Keystay Property Owner FAQ’s

All your questions answered below, please take a look.

If you would like to proceed, please fill out the contact us form and we can get the ball rolling for you.

There's a lot to think about when letting your property, so we've tried to think of everything you might want to know. But if we've missed anything, or you just want to chat to someone about your options, call 0333 200 1233

How much does it cost to join?

It costs nothing to join. We do not charge a joining fee. We are happy to provide support and advice free of charge to help you achieve a four or five star rating.

What regulations do I need to adhere to?

The rules are there to provide legal and financial protection for you and to ensure your guests are safe during their stay.

You will be required to carry out the following simple assessments:

  • A Fire Risk Assessment and take steps to minimise any risks identified.
  • An Energy Performance Certificate.
  • An annual PAT test and gas safety test.

There are specialists who will carry this out for a small fee

You are also required to hold public liability insurance and holiday home insurance.

We can supply you with a list of suppliers to help you with this.

What information are guests given?

On their booking confirmation, after we are in receipt of funds & have their contact details, guests receive an email with the address of the property, key collection instructions along with the property manager details, directions on how to get to the property & details about parking if any, and access information. We provide details about the location of their accommodation, such as local attractions / restaurants etc. in a welcome pack and also on your property webpage listing. We provide as much information as we can and invite you to share your own recommendations and ideas too. The more information you provide the better the service we can provide to the guests

Closer to their stay, we email directions and details of how to get in touch with the person who is going to welcome them.

In an ideal world, guests should be met at the door (you can employ a professional property manager if you are unable to do this yourself) or you/we can provide a code to a keypad.. We have details of local reputable Brighton based companies that we can put you in contact with.

Occasionally, owners leave keys in a key-safe (in the case of late arrival, for example) and they will be contacted with the code.

What do Keystay guests expect?

Our guests expect your property to be spotless, beds made with white, fresh clean, quality bed linen and white fresh bath towels. All appliances should be checked prior to arrival that they are in working order, replace missing light bulbs and supply instructions where appropriate. We will provide a welcome pack questionnaire to you, the details of which are transferred into a Welcome Pack which is left at the property. Guests expect to have access to heating controls.

All utilities are included in the price, so any means of charging extra for utilities is not permitted.

Property Managers should be on call if assistance is required, but not disturb guests otherwise. Providing a relaxing stay means you are likely to benefit from repeat bookings and recommendations.

Is there anything else I need to do?

There are several things you can do to encourage bookings as soon as possible.

Your holiday let’s web page will be online within a week of the contract being agreed. If you provide photos, or until you can schedule a professional photo shoot of your property, your holding page will be more appealing.

We ask that you check your property’s listing to make sure that all information is accurate. ( we can in some cases provide an owner login so you can update details yourself. It is also important that you let us know of any changes within the property so that our marketing is always correct and not misrepresented.

We offer live availability to guests so if any maintenance is being carried out at the property, or if you have visitors at the property, or have other bookings, do please let us know so that we can block out the dates, avoid disappointing guests by double booking, avoid any cancellation fees which can be up to $200 on certain 3rd party portals. 

Do you accept short breaks?

Yes, outside the peak months. We understand that some of your costs are fixed, irrespective of the length of stay, and to protect your margins we endeavour to maximise booking levels. Some property owners opt to market their property with us for the peak season only and take Assured Shorthold tenancies during low and mid-season months.

The minimum period we request from you is 3 months.

We take our lead from you, the owner, generally our minimum stay is 2 nights, with flexible changeover days

However occasionally we will accept 1 night stays but with the nightly rate increased equating to 60-80% of the cost of the stay.

Can I use the property?

Of course. We understand it is one of the attractions of owning a second holiday home. We recommend leaving the peak demand and high season available for guests to book and advise against if you are only offering 3 months availability. In order to attain the maximum return for the property, we request that only one week is taken during July and August.

Simply send us a quick email letting us know in writing for our records, so that we can reserve the dates for you as long as they have not already been booked. The availability on our website is live so you can always check first. Or if you have an owner login just block the dates off on your calendar 

Further questions

How is Keystay’s commission calculated?

As the property owner / landlord, you determine the gross price, in which the commission is included. Or we can advise you . On the first of every month/ or at the earliest after the guest has left & we know there are no issues with the booking, we will transfer the rental funds after deducting our commission ( plus VAT when applicable) .

