Holiday letting is no bed of roses: Rent for a vacation home can mean you are self-employed and must pay National Insurance, says Sue Fieldman

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THERE is more to holiday letting than roses and a coat of paint. George Bowlby and his wife, Jane, let a dozen holiday cottages in seven acres of grounds at Vere Lodge in South Raynham, Norfolk.

The couple say that they have spent many hours and hundreds of thousands of pounds to make the holiday complex one of the most up-market in the country.

However, there is now at least one expense that they can forget about paying - because if you are self-employed but are past the pensionable age - that is, men over 65 and women over 60 - you no longer have to pay National Insurance Contributions. Mr Bowlby is 74, and his wife is 72.

Mr Bowlby said: 'Luckily we do not have to worry about paying NICs. But other people who let holiday cottages should be aware of them.'

He added: 'In the same way, they should also know that letting cottages is not a big money-spinner. If you do not spend the time and money to see that your cottage is top-grade, then you will have no chance. The quality of cottages is going up and up all the time, and people are being more and more selective about where they holiday,' he said.

(Photograph omitted)