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  • Short Term Rentals

    Filling the renting void: How Airbnb can help



    Your splendid property…sitting vacant…for weeks…waiting for the right tenant to move in. Are you a landlord who has been in this predicament? If so, you’ll know how much money can be lost in void periods when there are still council taxes and rates to be paid but no renters to cover the costs for you. The good news is that you can fill the void with Airbnb guests.

    What is a void period?

    A void period is when your property sits empty – without any tenants – and you have no rental income.

    During this time there will still be bills that you will have to pay and costs to cover. There are many reasons for void periods. A tenant could vacate your property at a time of year when it’s difficult to find new renters – such as over Christmas/New Year when people go away on holidays or commit to family plans. Or you might decide to renovate your rental and then struggle to find a long-term tenant who is willing to pay a higher rent for the space once you put it back on the market.

    Airbnb to the rescue

    For many landlords, the thought of having guests stay for short periods of time can be overwhelming and they’d prefer to just lock in another long-term tenant but that’s not always easy to do and there are serious financial consequences for leaving your rental unoccupied. The solution? Airbnb is a great way to bring in extra cash and ensure the cobwebs don’t take over your rental while you wait for new tenants. If you get the balance right, you can make a considerable amount of money by letting your place out to Airbnb guests between tenants.

    For example, if you have an apartment that you rent out usually for £1000 per month – you could be renting the same space for £100 per night on Airbnb.

    Preparing your space

    Unlike long-term renters, Airbnb guests will expect a number of things to be provided for them when they stay in your apartment. It might seem costly to invest in these items but they will ensure a regular Airbnb income as well as the possibility of increasing your rent for long-term tenants due to the apartment being partially furnished.

    Here’s a checklist of things to buy:

    • Bed(s)
    • Sofa
    • Fridge
    • Washing machine
    • Toaster and kettle
    • Basic cutlery, pots, pans
    • Food storage containers
    • Bed linen, towels
    • Cupboards and drawers

    We can make it easier

    You need to be aware that there can be complications when turning your home into a short- term vacation rental if you don’t manage it properly. Guests will expect a certain level of service and some amenities that you might not have provided when you were renting your place out permanently. You also need to keep in mind that if your rental is based in a block of flats there could be issues with the neighbours concerned about the number of different people coming and going.

    The best way to avoid these complications and to prepare your space for Airbnb guests is to use a company like GuestReady who can take care of all aspects of your property management – from creating an engaging listing online, to welcoming guests when they arrive to ensure they don’t disturb your neighours.

    Quick action will save you money

    Many landlords will wait until their property has been vacant for a few weeks before deciding to set up an Airbnb listing. We strongly advise you to be proactive so that you don’t lose any income. Keep in mind that it takes some time to set up a listing and get your place ‘Airbnb-ready’ so the sooner you contact GuestReady, the sooner we can organise professional photography and get your apartment listed.

    Remember that your property doesn’t need to be vacant for people to book it on Airbnb! If you know your tenants are leaving in two months, we can list your property ahead of time on the Airbnb website and manage bookings for the start of your void period. In some cases properties will only be empty for a day or two before new guests arrive.

    Contact the GuestReady team today to find out more about ways to earn an income through short-term letting on Airbnb. (GuestReady is a commercial partner of Property Tribes)

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    Your property management partner in London, Edinburgh and Manchester.
    Get in touch to find out how we can help increase your rental income!

    If a flat it is likely that letting via AirBnB will be a breach of the lease and may also invalidate the block’s building insurance.  

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    It is indeed important for landlords undertaking this activity to understand any implications such as those you mention.  I know one of the reasons GuestReady joined Property Tribes is that they wanted to be at the forefront of professionalising the sector and be part of the landlord education streams, so their content can help ignite valuable discussions and help bring clarity for landlords undertaking short term lettings activity, as is happening on this thread.

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    In two blocks where I have flats a leaseholder’s flat was listed on AirBNB.

    The first was via a rent to rent agreement and that resulted in problems for other residents and also commercial vehicles being parked in an area for private cars only.  The issue then was lease covenants being enforced and the leaseholder trying to agree a solution with his corporate let.

    The second caused problems within a few days of it being listed with smoking in the communal hallway, comings and goings in the early hours, the result being other residents trying to contact the leaseholder via the AirBNB listing with no response.

    In both instances the management company took action to enforce the lease covenants.

    That said I can appreciate the attraction, I have a furnished flat becoming empty towards the end of November and due to a reduction in the demand  for furnished property suspect I will have to remove the furniture or probably not relet it until after Christmas.  AirBNB being a temptation but I know it will be a breach of the lease, if it was house I may have tested the AirBNB market.

    I will be interested to hear how a guest management company can help avoid disruption to neighbours.

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    I,ve always wondered if there could be tax benefits by having just one air BnB in a limited company and running it side by side a BTL company , claiming maximum allowances in each company .

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    Having heard so many horror stories about the unregulated nature of Airbnb and the perils of unscreened tenants, I wonder what is the advantage?

    When it first started it was a backpackers sofa surfing scheme but it has moved a long way from those early days. However, it still lacks any form of proper control in my opinion.

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    A big fat security deposit usually diminishes the damage somewhat.

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