Denise: We’ve been letting our cottage at Askernish for almost five years now, and Carrick for nearly two: long enough for the longer-term pattern of income and expenditure to have become clear. Lettings from April to September are fairly reliable, but the income from these 24 weeks goes on keeping the business going (council tax, utilities, maintenance and renewals and consumables) and to provide a modest return on the investment. But we could have got pretty much the same without lifting a finger – just putting the money in a building society account! A return for our work (and a lot of work there is – cleaning and ironing, decorating and repairing, marketing and bookings administration) is earnt from the out-of-season lets – which don’t earn as high a rental. Conclusion: Don’t invest in self-catering accommodation if it’s an easy life and a steady income you’re after!