After the hazy days of summer are over beach hut owners can be left wondering what to do with their huts, and whether it might even be worth renting it out in the winter months. Here we look at what you can do with your hut after summer and importantly how to ensure it is kept safe and secure all year round.
Renting your beach hut out after summer
It is possible to rent your beach hut out during autumn and winter (and even spring before the busy summer season kicks in). However, each beach and coastal town will have its own rules on the issue, so some will allow it whereas other areas will not. The information will be easily available via your local council website and by your local Beach Hut Association, so it is advisable to check with them first before you start advertising your hut for rent.
If you are able to rent it out in the autumn and winter seasons, there are a few cheap and cheerful essentials you can leave in your hut to make it more cosy and appealing for renters, especially for those colder days. These include:
- Tea, coffee and a tub of hot chocolate
- A kettle
- Some cheap, cosy blankets
- Hot water bottles
- Woolly hats
- Hand warmers
- A torch
Rental rules vary across the country, but overnight stays are rarely possible. As few huts have running water or electricity, nor toilets or showers, it’s normal for renters to be allowed to arrive from 6am and leave by 10pm in most locations.
Most councils do not permit overnight stays in beach huts.Those that allow overnight stays tend to be larger buildings such as chalets. With these you have the added benefit of toilets and bathrooms onsite (unlike with a hut), and electricity so you can always plug in your electric blanket if you get cold watching the waves crash against the beach of an evening.
Keeping your hut safe
Many huts have embraced their Victorian and Edwardian roots with retro makeovers, while others make a nod towards modern architectural trends, some even boasting two storeys with glass balconies. So they’ll need looking after.
It is advisable to visit your beach hut regularly in autumn, winter and spring as well as the summer season. For starters this will very much help from a maintenance point of view. If your hut is locked up and unoccupied during the winter, leaks and floods can go undetected for longer periods of time and locks and hinges can rust or seize up. Regular visits to your hut mean you’ll be keeping it well tended and the usual checks are easier to do. Unfortunately, huts can become an easy target for vandalism and break ins during the winter months as well, so regular check ins will help keep your hut safe.
It is also sensible to put aside some money every year to keep on top of general hut maintenance (the amount can vary but a rough guide would be between £300 and £500 a year). Huts are susceptible to weather damage, be it sun damage in the summer months, or rain damage in the colder, wetter months so making sure you have beach hut insurance is a must. As a general rule, to keep your hut looking fresh and clean, the hut will need to be painted on average once every three years. This will also help with security, because a freshly painted, well maintained hut is less likely to be a target for vandals or thieves. If it is left looking unkept however, it could seem like an easy target to break into. Other sensible security advice to follow with your hut includes:
- Ensuring beach hut doors and door frames are as robust as possible
- Door frames are firmly and securely fixed to the ground
- Robust door hinges that should be protected with hinge bolts or hinge hooks
- Using bars to reinforce beach hut door frames and using a shed bar across your beach hut door
- All beach hut windows should be protected with robust, locked shutters
With the best will in the world though, something could still go wrong with your hut in the winter months, especially with unpredictable weather. It is therefore definitely advisable to join your local Beach Hut Association, as this can help you get alerted to something much sooner as your details will be on record as well.