Essential Advice from Where On Earth and World One Call

For most property owners, the following information is common sense and goes without saying but we would advise all of you to read it because pre-empting any complaint is far better than having to sort out a complaint especially if it is justified.


AVOIDING COMPLAINTS

There are few things worse for a property owner than a confrontational complaint from a disgruntled holidaymaker and even fewer things worse than a holidaymaker who feels that their holiday has been ruined or not met their expectations.

Although the Where On Earth Group have no legal obligation to the people who use our free service, we do have a moral obligation to do everything we can to ensure that we protect the integrity of the information stored on our databases.

One complaint about a property or owner is one too many. If the owner has been using the World One Call feedback forms (click here) it is usually easy for us to deal with a complaint if twenty other people have provided good reviews. In the case of consistent complaints we reserve the right to remove the property from our databases. The contract is between you and the holidaymaker but we will always try to mediate or give advice when the situation is not clear-cut.

World One Call have built a reputation for providing an easy and fast way to find suitable available accommodation that is clean, finished and of a good standard. Members who hold a World One Call accreditation can be justifiably proud and many are protective of this position and help maintain these excellent standards by only recommending property owners who they feel meet these criteria.


BOOKING FORM AND CONDITIONS

Ensure everyone reads your booking form and conditions and signs to this effect. Click here for a free printable version of our standard booking form. World One Call also provides approved booking terms and conditions for owners' use. Click here for a free printable copy. Read it and digest it. It is there for your protection as well as the holidaymaker.

No one should stay in your property who is not listed on the booking form without your written consent.

Always take a security deposit in cash from the guest on arrival.

A booking is not confirmed without receipt of the initial deposit.

Full payment should be made at least 8 weeks prior to the guest’s arrival. Always demand the full rental if the booking is made within this 8-week period.

Never accept cheques made payable within ten days of the commencement of the holiday. Instead insist on a bank transfer. It is not unusual for someone to have cancelled their cheque prior to leaving and you are unlikely to discover that they stopped the cheque before they leave.

WELCOMING YOUR GUESTS

You only get one chance to make a first impression. You or your agent should be on hand to welcome your guests. Many will be tired from a long journey. Try to be helpful but unobtrusive. Don't berate them with a lot of do's and don’ts. Make sure you provide a file with plenty of information about what to do in the area.

A welcome pack should be left for them and include, tea, coffee, juice, a few beers, wine, jam (homemade if possible), bread, butter, paté and local cheese.

Fresh flowers throughout the house provide colour and welcome.

Essential numbers and directions like local doctor, ambulance, best places to eat, where to shop etc are a must.

You will find a series of articles about letting gites successfully by clicking here

THE PROPERTY

The property must be in sound structural condition, and maintained in accordance with local regulations, and must have the following:
Mains water supply
Efficient hot water system
Mains drainage or septic tank
Mains electricity
Good condition of interior decoration
Furniture in good condition
Efficient cleaning and key holding facilities
Efficient heating (if the property is let in Mid & Low seasons)
Inventory to our minimum standard.

CLEANLINESS

This is the one area where most complaints can arise. There is no grey area. A house should be thoroughly cleaned in between changeovers with all trace of the previous occupants removed. Ovens, fridges, freezers, kitchen cupboards and drawers should be thoroughly cleaned inside. All food with the exception of condiments, herbs etc. should be removed.

Windows should be cleaned and left open to air the house, furniture moved when vacuuming and beds made up. (No one wants the task of having to make up a bed on arrival). All kitchen utensils and cutlery should be washed and put away. Beds aired and mattress covers provided.

Don't forget to clean the BBQ.

Pay attention to cobwebs above your head and do these first before dusting. Whilst cobwebs can return within 24 hours, it is easy to tell if a cobweb is old because of the dust that it collects. Rugs should be taken outside and beaten. Make sure that you provide static air fresheners and adequate cleaning materials in the kitchen, bathroom and toilets for your guests.

FURNISHINGS/LIVING AREA

There should be adequate seating in the kitchen, living room, dining room and outside for all guests staying in the property as well as deck loungers for all guests including children. Stained and old or lumpy mattresses should be replaced. This can be an area where complaints arise. Hence the need for mattress covers. Furniture should be clean and comfortable. In times of inclement weather, guests will remain indoors and discomfort will give rise to complaint about other offending niggles. There should be adequate hanging space for clothes in all bedrooms. Bedside lamps and table lamps in the rooms will give the right ambiance.

The more homely you make the property, the more the guests will feel at home.

BEDROOMS

Bedrooms should be equipped with reasonably new comfortable beds & mattresses & full mattress protectors. Blankets, duvets & pillows should be cleaned regularly. Adequate hanging & drawer space should be provided & curtains and/or shutters. Bedside lamps, curtains or shutters.

Sufficient bed linen & towels (bathroom use only) must be included in the rental.

BATHROOMS AND TOILETS

Bathrooms, shower rooms & WCs should be to a high standard providing a reliable hot & cold water supply. Shower curtains and tiles should be free of mould. New bars of soap and adequate toilet paper should be provided on arrival.

