Buying another flat for personal and AirBNB use?

Buying another flat for personal and AirBNB use?

8:59 AM, 4th June 2020, About 4 years ago 9

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I am hopefully going to buck the trend by asking for advice prior to purchase. I usually see lots of comments about people who have already purchased and why they shouldn’t have done it like, that but like this!

Anyway, I am thinking of buying a flat for around £70K. I already have 2 other flats (purchased outright) and I am  probably going to put down a £15K deposit and finance the rest.

I plan to use this flat for personal use, weekends and some holidays, but also have it as an AirBNB my aim is for the rental to pay for the mortgage and keep it tax neutral as much as possible as I am a 41% tax payer in Scotland.

Would this be viable? My other flats make around £10K profit yearly and I do not want to pay even more tax.

As ever I welcome the well informed members of Property118 to point out any pitfalls, bear traps, unexpected tax bills Etc.

Thanks in advance


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Nigel h

9:52 AM, 4th June 2020, About 4 years ago

What are the council tax implications, I. E second - holiday home?


11:13 AM, 4th June 2020, About 4 years ago

Bucking the trend is great, but it is also how great losses are made. Have you considered the fact that the AirBNB market is dead for quite a while under the current circumstances. You are not even permitted to have family [and lovers] stay overnight never mind complete strangers (in England, anyway).

What other property do you have for residential purposes? Where will you stay while the flat is being AirBNB'd. There are mortgage, insurance, planning consent implications if the property is part commercial and part residential.

I am not an expert, just giving you my two-pennies worth, as a lay member!

Penny DJ

14:02 PM, 4th June 2020, About 4 years ago

I'd just check the lease - I bought a flat to use as luxury SA and found that if I wish to rent it out I can do by applying though the freeholders website - and that specifically prohibits 'short term rental usage' ie SA, so it had to be let as AST only, but it's still profitable. Likewise most BTL mortgage companies won't lend on SA, and your BTL insurance may not cover it either. Others will but obviously at a greater premium as you're making more renting it. Council tax should be business rates not residential (you may qualify for small business exemption). I also believe that AirBnb and other OTAs are starting to take bookings again soon. There is no reason why you can't rent it, many are doing so for contractor bookings (1 person per room) and family groups are fine with really good cleaning/sanitising and I'd recommend a couple of days between bookings.
(My knowledge relates to England btw).

10:43 AM, 5th June 2020, About 4 years ago

I'd be very wary of relying on Airbnb or any other setup like that. Expect greater taxation on proceeds in the future and potentially stricter licensing.
I can't divulge too much, but from friends in the hospitality and hotel sector there are rumbles that making Airbnb less attractive may be away to boost hotel occupancy and help it recover on the way out of the pandemic. There is active lobbying on this with the BEIS department.
There is also a lot of anti Airbnb noise from the likes of Shelter, soaking up supply etc.
I'm short the steady days of Airbnb are passed and the outlook may not be as sunny, not stormy yet, but definitely overcast.


20:10 PM, 5th June 2020, About 4 years ago

I find SA a very tax efficient source of income south of the border. We have a number of apartments in a leasehold block (we had to negotiate a side agreement to the lease with the freeholder which I'm not happy about but which will hold water for as long as the SA guests behave themselves and don't make the freeholder's life so difficult they revisit the agreement). We bought the properties in a Ltd company which means that we made directors' loans for the deposits which we will withdraw over a number of years from profit. We have also claimed capital allowances which will ensure tax free income for a number of years. But the cost of finance and accountancy for Ltd companies has to be factored into your calculations as both mean severely reduced profits and conveyancers appear to find buying SA/reading leases/buying for companies almost impossible (in my experience). Although, TBF, conveyancers on the whole find reading any paperwork rather a bind and I would always recommend reading all the paperwork yourself in detail.


12:57 PM, 7th June 2020, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Penny DJ at 04/06/2020 - 14:02
Scottish law currently requires 72 hours to elapse between different people entering a property - including inventory clerks, cleaners, letting agents, etc.

We have a couple of properties in Scotland and this rule sure does make for an extended timescale when changing over tenants.


12:59 PM, 7th June 2020, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by at 05/06/2020 - 10:43
AirBNB is being targetted because of complaints from neighbours about the disruption that it causes having so many very short lets occurring.


13:47 PM, 9th June 2020, About 4 years ago

As with any flat, the rule is RTBL ... Read The Bloody Lease. The devil will be in the detail and specifically the 'use clauses'. AirBNB would not fit into 'residential family occupation' for example - and most lease ban the use of the flat for business ... and AirBnB is definitely 'business'.

And remember, if you breach the terms of your lease - you'll most likely be breaching the terms of your mortgage too (as they require you to abide by the lease terms) and you'll run the risk of forfeiture and forclosure.

Stephanie Yates

18:15 PM, 10th June 2020, About 4 years ago

Thanks for this as I am doing the same. May reconsider plans!

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