Do I have to worry about the general terms and conditions?
No, you don't have to worry. When the customer books a property, they are required to accept Keystay's Booking terms and conditions which act as a safeguard for you as the property owner/ landlord, in the event of cancellation, for example.

However if you have specific terms you wish to stipulate we can add them under the Property Specific House Rules.

Am I able to change the price of my holiday property?
Of course, you can adapt the price of your property. However, it is important to bear in mind that any price adaptations have no effect on any existing bookings or enquiries made prior to the changes.

As the landlord, am I able to determine the platforms on which my property is shown?
We work with you to maximise your property exposure, we can link to most of the major portals so for example, calendars can link together and be synchronised, in some cases wording & photos can be synchronised too.

Why do I have to provide you with my bank details?
We transfer the rental fee to your bank account by BACS or PayPal, minus commission, at the beginning of every month. 

Can I decide who can rent my property?
Of course. If you are not willing to rent your property to: young groups, animals or children, for example, you can state this in the property description & house rules. We also have a list of back office tick check lists stating your property preferences. Please ensure to formulate your specifications plainly to us so we can make things as clear as possible to the customer

What are the advantages of advertising my property through Keystay?
Keystay will be working to ensures that your property reaches a very high level of circulation, in addition to this you will have an experienced partner behind you. You can see our reviews on Google by searching for KeyStay Brighton. 

Is it worth writing an extensive description or will a few keywords suffice?
Yes, Customers want to know as much as possible about the property: what advantages it has in comparison with other properties, how the interior and exterior looks, whether the garden has a fence around it or whether or not the landlord lives on the premises. We put ourselves in the customer’s shoes in order to answer all relevant questions. We work to make sure the description fulfils this aim

Is it possible to link from the property description or pictures to my own homepage, email address, telephone number? 
Our system can link to your adverts on other portals and & some cases pull photos and descriptions from them, but unfortunately we do not advertise your website.

Who is in charge of the lodgers queries?
This is dependent on the commission that you pay, which depends on the level of service you require from Keystay. We offer flexible commission and contract terms depending on our involvement in the booking process. Please see commission listed rates below.

How do I obtain my login details?
We send login details via email.

Damage deposit - do we take one and what happens when a damage occurs?

The damage deposit amount is quoted on each page and is generally payable 14 days prior to arrival or with the balance payment. The property manager should report any issues either to the property owner or Keystay within 4 days of departure so that the owner, property manager or Keystay can retain the amount required from the damage deposit. 

Do we have to accept dogs and will it affect bookings if we don't?

Please be assured we do not insist you accept dogs if you would rather not. A large number of guests want to bring their much loved canine friends with them on holiday. If you are a dog owner yourself and/or your property lends itself to welcoming dogs (eg. no carpet on the ground floor), we recommend you consider accepting them.

We outline our dog house rules to all guests.  Not accepting dogs may affect the number of bookings you achieve, it really does depend how many other features outlined in our refined search your property offers.

Can we just place our house with you from May to September?

Yes, some landlords prefer the peace of mind that a long term let affords in Low and Mid season. Its best to leave the property live for the following with the dates the property is unavailable blocked off, so the available dates can still be marketed.  

Do you deal with complaints?

We endeavour to make sure guests are happy with the property, and will liaise with property managers as regards damage deposit retentions. In the event there is an on-going dispute, and mediation is not working then we ask guests to deal directly with you.

What if the boiler breaks?

It is always a good idea to make sure the boiler is regularly maintained and upgraded to avoid this case scenario. The majority of our owners use a Service and Maintenance Package which covers heating and electrical call outs, labour and maintenance. It offers peace of mind and great savings on potentially expensive maintenance issues.

What upgrades can I make to increase revenue?

We can advise you of the key features guests ask for when looking for a holiday property, Wi-fi is always top of the list. Parking, seaviews, central location, good quality bathrooms, kitchens open plan sociable spaces. 

Should I get a sofa bed for the lounge so the house can accommodate more guests?

Setting aside it may be something you require for your own purposes - We do not actively encourage the over occupancy of properties which can compromise on guests overall enjoyment & comfort, and potentially cause accidental damage. However, if a group is visiting on a short break of a maximum of 3 nights, it can help with the guest’s budget.