Most seasoned travellers are familiar with sites such as Airbnb that allow people to rent their home out in the short term, whether it’s for one night or a few months. If you have a second property, you may be tempted to turn it into a holiday rental, as this is more flexible than offering it as a long-term let, but most properties do need some work before you start listing them. Here’s how you can turn a property into a holiday rental.
Work on the décor
No matter how good your location, it’s the photos of your property that are going to pique peoples’ interest, so make sure it looks good. You might want to add some retaining wall tiles to the outside to boost the exterior and ensure it looks great on listings, or spruce up areas such as en-suite bathrooms or kitchens to make sure they look modern. People often look for the same things in a holiday rental that they do when buying a home; a clean, neutral décor that’s welcoming.
Look at the figures
You can get tempted in by looking at local holiday rentals and seeing how much they charge for properties. There are certainly benefits to month-to-month rentals or short-term lets for both owner and renters, but you should make sure it’s financially feasible for you and is the best way to use your property.
Some things to bear in mind include:
- Peak periods will attract much higher rates
- It can be a struggle to get high occupancy rates at off-peak times so you need to budget for vacant months
- Wear and tear is much more of an issue with short-term, furnished rents such as holiday lets
- You’ll need to pay for extras such as insurance and permits
Unfortunately, letting a property to lots of people for overnight or short stays means you’re more likely to get people who cause damage, so you’ll need to budget for things like replacement furniture and linens, as well as having insurance in case of bigger issues.
Researching the local area
Those who own properties in popular tourist spots will usually have an easy time renting their place out, but what if you don’t live in a city or by the beach? If you live in a place with very few short-term lets, you may be at an advantage, but if you live somewhere suburban and unremarkable that already has a lot of Airbnb-type properties, you might find it a tough sell.
Is it legal locally?
Before you spend any cash converting a property or signing up for holiday let sites, get up to date with the latest restrictions and rules about short-term lets in your area. For example, some councils are now asking landlords to get planning permission to run a short-term let, which may put a damper on your plans.
With many people now choosing independent travel over package holidays, short-term rentals are bound to become increasingly popular. While they may seem like a goldmine, make sure you do your research before you start this kind of business.