A new form of agency which wants to blend traditional letting with Airbnb-style short lets has launched in London.
Lavanda claims it can increase net rental yields for landlords by up to 10 per cent “by embracing the sharing economy”.
Lavanda says short-let ‘homesharing’ via platforms like Airbnb is one of the capital’s fastest growing industries but it claims that to date this is an activity that has largely been conducted in breach of planning permission and rules governing leases, mortgages and insurance policies.
“Although a segment of the market with huge disruptive potential, it has until now simply been evolving too quickly to entice landlords to engage more meaningfully” says a statement from Lavanda. So the company is offering a service which it defines as a new product called ‘The Service Let’.
The firm enters into a contract with the landlord, allowing Lavanda to manage the property and permitting sub-letting by the tenant.
“In the context of a Service Let, a long-term tenant is entitled to sub-let the property up to a maximum number of 90 days in a calendar year - at the landlord’s discretion but always compliant with local London planning restrictions” says the firm.
Lavanda will offer to manage this, claiming “a hassle-free, luxury hospitality service guaranteeing a boutique hotel-style guest experience worthy of ‘superhost’ status” - maximising sub-letting revenue for the tenant.
Lavanda offers tenants additional hospitality-style services such as laundry, a conceirge service and an on-call repairs service. “A percentage of revenues generated by these services are also shared transparently with the landlord” says the firm.
The business is aiming high, claiming it wants to capture 10 per cent of the London lettings market within the next five years. Amongst its 30-strong staff is James Robotham, a former senior negotiator at Knight Frank now employed by this new agency as a 'Growth Manager.'