Who are HL Holidays?
HL Holidays started life as Halcyon Leisure in about 1986 near Tournon d’Agenais in France, and have been renting gîtes and holiday homes in the Quercy and Périgord regions of France ever since.
The business was moved to the UK in about 2009, and was taken over by the current owners, Divona Ltd in 2015.
Based in West Dorset, UK and supported by a number of casual assistants in France the company have a strong reputation for responsive customer support and service to Owners and Guests alike
What service do HL Holidays provide?
HL Holidays / Vacances HL offer a managed marketing and booking service for Owners who wish to concentrate on having their property ready and not to deal with enquiries and payment administration. HL offer a personal service to both Owners and Guests. It is based around all members of our team knowing you and your property. Through strong repeat Guest Bookings (over 60% in 2021) and widespread advertising we match Guests to your property.
The service covers all marketing, advertising and administration of lettings, which also includes administration of Security Deposits: All that we require from Owners is to have the property ready for Guests, and communicate any changes
How will my property be advertised?
Besides the HL Holidays website in English and French, selected properties are placed on third party sites around the world which brings in guests from America, Australia, Scandinavia and Asia to complement the steady flow of European guests. In the years before the Covid Pandemic our guest make up was approximately 60% UK, 22% French, 12% Dutch/Belgian/German and 6% Others.
The incorporation of a sister site, France for Families, during 2022 will give another advertising outlet.
Do HL Holidays provide full management services?
At present HL Holidays offer only Guest Booking management, but this brings us into contact with a number of Property Managers who operate as both companies and individuals, and we are often contacted by other companies seeking additional properties to manage. We put property Owners directly into contact with these companies at no charge, and we do not charge any commission or introduction fees for this.
How often will my property be visited by HL Holidays?
We try to visit each property at least once a year to ensure standards are being maintained. It is also our policy that all members of our staff will have visited each property at least once so that we are able to accurately describe the property to prospective guests, and also discuss anything with resident Guests if they require assistance at any time.
Do you charge for your services?
Our reservation services are commission based, and the structure will be explained when you contact us.
When do Owners get paid?
Unlike the large internet booking companies, Owners are paid fully in advance of Guest arrival: The full timescale and policy will be explained on application.
Do I have to deal with Security Deposits?
No. HL Holidays collect and hold the Security Deposits: After Guests depart, Owners have three days to register claims against the Security Deposit. Further information in THIS article.
I make a mandatory charge for cleaning, and also for linen rental.
HL Holidays will note these mandatory charges, and they will be incorporated into the HL Holidays advertised rates for your property.
I want to use the house myself for several weeks in July or August
Fair enough! It is not a problem for us, but please remember that these are the weeks that attract the highest rates, and a much higher chance of being booked. Please let us know as far in advance as possible which weeks you wish to reserve for yourself.
How do you avoid ‘double booking’?
When we receive a request to book (as separate from an enquiry), we will always check with you that it is ok to confirm the booking before we ask the customer to pay a deposit. You are quite ok to decline the booking if you wish at this stage, and we advise the Customer accordingly.
Once a deposit has been paid by the Customer, and the booking is confirmed, we will contact you, usually by email, with our booking reference number for your records.
Around Easter time we send a full statement of bookings, including your personal bookings, in date order, and a new list is then sent every time a new Guest booking is made.
It is YOUR responsibility to ensure that in giving us the go ahead to confirm a booking that the property is not already committed, and also to check the lists we send and advise us if any of the information is incorrect.
I want to change the rates for my property
At the end of the day, we represent you, and what you request will prevail, but we try not to increase rates once these are set in the autumn months unless there are very good reasons for doing so. We will discuss this with you, and doubtless remind you that in the current market price is very often the prevailing criterion in many decisions.
There has been a problem and Guests are demanding compensation
A part of our service is that we will interface between Guests and Owners to reach an amicable solution. Where there is clearly a fault, by design or by accident, HL Holidays will seek a settlement acceptable to both sides, and has an enviable record in achieving settlements reasonably quickly and cordially: There is also a strong record in identifying those who are complaining baselessly for the sake of achieving compensation, and resisting those claims successfully.