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Empty homes: Agents missing out on millions of short-term rental income

London landlords and letting agents could be missing out on up to £111 million of short-term rental revenue each year, according to research.

Accommodation management firm GuestReady has calculated the potential revenue that could be generated were long-term empty properties let out on a short-term basis.

Analysis of Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government figures shows that in London's public transport zones 1 and 2 - covering some of the most sought-after locations in the UK - there are almost 9,000 empty dwellings.


The highest number of empty homes is found in Kensington & Chelsea (1,230), while the lowest is in Wandsworth (132).

Except for Wandsworth, the City of London, Westminster and Hammersmith & Fulham, all boroughs have at least 500 empty properties. 

GuestReady has revealed that based on an 85% occupancy at a whole house rate of £165 per night, complying with the Airbnb policy that homes in Greater London cannot be listed for more than 90 nights per calendar year, each property has the potential to generate over £12,500 per annum in short-term rental income.


“Leaving a property empty in such highly desirable areas as London’s zones one and two is such an enormous waste of potential," says Alexander Limpert, GuestReady's co-founder and chief executive.

“London continues to be among the world’s greatest tourist and business draws. There are potential customers waiting for every one of those empty houses. And a lot of wasted money waiting to be made.”

A number of letting agents already run their own short-term let services for landlords, including Portico, Braemore Sales and Lettings and ACEProperty.

Meanwhile, earlier this year, Savills warned its landlords to be more flexible to accommodate the 'rising popularity of short-term lets' to meet changing tenant expectations.

Poll: Does the short-term lettings industry provide a profitable opportunity for traditional agents?


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    Here in North Wales renters bring their own furniture and take them away at the end of a tenancy so are you suggesting the AirB&B users should bring their beds and sofas with them overnight?

    Most landlords are not close enough nor have storage to move furniture in and out
    Landlords are charged council tax on properties with furniture in them at 150% whilst empty and of course if they are AirB&Bing they have to pay the 150% council tax.

    If you are letting your property residentially it is rarely empty for long enough to make it worth while and we have a month's notice to advertise and fill the vacancy so the changeover is almost simultaneous


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