Open for Business

Open for Business

Ever at the cutting edge of the news, Serviced accommodation featured in The Times this week (usually restricted to the industry press). The article below sheds a more positive light than the usual 'Airbnb nightmare' headlines that we have got used to. The Industry is very unrestricted compared to being a landlord and new ways of managing are springing up all the time. The freedom to manage as you like in a relatively unregulated field is refreshing and challenging. Portsmouth has been bypassed by the 'big guys' in airbnb management, luckily you know where to go! (other short let managers are available).

 

 I was reading in the Times this week and saw this great article outlining the growing trend for short term lets:

"Fresh towel, sir? And can we manage your holiday let for you?"

"Paul Newman had a problem. He wanted to earn some extra money by letting out his west London flat, which was empty during the weekends while he and his wife were at their main home in Gloucestershire — but he was unable to meet guests and hand over keys. Nor did he have any idea how to manage a property listing on a website such as Airbnb.

The solution was to take advantage of a short-term let management service, which, for a fee, handles every aspect of each booking.

"I knew nothing about how to market and manage my flat," said Newman, 59. "Furthermore, I didn"t have time to clean it after guests left or launder sheets and towels each weekend."

He started using Airsorted in March last year — and now picks up about £150 each weekend that his Notting Hill pied-à-terre is let.

The management company listed the flat on Airbnb for him and set a suitable price. Now it screens potential guests and manages queries.

"They provide linen, which means each guest has lovely white towels and sheets," said Newman, who works in communications for the London Fire Brigade.I also get Airsorted to clean after each guest leaves, which the guest pays for [£51]. That means we walk into a clean flat after our weekends away."

After deducting Airsorted"s fees and Airbnb charges, the cash he earns goes towards paying off the refurbishment mortgage he took out to gut and update the flat — including putting in new windows, a top-spec wooden floor and Nest heating thermostats — after he bought it in 2014.

Newman is one of a growing number of property owners earning extra income by using a short-term let management service.

The growth in management services is in part down to more property owners moving into the holiday-let market.

Short-term lets are attractive as they are generally exempt from the tax hikes on buy-to-let landlords, which began to come into effect in April last year.

The owners of holiday lets can still deduct all mortgage interest payments from the rent before calculating their tax liability provided they can satisfy certain tests, including letting their property for at least 105 days a year.

Buy-to-let investors can now offset only a portion of mortgage interest — and that will fall to zero by 2020. This will be replaced by basic-rate relief of 20%, regardless of the landlord"s tax band.

Holiday-let owners can also claim the full cost of furnishing the property. For buy-to-let, it is repairs only.

Mortgage lenders and brokers have reported growing interest in specialist loans for holiday lets.

Those thinking of turning a buy-to-let into a holiday let, or perhaps opening up their own home to guests whenever it sits empty — such as if they are away for business or on a long holiday — can take heart from the popularity of staycations.

A survey by the website Sykes Holiday Cottages, shared exclusively with Money, found that three-quarters of Britons are planning to have a holiday in the UK this year, up from 56% last year. The most popular towns to visit are Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight and Whitby and Filey in North Yorkshire.

Sykes"s data reveals the highest-earning regions for holiday-let owners are Dorset and the Peak and Lake districts. A two-bedroom holiday property in Dorset can earn £16,000 a year on average; for a four-bed it"s £43,000.(take note, Portsmouth offers better than this!)

Even when fees are taken into account, customers could earn more by using a service. Hostmaker claims that thanks to its algorithms for pricing properties competitively, owners can see an income uplift of more than 30% compared to managing it themselves.

GuestReady said: "When comparing the yield through GuestReady to long-term rentals, the increase is about 40%.

"A comparison with managing a short let directly is harder as it varies according to the amount of time and effort invested by the host. One thing is clear, though: using a management company saves a lot of time, effort and hassle, which means the owner can sit back and relax while earning income."

Copyright News International.

So after a couple of months of chewing it over and some careful preparation we are ready and able to take on Portsmouth and Southsea's requirement for airbnb and holiday let management. Not as big as 'airsorted' yet but providing a personal and professional service to Portsmouth Landlords.

Written & oral information and advice from the Portsmouth & District Private Landlord's Association is given in good faith, but no responsibility whatsoever is accepted by the Association or it's officers for the accuracy of it's information & advice nor shall the Association be held responsible for the consequences of reliance upon such information.

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