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Big Bad Agents - Airbnb lets may backfire on landlords, says ARLA

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.”

  • Roger  Mellie

    This statement shows how little ARLA knows about short lets. It can be harder work, but it's seen as the hospitality sector, not the lettings sector. Factor in agents fees and void periods and you're probably about the same in costs, but significantly better off. That said, it works best if owner-managed as they can provide the high touch needed to maintain a 5-star rating as the cleaners are the backbone of the operation. Lots of work ultimately.

  • Sophie Lang

    I don't think your statement is true regarding Propertymark, they do a lot of research and consulting before releasing any statements.

    I am the agent quoted and I manage both long term rentals and short term holiday rentals, I am very aware of what is involved with managing Holiday lets to a high standard. There are hidden costs that landlords need to consider when converting their property to short lets.

    This article is to raise awareness and encourage landlords to make a balanced decision when deciding whether to put their property on the long term or short term market. There are more factors involved than looking at the high price you can get per night or per week as a holiday let.

    It absolutely depends on how a landlord choses to manage their property to what is best for them, we just wish to open up the conversation. Whether a landlord choses to short term or long term let, the standard of management and the standard of property needs to be the same - high.

    Roger  Mellie

    I note Sophie that you are a letting agent from Cornwall. Is this just a scare tactic to get landlords to rent long-term tenants rather than the lucrative short stays?

    Sophie Lang

    Hi Roger, As stated I manage long term and short term lets, so for my business it does not make a difference which market the landlord choses. I like to ensure landlords know the full information before making a decision, it is my job to advise.

    However as you will know in Cornwall we are suffering a housing shortage for a lot of people and we do need more properties in the private rental sector. We need the government to give more incentives for properties to be in the PRS

  • icon

    I have a holiday let. And follow all rhe rules like annual PAT testing, Covid cleaning, extra insurance, smoke/ CO alarm, a gardener and so on.

    I do wonder if those.rushing in to holiday lets from longer term letting do all the necessary health and safety work associated with what is a hospitality sector. They ought to. But....


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