Pensioners eye holiday lets to cash in on ‘staycation’ boom

Linda J. Dodson

More retirees are considering using holiday properties to boost their retirement income this summer in a bid to cash in on the post-lockdown staycation boom.

Inquiries from owners interested in renting out their houses and flats to tourists have risen by 80pc this year compared with 2019, according to Sykes Holiday Cottages, a lettings firm. It saw a sudden spike in the number of owners asking to list their properties following Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement of the stamp duty cut on July 8.

Inquiries since then are more than double the level they were at the same time last year, with homeowners quick to check how much they could earn if they bought an extra property.

Tina Bird, 59, of Norfolk, has been renting out her cottage since she retired from her job as an infant schoolteacher in 2017. Holiday letting has become her main source of income, she said, as bookings remain busy all year, thanks in part to a hot tub and a log burner.

She said: “Having had no prior experience, I didn’t know what to expect initially. But I was keen to take on a new project in my retirement. Running a holiday home has given me a reason to get out of bed in the morning.”

However, lockdown meant that all bookings had to be either cancelled or postponed. Normal rental levels have resumed since the travel ban was lifted and there has been a large jump in bookings this summer as anxious travellers opt to stay in the country during the pandemic, she said.

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