Short stay rental sites such as Airbnb, Housetrip, Wimdu & others offer travellers an alternative to staying in hotels. They are online market places connecting private landlords with people looking for a place to stay typically for short periods or weekend visits. This includes a wide range of places to stay from just a room, studio, apartment or even a entire house. But this isn’t exclusively for tourists as many regular business travellers have also been attracted by the benefits over staying in hotels.
So what are the advantages for travellers vs hotels?
- Much more space for less money, typically you can get an apartment for the same price as a hotel room
- Staying in a place with more character & personality than the impersonal ‘vanilla’ hotel experience
- Having access to amenities such as a kitchen so you don’t have to eat out all the time
- Meeting local people and getting local tips on what’s on & where to go
And what are the advantages for those renting?
- Flexibility when to let out your place or not if you need to stay there for a while
- Higher potential rental income vs longer term flat rental or a way to earn extra money if you are renting just a room or part of your property
- Great chance to meet people from around the world, open your home and share experiences
Since Airbnb launched in 2008 there has already been a huge increase in the number of places on offer with currently over 25000 places in Britain. It has become an established alternative to hotels with more and more people using this option, demand is growing.
So what are the main issues with listing on sites like Airbnb?
- Once you have listed your property it takes some time and effort to manage the listing, the main on-going activities include guest communication, screening & booking, cleaning/preparing the place for the next guest, check-in & check-out, property maintenance & admin.
- Part of the above ongoing activities but worth highlighting is the importance of guest screening to avoid problems. Airbnb gives guests and hosts the chance to review each other providing a helpful safeguard for both sides.
- Even though the overwhelming number of experiences have been positive there have been some bad experiences with guests damaging things. As a result Airbnb has put in place some insurance cover under their Host Guarantee up to £600000 but some things are not covered. Also not all sites offer this and it’s worth checking your home insurance for additional cover. Finally you can ask that guests give a deposit to cover against minor issues.
- There may be some legal aspects to consider especially if you are renting your place and intend to sublet, you would need to check your lease or rental agreement. You may also need to take care of tax payments especially if you are generating a significant income from rental.
Overall we would recommend giving Airbnb a go as a great way to earn some extra cash and still have the flexibility to use your space when you need it. If you are letting out your place or thinking about it but want some help managing it we can provide either individual or a full property Airbnb management service London — don’t hesitate to contact us (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit our website (helloguest.co.uk)