With Christmas fast approaching, people traditionally think of the winter holiday season. It’s different this year of course with a 4-week national lockdown currently in place. But, assuming the restrictions are lifted at the beginning of December, people will be on the move again — and that means they’ll be looking for temporary accommodation for their holiday stay in the UK.
That could be great news if you’re a landlord looking to earn some additional income during void periods. Maybe tenants have just moved out and you’re looking for new prospects, or you’ve taken on a new property and it’s ready for rental.
Profitable opportunities for landlords
A short-term rental during the busy winter holiday period could be the answer. And, an increasing number of landlords are using Airbnb as the route to some very profitable extra income. In fact, in a survey we conducted, 90 percent of landlords who responded said they would use Airbnb for short lets.
The reasons are clear. Airbnb has a very large audience of people looking for short-term lets and December is one of the busiest months. Last December, for example, more than 37,000 properties in London were booked on Airbnb (up from 34,000 the year before), a figure second only to July that year.
As an added bonus, December has the highest daily rates for short-term rental in London. In December last year, the average rate for renting a whole property for a night was £151. No other month topped this rate, but July, in peak summer season, also matched this high nightly rate.
Currently, there are 42,573 active rentals across the capital, with the average Airbnb property listed at £141 per night.
Do you have a vacant property in Chigwell or Woodford?
That makes short lets using Airbnb a very attractive opportunity for landlords in London - especially for landlords in the outer parts of east London and Essex, where demand is growing but supply remains relatively low.
Recent AirDNA figures from Epping Forest give an interesting insight into Airbnb short let patterns.
Currently, there are 72 active short rental listings in Epping Forest and 99 percent use Airbnb to list their property. Fifty-one percent of those are entire homes being rented out and 49 percent are private rooms within homes. The average daily short let rate is £100 and there is a 58 percent occupancy rate providing monthly revenue of £1,171.
The most common size of property rented out on Airbnb in this area is 2 bedrooms, which represents 32 percent of bookings. One-bedroom properties are next at 30 percent of listings, followed by 4-bed, 5-bed, studio and 3-bedroom properties.
The report indicates that Airbnb rental growth has been relatively consistent in the area from 2017- 2019. There was a peak at the end quarter of 2019 when 154 homes were listed on Airbnb in the Epping Forest area, and we expect the number of properties to grow when we head out of lockdown into the peak winter season.
These figures give a useful guideline to short let patterns. Epping Forest is an outer London area and, as we indicated earlier, short-let rates are higher in central London. But the pattern is clear. It pays to use Airbnb to fill any voids.
Becoming an Airbnb host
That doesn’t mean signing up with Airbnb is easy money - unless you enlist the help of Airbnb management of course. You have to work hard to make this type of rental succeed, particularly with the additional problems of making your property Covid-secure.
Read More: 10 Reasons To Choose Portico Host
To get on the roster of Airbnb hosts, you register with the website, create a profile of your property with photos and give details of availability, your policies and the daily rate for a room or the entire property.
You also need to be aware of the rules and regulations that apply to short lets, including those specific to London.
If you’re an ‘occasional landlord’ just wanting to let a room or maybe even your home for the holiday period, check with your mortgage lender and your home insurance provider that you can do that without breaching any terms or conditions. You may also be liable for income tax on any money you earn through short lets.
Full-time landlords will already have the appropriate cover so taking on short lets is not an issue. However, in London there are limits on the number of times you can provide short lets, this, however, does not include Greater London therefore, Chigwell and Woodford are popular short let areas as you are not restricted.
In London, you can short let your property for either 90 consecutive days or 90 days spread through the year. That’s to ensure that the number of properties available for longer-term rental is not reduced. So, for short lets in London, while it’s important and profitable to maximise the number of short lets, you need to balance that with longer-term tenants so that you comply with the rules.
Once you’ve signed up to Airbnb and the enquiries start coming in, work begins. You could be dealing with a number of different short let customers in a month. Every time that means preparing the property to the high standard Airbnb expects, meeting the customers and thoroughly cleaning when they leave before the next round of meet and greet starts.
Read More: Airbnb Mortgage Rules: What You Need to Know
With Portico Host you don’t need to lift a finger, just let us know when your property is free
All that can be very time-consuming but there is an alternative. Here at Portico, we are members of Airbnb's professional co-host scheme, offering a popular service to help landlords deal with short lets in London – Portico Host.
We offer several packages from let-only to a premium managed package with a range of services from specialist insurance, meet and greet, and professional photography. Together, these services can take the hassle out of short lets with Airbnb, ensuring you offer a professional service to Airbnb customers and leaving you free to concentrate on your longer-term tenants - or your Christmas plans!
So, now is a good time to start making extra income by taking advantage of the upcoming winter holiday season that we hope will go ahead. Portico Host can help you get set up on Airbnb in less than a week, but you don’t have to be based near Epping Forest.
If your property is vacant and you would like to find out more about Portico Host, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 099 4000 to speak to a member of the team. !!!Click here to find out how much you could make on Airbnb!