Not so very long ago, the idea of a short let seemed like far too much hassle for a regular private landlord: all those changeovers, bed making, check-ins and questions. But things have shifted considerably.
From our point of view, there are two prime movers. One, is airbnb. When the company launched in 2008, the idea of visiting a city by renting a property in a neighbourhood away from the centre was almost unheard of. Sure there’d been house swaps for the cash poor, but paying to stay in someone’s actual home just wasn’t a thing.
But times have changed and now we jump at the chance to live an instantly local life in an unfamiliar place. The airbnb model has opened up travel to many more people, with thousands of travellers hoping never to stay in a hotel again. And that normalising process has shown property owners that having strangers in your home doesn’t mean they’ll destroy it.
The other factor is the very much anti-landlord legislation of late, making it harder and harder to turn a decent profit. Yes of course tenants deserve respect and security, but punitive tax laws on landlords don’t make the lives of tenants any easier. In fact, many landlords sold up – further exacerbating the shortage of rental property. Was that really so difficult to forecast? Way to go Government!
For the landlords who are left, mainly those who are less geared, finding routes to a higher return has become a priority. Short lets and holiday rentals generally bring in 2-3 times the equivalent nightly rent of a typical assured shorthold tenancy, and it’s possible to charge the occupiers a cleaning fee on their departure to revive the potential for extra costs to the landlords. And with concierge services like Airsorted springing up, landlords can defer and changeover duties. Of course they may not get 100% occupancy, but even a very conservative 50% would keep them in pocket. And with serviced accommodation not yet subject to the reduction in tax deductible expenses, it’s an attractive looking option.