Meet beach hut owner, Anna Davies, winner of Towergate's Beach Hut of the Year 2016. Dovercourt beach beauty, My Happy Hut, was booked out all summer this year - and bookings already ion the diary for summer 2017! Anna clearly knows how to keep her customers happy, so we caught up with her to find out all you need to know when renting out a beach hut.
Where do you go to rent out your beach hut?
I have a website, www.myhappyhut.com, and all the details needed for booking it are on there, I've tried to make it as simple and as customer friendly as possible.
Do you need to use a website service to rent out your beach hut?
I made my website myself using a free Wordpress template, I've never done anything like it before and just figured it out as I went along, I'm very happy with the way it's turned out and people seem to find it easy to use. I also have a Facebook page.
What should you provide to people renting out your beach hut?
I provide tea, coffee and fruit squash, buckets and spades and toys for any children that come plus all the crockery and chairs etc. as you'd expect. I don't provide any towels as people usually bring their own.
Can you make a profit from renting out your beach hut?
I'm sure if you had several huts which were booked out all year long you could make a profit, but one beach hut that only gets fully booked in peak season will take a long time to make a profit, I don't do it for profit anyway, I just do it to cover the insurance, ground rent and maintenance.
How you deliver the keys to your beach hut?
I have a key safe on the outside of the hut and I give each new renter their own code number and then change it once they have left, that way people can arrive and leave whenever they want without feeling pressurised.
What happens if a guest breaks something or doesn't pay?
I don't book anybody in until payment has been made, so if they don't pay they don't get booked in. I'm about to put a refundable deposit in place to cover breakages, it will be refunded the same day once the hut has been checked over.
Do you need insurance when renting our your beach hut?
Watch My Happy Hut's Big Day
In August 2016, Phil Spencer visited Anna to award My Happy Hut Towergate's Beach Hut of the Year accolade. Watch the day's highlights in the video below.