Thanks to the explosion of sites like Airbnb onto the property scene, short let’s are absolutely huge in London now. Literally, anyone can get in on the act and make some extra money. The great thing about London is that it has avoided the panic seen by authorities in Paris and New York to clamp down on this burgeoning industry. This means it is business as usual as thousands of Londoners cash in on the short-let opportunities. Of course, it’s not simply a cash machine and here a few key points to keep in mind about short lets in London.
How short it short?
A short-term rental can be anything from one or two nights up to six months. This means that there is a lot more flexibility but also plenty of room for vacant nights. Despite this, many landlords are making a better rental return from short-term than they are on long-term agreements. And it is not just landlords cashing in. Some tenants on long-term leases are renting out rooms to other short-term tenants.
For some landlords short let rentals are making them more money than long-term rentals. Nightly rates work out higher for short lets and travelers know that London can be expensive anyway so are not surprised by pricey nightly rates.
Not just Travelers
Tourists may make up a significant proportion of short let tenants, but they are by no means all of them. Some tourists love to stay in a home away from home and get a more authentic London experience, but savvy landlords are also looking to attract other tenants. Some potential homeowners will stay in an area that they are thinking to buy in for a short while to get a better feel for it. Some business travelers and professionals may be put up for a while if they are working away from home for a set period of time. Sometimes homeowners need to vacate their homes for renovations for example and need somewhere to live while work is being done.
Tenants must keep up to date with and comply with local regulations which can often change. One good thing about Airbnb is that they try to stay on top of this and make sure that their clients are complying with local laws. One example of this is the 90-day rule. London rulings say that if a property’s lease states that it can be used as a ‘private residence only’, then it can only be rented out short term for a total of 90 days in a year. Any more than this requires planning permission. And failure to follow this can result in a fine of up to £20,000.
It Takes Work
Short term leases can be a great little money earner, but they do take work to be successful. Tenants, travelers, and tourists expect nice clean places to stay in so a quick whisk with an air freshener just won’t cut it. Professional cleaners cost money but fortunately, people have come to expect a cleaning charge as part of their stay so that can easily be factored into the cost.