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Would you forget holiday lets and rent a staycation home for 6 months?

Have you been trying to book a family staycation in Britain this summer only to be met with either a lack of availability or prices that feel more suitable to being flown on a private jet to the Caribbean?

Demand for holiday lets in England has soared amid the pandemic and confusion about travel overseas restrictions.

It has led to reports of families being quoted tens of thousands of pounds for a week’s stay in this country, with one father-of-three saying he was quoted more than £70,000 for a week’s stay in Cornwall for himself and his family. 

So is there a solution that enables you to get away and enjoy a series of holidays in this country for less, if you take advantage as much as possible?

We took a look at what it costs to rent a property for six months and whether this could be cheaper than booking several individual family holidays during that time. 

Demand for holiday rentals in areas such as St Austell in Cornwall (pictured) have increased amid the pandemic, pushing up prices

If you are going to rent a property to use as a frequent holiday let, there are issues you need to research such as whether it is fully furnished

If you are going to rent a property to use as a frequent holiday let, there are issues you need to research such as whether it is fully furnished

If you are able to arrange things quickly and sign a six-month shorthold tenancy agreement in the next few weeks, there may even be time to squeeze in a fortnight’s holiday in August, then another break later this year during half term, and even a week or two at Christmas.

However, if it proves too late to arrange something this year, perhaps you might decide it may be worth looking into it for next year and seeing what types of properties can be rented where and for what price.

For those thinking they may still be able to largely work from home this time next year, this could allow a family to spend the bulk of the summer holidays by the seaside – and invite down friends and family as guests.

There are obviously factors that you need to watch out for, including whether the property is furnished, unless you are prepared to take all your own cutlery and blow-up beds during your stays.

And you also need to check what – if any bills – are included. Landlords are sometimes willing to negotiate including some household bills such as water rates but otherwise you will need to factor in the cost of utilities, council tax and insurance.

Ultimately, a six month rental costing about £6,000 or more is unlikely to involve splashing out less than you would on a few weeks of a holiday let, but in terms of pounds per day you can spend there it might compare favourably.

There may be other factors that you need to watch out for. For example, a condition of your insurance might be that you do not leave the property empty for than 30 days, so you may need to plan to book in some additional weekend visits. 

Mark Hayward, of lettings body Propertymark, added a word of caution, saying: ‘It is crucial that renters read any tenancy agreement carefully making sure to leave the property as stipulated, and pay attention to any inventory attached to the tenancy. 

‘It is increasingly common for landlords in holiday areas to avoid a six-month commitment in favour of a very short term let on which they can achieve a premium, and therefore while a longer term holiday rental may appear attractive, in practice it is likely to prove more difficult.’ 

While a direct comparison may mean renting a property for six months is more expensive, it still provides the flexibility to use the property as much as you want. And remote working means it may be possible to use it during the week more frequently if there is a separate home office space. 

Properties to rent in tourist areas 

We take a look at three properties in Cornwall, Devon and the Cotswolds that can be rented for less than £1,000 a month on a minimum six-month tenancy agreement.

It compares to a potential £2,000 to £3,000 that a family of four may spend on a two week summer holiday alone, without getting to enjoy holiday lets at Christmas, half term or any additional time such as weekends.

1. Two-bed flat in Falmouth, Cornwall, £865 a month 

This two-bedroom terrace property in St Austell, Cornwall, is available to rent for £850 a month via Mid Cornwall letting agents

This two-bedroom terrace property in St Austell, Cornwall, is available to rent for £850 a month via Mid Cornwall letting agents

The property in St Austell has a garden with a lawn area, a patio and a good-sized garden shed

The property in St Austell has a garden with a lawn area, a patio and a good-sized garden shed

This two-bedroom terrace property is in the Charlestown area of St Austell in Cornwall.

It is on the outskirts of St Austell town centre and is within walking distance of the sea and the beach.

It is available to rent for £850 a month, via Mid Cornwall letting agents.

2. Three-bed cottage in Loddiswell, Devon, £895 a month 

This three-bedroom property in Devon is available to rent for £895 a month via letting agents Charles Head

This three-bedroom property in Devon is available to rent for £895 a month via letting agents Charles Head

There aref ar-reaching views of the surrounding countryside from the Loddiswell rental home

There aref ar-reaching views of the surrounding countryside from the Loddiswell rental home

This newly renovated cottage is in Loddiswell in Devon’s Kingsbridge, and boasts far-reaching views of the surrounding countryside.

The three-bedroom property is available to rent for £895 a month via letting agents Charles Head. 

It is ten miles from the luxury seaside hotspot of Salcombe and seven miles from Bantham Beach on the mouth of the River Avon. 

3. Two-bed house in Tetbury, Gloucestershire, £995 a month 

This two-bedroom terrace cottage is in Gloucestershire's Tetbury and is available to rent for £995 a month, via letting agents Moore Allen & Innocent

This two-bedroom terrace cottage is in Gloucestershire’s Tetbury and is available to rent for £995 a month, via letting agents Moore Allen & Innocent

The property has a good-sized garden and views of the surrounding countryside in the Cotswolds

The property has a good-sized garden and views of the surrounding countryside in the Cotswolds

This two-bedroom terrace cottage is in Gloucestershire’s Tetbury, which is in the Cotswolds.

It includes off-road parking and is available to rent for £995 a month via letting agents Moore Allen & Innocent.

Tetbury is about two and a half hours from London by road and 45 minutes from Bristol, which is 30 miles away. 

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