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Have you ever strolled down the beach and envied those getting a nice perch or a bit of shade within their beach hut? If you think it is time to purchase your own piece of paradise along the beach then read our guide on how to get one!
Have you been looking longingly at people enjoying their own bit of space at your local beach? You’re not alone. With British seaside towns seeing something of a resurgence in popularity after the last three years of covid travel upheaval, the demand for highly sought-after beach huts is rapidly increasing. Here we outline everything you need to know about buying a beach hut in the UK.
How much does a beach hut cost?
The golden question. This very much depends on several factors, the first one being where the beach hut is. A beach hut can cost anything from £5,000 to over, infact the average price across the UK currently stands at £39,382. The position (how far it is from the sea and local amenities) and location of the beach hut will determine how expensive it is. An example of the difference price points available: beach huts in Little Hampton West Sussex can start at around £20,000. However, beach huts in Sandbanks in Dorset are much more expensive and recently sold for a record breaking £500,000. So, as with any big purchase, it’s essential to do your research. Some of the most popular seaside locations for beach huts at the moment are West Wittering (Chichester), Sandbanks(Dorset), Camber Sands (East Sussex), Bournemouth, Brighton, Southwold(Suffolk) and Woolacombe (North Devon). From springtime onwards beach hut owners tend to get their huts ready to use, giving them a spring clean ahead of the peak summer season in July – August.
Other costs to consider
Whilst there is the initial cost of buying the beach hut, there are several expenses to take into consideration that you should be aware of, as they will be your responsibility once the purchase of your hut is completed:
Building and contents insurance:
· As we have highlighted, the purchase price for a beach hut can vary hugely. However, the insurance for your beach hut needs to represent there building cost, not the price you purchased it for, and in some cases, these can be quite different figures. It would be beneficial at this stage to speak to your local Beach Hut Association for advice on prices for newly build huts. This would help indicate the current price of a beach hut rebuild.
· Contents insurance will obviously be crucial to cover the value of the contents you will keep in your hut. For example, furniture, camping / gas stove, sports and water equipment etc.
Hut maintenance and general upkeep:
· Since beach huts are located near the coast, they are more vulnerable to damage from harsh weather conditions, such as heavy rain and high winds. So, you should budget for repainting costs for example for z\every three years. It is also wise to have money put aside for general maintenance costs as well such as for shutter
repairs. Keeping the hut safe and secure will also be your responsibility, so strong weather resistant locks will be needed.
Yearly licence fee:
· Every beach hut owner needs to pay an annual licence fee, this is usually paid to the council.
· All beach huts are classed as non-domestic and therefore attract National Non-Domestic Rates (Business Rates).
Capital Gains Tax (CGT):
· There may be a CGT liability which would be incurred if you decide to sell the beach hut for a profit in the future.
Beach huts and bathrooms
Beach huts tend not to have any modern conveniences. So, there won’t be any running water, electricity, or toilets –which is why the position and location of the beach hut is important. Before purchasing a hut, it is therefore advisable to do your research and find out where the following are available to you:
· Nearest toilets
· Taps for water
· Communal outdoor showers
· Car parking
Other points to consider in terms of position of the hut is how far from the hut is from the local promenade and shops, in case you need to pop out for any essentials. Animal lovers should also check if there are any dog restrictions as well.
Most councils do not permit overnight stays. Freehold beach hut owners might be able to sleep in their huts, but there may still be some local restrictions to be aware of. Those that allow overnight stays tend do to be bigger superhuts, chalets, or lodges, and have freehold tenure. This is one of the key differences between a beach hut and a chalet for example. A beach chalet has a licence to be slept in overnight and a beach hut usually does not. Finding out if you can sleep in a beach hut is relatively straightforward and one that your local council can easily answer. Again, if this is one of your main aims with a beach hut, definitely look into the terms and conditions carefully before the point of purchase.
Freehold vs leasehold
Similar to normal properties, even beach huts can be leasehold or freehold. With freehold properties, owners have a lot more freedom regarding what they can do. This option would be the ideal scenario for overnight stays; however, it is a rare occurrence and prices (especially now) reflect that.
· Leasehold beach huts: These can be obtained through local councils, which are often available for local residents only. Long waiting lists are not unusual. Some beach hut plots can be available quicker depending on the location and how desirable a site is.
· Freehold beach huts: The other type of legal ownership is freehold. This means that you own the building and land the beach hut is situated on outright. However, freehold beach huts are even harder to come by than getting on a council’s waiting list for a leasehold one, hence the prices tend to reflect this.
Are beach huts a good investment?
This decision comes down to personal preference and ultimately what it is you want to gain from your beach hut. If you live near the coast and are looking for a regular summer getaway spot, a place to spend time with family, then purchasing a beach hut may be a great option for you. They tend to hold their value because they are quite hard to get hold of, and as we have outlined, they are increasing in popularity right now, so the value is only likely to go up. Whilst there are expenses to consider, you could also recoup these by renting out your hut. You could potentially earn up to£5000 a year by renting it out during peak season. Renting isn’t for everyone however, so it is worth considering the pros and cons before making your final decision.
How do I get a beach hut?
If you are now convince to buy a beach hut or even rent one then check out www.beachhuts.com for all the information you need!