Owning a holiday home with family – the rules of engagement

Christmas is a time for families—and a time when family members are keen to take advantage of their jointly owned holiday homes.

Media release - Tuesday, 13 December 2016

“If you are fortunate enough to have a share in a holiday home, it’s important to establish the rules of engagement,” said Angus Raine, Executive Chairman Raine & Horne.

“Owning a home is the original Great Australian Dream, and increasingly securing a stake in a family holiday home is a dream for many Australians, as long as some simple management strategies are put in place from the outset.”

Managing peak periods

“For starters, family members would do well to agree to an accommodation schedule for the holiday home,” said Mr Raine.

“Some weeks such as Christmas and Easter are more prized than others, but by taking a common-sense approach, it’s possible to come to a solution that’s suitable to all parties.

“It might be that those family members who can be more flexible with their time, may agree to stay at the property in non-peak times,” said Mr Raine.

Once an agreement is reached, these dates should be included in the accommodation schedule, which is then shared with all family members, Mr Raine notes.

Sharing the cleaning

Cleaning of a shared holiday home is another issue that should be addressed early. From the outset, all parties should agree about how the property should be left after a vacation stint, Mr Raine advises.

“To make sure the home is spick and span for every new arrival, all owners could agree to pay for a professional cleaner whenever they exit the property,” said Mr Raine.

Don’t allow dirty linen be an issue according to Mr Raine. To manage this issue, occupants could take their own linen to the holiday home and remove it with them when they leave.

“At all times, the holiday home should be left tidy. And don’t forget to leave behind a full gas bottle for the barbecue,” said Mr Raine.

Repairs and maintenance

Mr Raine advises that it’s important to come to an agreement about how repairs and maintenance will be funded.

“One method is to contribute to a sinking fund not unlike those used in strata arrangements, where all owners contribute an amount. Each owner’s contribution to the sinking fund could be calculated on how often they use the property.

“Alternatively, maintenance and repairs can be paid as required, or if there are some handy types among the family, they can fix leaking taps, slap on some paint and maintain the gardens themselves,” said Mr Raine.

“If either of these options do not work for the family, then an old-fashioned working bee could be a great way to keep the holiday home spick-and-span, according to Mr Raine.

“By getting the owners together to do the maintenance work, the owners will not only save money, but it is a fantastic opportunity for a family bonding session.”

Breakages, according to Mr Raine, should be addressed immediately.

“If you crack a glass or lose some cutlery, just fess up and replace it. It’s only fair that when the next family members arrive at the shared holiday home that they can use a kitchen that is well-stocked with the basics such as plates, cups and glasses,” Mr Raine said.


For further media information contact:

Angus Raine, Executive Chairman Raine & Horne on 0409 920 697