The pros and cons of Airbnb-style short lets

10 May 2024

The way we travel and experience new places has been revolutionised by short-term rental platforms like Airbnb. But in the UK, these "Airbnb-style" short-term lets have become a double-edged sword, impacting both renters and landlords. Let's delve into the advantages and disadvantages of this growing trend.
So, why are so many landlords turning to this model of rental? Here are some of the biggest perks that you could expect:
  • Increased revenue: Short lets can offer higher rental yields compared to traditional long-term tenancies
  • Greater flexibility: Landlords have more control over their property's availability, allowing them to adjust pricing for peak seasons or regain control of their asset at short notice
  • Potentially less wear and tear: Short-term stays may lead to less wear and tear on the property compared to long-term tenants. You have the ability to get in for more frequent checks, cleans and maintenance than you might on a long-term let
The allure of high rates per night over the possible per-month income is undeniable. You're offering convenience to those looking for a short-term layover, so why not make a quick buck (quid)?
Being able to regain possession of your property without evicting tenants, and not having to worry about the accumulation of arrears over a long period of time can be quite attractive prospects too.
That being said, it's not all sunshine, rainbows and easy money. Diving into the drawbacks and implications of an Airbnb-style short-term let can open up a whole can of worms that might make you think "Why don't I have someone to manage this for me?"
Here are just a few of the key downsides that are worth considering:
  • Management burden: Managing turnovers and arranging new occupancies each time you cycle through guests, bearing the cost of furnishings
  • Unpredictable income: Rental income can be less stable than long-term tenancies, especially during off-peak seasons. If no one needs a quick stay in the area, your asset becomes your liability. Consider the costs of heating during the winter season, your guests will run that boiler like there's no tomorrow because they aren't responsible for the costs
  • Potentially more wear and tear: Short-term stays don't encourage ownership and responsibility for the property. Where long-term tenants grow attached to their 'home', short-term guests are less inclined to respect and care for their 'hotel', as it were
  • Cleaning costs: Day in, day out, every time your guests leave the property you need to get in for a full clean down, and change bedding. A complete reset of the property, including replenishing any amenities that may be on offer at the property (think tea, coffee and biscuits)
  • Time: It all comes down to time, do you want to spend your days and nights sorting out all of that? With traditional tenancies and letting agents at the forefront, you can rest easy knowing your investment is being taken care of
There are also external consequences that make it an even less favourable proposition
  • Reduced market availability: The rise of short-term lets can limit the availability of long-term rentals, impacting affordability, pushing away potential residents looking to establish a foothold in the area
  • Disruption for neighbours: Transient guests may cause disruption or uncertainty in residential neighbourhoods. Would you enjoy having a new, unknown neighbour every week or two?
While the allure of higher potential returns with short-term lets exists, the reality involves significant management burdens and potentially unstable income. For a more reliable income stream and peace of mind, consider a traditional long-term tenancy with a letting agent (you're already in the right place 👋).
Our team of experts here at Ultralets handle the day-to-day tasks, freeing up your time. With an established tenant screening process, we work to minimise the risk of unreliable occupants and lengthy void periods at your property. This approach provides a more stable financial return and allows you to focus on the bigger picture of long-term property investment.
Want to know more? Get in touch with our Lettings Manager, Jake via email or give us a call today 📞

Posted By

Jake Astill

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