Purchasing a Bed and Breakfast

One of your first decisions when purchasing a Bed and Breakfast is the size of property that you require and what you can afford. As basic rule of thumb, you will need at least two more bedrooms than you plan to let out, in order to accommodate both your family and your guests, i.e. if you plan to have five letting rooms, you will need a seven-bedroom property. Obviously, the exact amount of personal space that you require will depend on your family circumstances.

Six- to twelve-bedroom properties are popular as B&Bs because this size of establishment can be run with minimal extra staffing. As with every other kind of property, price depends very much on location. For example, B&Bs in towns popular with tourists, such as Bath, Chester or Stratford on Avon, will be more expensive than properties in less coveted areas.

B&B Rules and Regulations
If you want to turn a private residence into a B&B, you will require permission from the local authority for the change of use. Issues regarding access to the property and adequate parking will need to be addressed before permission is granted. Once initial permission has been obtained, you will need to ensure that your B&B complies with all the latest health and safety regulations.

Fire Safety: Until recently, small B&Bs did not require a Fire Certificate. However, since October 2006, all B&B owners have been obliged to carry out a Fire Safety Risk Assessment. As a result, it is anticipated that many more B&Bs will have to install fire doors and fire escapes, so estimates of these costs will need to be included in B&B purchasers’ calculations.


Environmental Health: If your B&B has more than four letting rooms, your local authority’s Environmental Health Department will want to inspect the kitchen facilities. If your establishment has a domestic kitchen only, inspectors might decide that it is unsuitable for the preparation of large numbers of breakfasts. Modifications to comply with food hygiene and fire regulations can be expensive; extra sinks, refrigerators, fire doors and extractor fans, for example.

Summary

  • Allow yourself sufficient personal accommodation space when choosing which B&B to purchase
  • Select a B&B property that is not too large for you to manage using your available resources
  • Calculate carefully the costs required for compliance with Health & Safety regulations
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