice on keeping your property safe and clean for guests, check out part two of our Holiday Let Cleaning Tips series
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