The Association of Residential Letting Agents has taken the unusual step of advising home owners how to take advantage of the new demand for short-term lets.
Research by ARLA says over a quarter of letting agents have seen an increase in the number of enquiries for short-term lets in recent months.
Short lets - classed as under 90 days - increasingly offer landlords extra income, and have become popular thanks to online services such as Airbnb and the desire of many travellers for alternative and cheaper accommodation than that offered by hotels.
However, in many cases the online ‘Airbnb-style’ landlord is merely an amateur letting out a room or property occasionally.
ARLA’s advice says:
- it is essential to check your mortgage or tenancy agreement to ensure you are permitted to rent out your property;
- you should use a reputable agent, such as an ARLA-licensed one who will not only help with marketing and finding tenants but also ensure that all legislation is being met;
- homeowners should use an agent to manage the property as well. “For landlords who are letting their property out because they’ve had to move away or are abroad, this will be invaluable in making the process as pain-free as possible” says the association;
- ensure the property is in a decent condition, with a guide being to compare the state of it to how you would expect a hotel to look on arrival - clean and tidy with little clutter;
- all furniture in the property needs to comply with the relevant safety legislation and vital safety checks will need to be carried out before you make the property available for a short let;
- make sure someone visits it regularly, possibly even coming in every day to clean and change the bed sheets. “This will mean your property is kept in a good condition for when you return and also ensure that a short-term license does not become a full statutory tenancy” says the association.