Are you considering converting your London property into an Airbnb? There are more than 64,000 Airbnb listings in London but the market is still very strong and it’s common to hear of success stories with landlords changing their rented properties into accommodation for holidaymakers. But is it right for you? Here, Dakota Murphey provides ten tips to help you convert your London property to an Airbnb listing.
- Consider whether Airbnb is right for you
You may have heard about other landlords having fantastic success using Airbnb, and have become interested in reaping the rewards of the market yourself. But just because one property has been very successful, it doesn’t necessary ensure that another will be. Think very carefully and look at the different options available to you before you commit.
Some new buy-to-let landlords are being put off the idea of by the idea of having to manage a long-term property rental by the perceived challenges in managing tenants. But it’s worth remembering that there are plenty of high quality estate agents offering property management in London that can take the pressure away from you if you would prefer to your property as a long-term rental.
- Understand the value of location
Location is so vital when it comes to making a success of a property on Airbnb, so before you completely commit to converting a home into short-term holiday accommodation, do plenty of research into the market. Is your property in a part of London that is popular in Airbnb? If not, you might have to price it accordingly in order to make it attractive. Just become a flat has been successful on the long-term rental market doesn’t mean that it will immediately have the same appeal as an Airbnb.
- Check the terms of your mortgage
It is important to check the terms of your mortgage. If you originally bought the property to live in and now want to convert it into holiday accommodation, there may be terms and conditions within your mortgage that prohibit this without getting the lender’s permission. In some cases it may even be necessary to renegotiate a mortgage to ensure that this is possible.
- Let your neighbours know
You owe it to your neighbours to let them know that you are planning to let out the property as holiday accommodation – firstly so that they don’t get suspicious when they see unfamiliar people entering the home, but also so that they understand who they need to talk to if they are having problems with their neighbours.
- Upgrade your insurance
Airbnb currently provides up to $1 million (or around £750,000) cover for loss or damage but that doesn’t mean that you should neglect your own insurance. It is smart to upgrade your current insurance to ensure you are covered in the event of anything occurring. If you currently have any form of home insurance you should get in contact with your provider and speak to them about what you will potentially need in order to be fully covered for holiday rentals.
- Decorate for simplicity
If your property is located within a trendy part of London, you may currently have it elegantly and stylishly decorated. While this might be eye-catching it’s worth noting that it can also be off-putting if the décor is too idiosyncratic. When you are decorating for your Airbnb, remember that accidents to happen along with damage and wear to furnishings, so it’s always better to decorate simply so that it can be easily repaired or repainted.
- …But be prepared to spend
Having said that, it’s important that you don’t scrimp on money when redecorating or renovating. This is especially true in a high value location like London where you will be asking tenants to pay good rates on their stay. Aside from the fact that higher quality décor will be more attractive to potential guests, it will also last longer and require replacing less frequently.
- Go minimalist with furniture
It’s also true that when you are considering furnishing your Airbnb, it’s a good idea to take your inspiration from minimalist interior design. Holiday rentals do not need to heavily furnished, and often work better with more open space. So ditch the unnecessary furniture and stick with the essentials.
- Think durability when buying for the property
The only thing that you really need to focus on with furniture is durability. Once again this comes down to buying with quality in mind to ensure that your sofa doesn’t get worn out within three months and need replacing.
- Bulk buy toiletries
Finally, it’s worth pointing out that if you are going to provide toiletries at your Airbnb then you should save money by buying them in bulk.