THE KITCHEN

Kitchen must be clean with good lighting, plenty of work surfaces & good storage space. All appliances in good working order. If bottled gas is used leave a spare bottle plus the spanner to undo the connection. Cooking utensils should be clean & in good condition, matching crockery (all chipped & cracked items must be replaced immediately).

There should be at least two of everything per person so that guests don't have to wash up every time they have a snack. Cracked or chipped china should be replaced so buy spare sets when equipping your property. This way, as breakages occur, you don't end up with odd sets.

Make sure you provide adequate and large enough saucepans and frying pans to cater for the size of parties. Replace all non-stick pans that are looking worn.

The following is an inventory of essential kitchen equipment:

Kitchen.

  • Fire blanket and/or extinguisher
  • Bin & bin liners
  • Modern refrigerator (with freezer compartment/ice-box)
  • Cooker
  • Oven gloves
  • Washing up bowl
  • Trays (min 2)
  • Saucepans (min 5, some with lids)
  • Frying pans (1 small, 1 large)
  • Toaster
  • Kettle
  • Coffee pot
  • Oven dishes (min 3 varying sizes)
  • Baking trays (min 2 varying sizes)
  • Large serving dishes (min 2)
  • Bowls, large & small for mixing, fruit, & salad
  • Butter dish & condiment set
  • Tea pot
  • Sugar bowl
  • Jugs, large & small for water & milk
  • Scales & measuring jug
  • Bread board, knife & basket
  • 2 chopping boards (one for meat, one for Vegetables)
  • Tin opener, bottle opener & cork screw
  • Kitchen knives, potato peeler & knife sharpener
  • Set of utensils (ladle, fish slice etc.)
  • Wooden spoons, grater, whisk, kitchen scissors
  • Serving spoons & forks, salad servers
  • Cutlery: knives, forks, spoons & teaspoons. (enough for 2 meals without washing up)
  • Crockery: dinner plates, side plates, soup/fruit bowls, mugs, cups, and saucers, egg cups, wineglasses, large & small tumblers. Enough for the number the house sleeps (enough for 2 meals without washing up)


THE GROUNDS

Should be well maintained, plenty of pots with geraniums or other plants to add colour, paths should be free of weeds, grass cut regularly and any steps should where necessary have hand rails.

If your property is advertised as wheel chair friendly, make sure that ll the grounds comply with this aspect as well.

If you live on site and own dogs, make sure they are not free to roam and mess in the grounds where your guests are enjoying the ambiance.

Swimming pools must be maintained & cleaned throughout the season. Clients must not be relied on to clean the pool. Sunloungers & deck chairs should be provided.

New legislation! See our article on new legislation which will apply to all owners of pools by 2004.

BASIC INVENTORY

Living room.

  • Soft furnishings (sufficient for number house sleeps)
  • Curtains or shutters.

Dining area.

  • Table (large enough for number house sleeps)
  • Chairs
  • Heat proof mats
  • Curtains or shutters

General.

  • Smoke alarms are mandatory
  • One full length mirror
  • Iron, ironing board, clothesline, pegs, laundry basket
  • Dust bin
  • Bucket, mop, broom, dustpan & brush, vacuum cleaner
  • A collection of spare light bulbs
  • Washing machine
  • Full instructions for all electrical appliances.

Grounds

  • Garden table & chairs (sufficient for the number accommodated)
  • Parasol
  • Sunloungers or deck chairs
  • Barbecue of an adequate size for the number accommodated

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Essential Advice
Where On Earth and World One Call have compiled some commonsense advice which, if followed, will help you maintain the high standards required by World One Call.

 

 

 

 

Jump to article:

Swimming Pools - New laws!

 

Avoiding Complaints

 

Booking Form

 

Welcoming Your Guests

 

Your Property

 

Cleanliness

 

Furnishings/ Living Area

 

Bedrooms

 

Bathrooms and WC's

 

The Kitchen

 

The Grounds/ Outside

 

Basic Inventory

Swimming Pools - New laws!

 

Avoiding Complaints

 

Booking Form

 

Welcoming Your Guests

 

Your Property

 

Cleanliness

 

Furnishings/ Living Area

 

Bedrooms

 

Bathrooms and WC's

 

The Kitchen

 

The Grounds/ Outside

 

Basic Inventory

Swimming Pools - New laws!

 

Avoiding Complaints

 

Booking Form

 

Welcoming Your Guests

 

Your Property

 

Cleanliness

 

Furnishings/ Living Area

 

Bedrooms

 

Bathrooms and WC's

 

The Kitchen

 

The Grounds/ Outside

 

Basic Inventory

Swimming Pools - New laws!

 

Avoiding Complaints

 

Booking Form

 

Welcoming Your Guests

 

Your Property

 

Cleanliness

 

Furnishings/ Living Area

 

Bedrooms

 

Bathrooms and WC's

 

The Kitchen

 

The Grounds/ Outside

 

Basic Inventory

 

 

 

Don't be fooled by bogus information currently circulating about the new swimming pool laws. Get the truth (regularly updated) by clicking here.

For helpful information about moving to and living in France, click here.