The Department for Enterprise is encouraging anyone who is offering an unregistered property for TT or the Festival of Motorcycling to get in touch with MiQuando and register for the Homestay Scheme.
The Homestay Scheme provides an opportunity for households to host paying visitors for both the TT and Festival of Motorcycling. During the TT period ‘Homestay Hosts’ can earn up to £1,800 tax free income. However, households who fail to register for the Scheme will not have access to the tax free limit.
Isle of Man firm MiQuando operates the Homestay schemes on behalf of the Department and is responsible for carrying out property inspections, providing advice on the scheme’s fire safety requirements, marketing, online booking for visitors, and assisting hosts with managing their online Homestay listing.
Any household looking to offer Homestay this year must be registered. The process is straightforward and includes quality, fire and hygiene checks to ensure the property is safe and welcoming for visitors.
Carl Kinvig, Senior Fire Safety Officer at the Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service, commented:
‘A room can become fully involved in a fire in as little as four minutes and two to three breaths of smoke can render someone unconscious. Therefore not adhering to fire safety standards can have very serious consequences for both the owner and their guests. Also, depending on the number of guests you have or their location within your property, you may require a Fire Certificate to operate. Failure to do so could result in a potential prosecution which could leave you facing a fine or even imprisonment. Not registering is simply a risk not worth taking.’
The registration process also includes access to the Department’s Public Liability insurance.
Angela Byrne, Head of Tourism, explained:
‘If you are not registered on the scheme you don’t have access to the Department’s Public Liability insurance. This means that if a visitor is injured whilst staying in your property and they decide that you were somehow negligent, they have the option to bring an action against you. If you are registered with the scheme, the Department’s Public Liability insurance policy will respond and deal with the claim.
‘Homestay hosts are a valued part of the TT Races and Festival of Motorcycling, giving visitors that authentic, warm Manx welcome. However, we must take the safety of our visitors very seriously and registering with the Homestay Scheme gives peace of mind to hosts and visitors alike.’
Anybody currently offering Homestay who has not yet registered with MiQuando should get in touch with the team in the first instance for a safety and quality review. You can do this by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or telephoning 01624 640393.
Registration is quick and easy and costs as little as £50 a year, including a free listing on the Official Homestay website.