Four Steps to Invest in Short Term Lets

Why would you offer a property for short-term rental, possibly even week by week, when you could secure a long-term tenant who pays money over many consecutive months and you have security and reliability of income? Actually, here are a few reasons you might not have considered…

A short-term rental is typically defined as being less than six months, but it’s increasingly common for landlords to have visitors for as little ass one or two nights.

The scope for tenants is wider, too – it could include holidaymakers looking at apartment rentals with all the home comforts, or,  companies after somewhere for an employee that’s more cost-effective than a hotel.

The approach to short-term rentals will be different to anything long-term, everything from the way it’s advertised to the tenant’s expectations is completely different.

Include all the extras

With short-term lettings, it’s obviously unrealistic to expect tenants to turn up with all of their furniture, or arrange the bills in their name when it’s just for a week or so. Because of this, you’ll rent your property fully furnished, with everything from beds, sofas, and tables to white goods.

It needs to look homely, too, with soft furnishings where applicable – including pillows, duvets and extra sets of bed linen – plus a few homeware essentials, such as a vacuum cleaner and ironing board.

Be sure to build the price of any bills into the overall rent. Including gas, electricity, water, phone line and Wi-Fi. (Quick tip: It’s possible to limit the landline to be national calls only, to limit costs). Don’t forget to factor in washing the bed linen and cleaning also.

Preparation is key

A short-term property rental is exactly the same as it is with any other tenant’s arrival. Make sure it’s clean and tidy, and that all appliances and light bulbs are working.

All the gas and electrical safety checks and certificates also need to be in place and up to date, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should also be fitted and up to date.

A version of a tenancy agreement for the accommodation is also important, as is taking a deposit. Don’t forget the potential damage to your property is never dependent on how long the person is staying.

Maximising every opportunity

Deciding how and when you advertise the property can make an enormous difference in terms of the response and also how much you charge. Peak tourist periods, like the summer or school holidays, can present an opportunity, as can major events; Make sure to check everything from Wimbledon to the FA Cup final, to local sports events, to the flower show! If your property is nearby, it can be an opportunity to maximise your profit.

Using websites like Easyroommate.com or Airbnb to advertise and connect with people is popular and easy.

Planning ahead is crucial to prevent the property from having unnecessary vacancies.

Offering a range of payment options can be a great incentive to reduce vacancies – but make sure the funds have cleared before the guest arrives.

Enjoy the rewards

The benefit of short-term tenants is not just flexibility of dates and variety of tenants. but, another incentive is usually a financial one. From April 2016, the government’s Rent a Room scheme allows landlords to earn up to £7,500 per year tax-free.

This means that as long as your income for the short-term rental is under this amount, you’ll remain exempt.

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