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As the property market continues to remain in a state of change, even the traditional lettings market appears to be slowing slightly, particularly within the higher end of the market. With this in mind, 2019 must become the year that landlords start to become more creative with their property portfolios, to ensure that they are not faced with cash flow headaches or unnecessary void periods. This will become particularly important as the upcoming tax changes are enforced.

Landlords are currently facing with many challenges, and those that are most forward thinking will be able to successfully weather these changes. The increase in popularity of short home stays through sites such as Airbnb has meant that the short let market has become an attractive option for many landlords. With the seasonal nature of the short term rental market, this perfectly complements the longer let market. Both are cyclical in practice, and work well at different times.

The long let market generally quietens during Christmas and over the summer months, which corresponds with the peak season for short lets. This type of short let, which lets homes to holiday makers, is usually for a 7 – 14 night duration. However, some short term lets can be up to three months in length.

The market for short term lets can be very lucrative for landlords, with the gross rental price higher per night for short lets than longer term lets, even when taking into account advertising and management through professional providers of short term lets. Net income can be similar to long term lets, which provides peace of mind for landlords that they can wait for the right tenant, while avoiding painful voids in tenancy.

However, before venturing into the short let market, it is advisable that landlords take into account key considerations. For example, short term letting falls into the hospitality sector, as guests are choosing to stay at a home instead of a hotel. This means that guests will expect certain standards, with any issues resolved immediately. Guests will also anticipate the comforts and service of a hotel.

As a landlord, you could choose to manage the short lets yourself, or hire a specialist. By going alone, you must photograph the property, advertise and manage the bookings, as well as undertaking specialist insurance.

If you choose to hire a specialist agent, all aspects of the short term let are taken care of. This includes professional cleaning of the property, and vetting and checking in of guests. A comprehensive insurance policy will also be included.

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