The letting agents’ trade body has issued a warning to landlords that short lets may provide quick profits - but they have hidden costs too.
Latest figures from ARLA Propertymark have demonstrated the lack of rental stock available across the UK, with some of that drought put down to landlords quitting the long term letting sector and moving their properties to Airbnb and similar short let platforms.
However, ARLA members have reported issues to the body that suggest there are disadvantages, specifically:
- expensive changeover cleaning between stays, to meet Covid-safe standards;
- providing utilities, toiletries and WiFi - all expected in short lets;
- the likelihood that tenants will see a property as more of a ‘home’ and so opening it to more risk of damage and wear and tear;
- income is not guaranteed as there can be down periods between seasons;
- risk of damaging relationships with neighbours due to unruly tenants;
- some landlords may be breaching their mortgage stipulations by short-letting.
“There’s not enough property in the private rental sector so demand is sky high, but supply is rock bottom” claims Propertymark’s Cornwall regional executive spokeswoman, Sophie Lang.
“Our prices are skyrocketing and we’re getting bidding wars on rental properties, that never used to be a thing – your rental price was the price, but because legally we’ve got to tell the landlord about any offer, we’re having people offer £20 to £40 more a month than we’ve advertised.
“Then obviously we’re being accused of being ‘big bad agents’ because we’re putting the prices up but it’s just the situation we’re in.”