Top tips on short-term letting this summer

Top tips on short-term letting this summer

13:53 PM, 7th June 2011, About 13 years ago 4

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The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) today issued top tips for landlords who are aiming to let their properties out on a short-term basis this summer.

Short-term lets can be a great way for landlords to fill rental voids or make use of vacant properties, and usually last anywhere between one week and one month.

Short-term lets are particularly attractive in the summer, and with events like the Henley Regatta, a host of music festivals and Wimbledon coming up, now is an ideal time to think about short term lets.

Forward-looking landlords in London not only recognise these immediate opportunities but are already thinking about the likely increase in demand for next year’s Olympics.

Ian Potter, operations manager for ARLA said, “Short term lets, if managed correctly, can be a great opportunity for both tenant and landlord to benefit from a let that is simple to set up, and is suited to short periods of increased demand.”

To help landlords take advantage of these upcoming opportunities, ARLA advise tenants and landlords to follow a few, key, short-term let tips:

  • Pre-agree bills- Tenant payment of utility bills over a short term can be problematic; therefore it is best to set a price to cover costs at the start of the rental period. This avoids the occasionally tricky issue of recouping or disputing costs.
  • Prepare the property for rent- As with long-term lets, it is wise to thoroughly clean the entire property and insure the small details, such as replacing light bulbs and clearing outside areas are done before prospective tenants visit or move in to the property.
  • Be aware of tenants expectations- With short-term lets, tenants often expect amenities that are not usually offered in the private rental sector;  a common example is the assumption that the landlord will a provide cleaning and laundry service for bedding.
  • Be careful over payment- Offering a variety of payment options, where possible, can encourage prospective tenants. It should be noted, however, that taking cards can often represent an unacceptable degree of risk for the short term landlord. Regardless of payment type, it is always worth ensuring funds have cleared ahead of the start of the tenancy. If funds are being transferred directly to your bank account, it is always best to use a dedicated account.
  • Meet the incoming tenant- Do not arrange for keys to be collected through a third party other than a reputable agent. It is far safer to meet and hand over keys in person, explain the workings of your property and agree when you will collect the keys at the end of the let.

Ian Potter said, “If these tips are followed, it should be possible to strike a balance between remaining flexible with your rental offering and being a responsible short-term let landlord.  Any potential tenants must use an agent with experience in this area – to ensure a transparent and flexible arrangement.”

“As the tenancy is unlikely to be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, tenants will not benefit from Tenancy Deposit Protection.”

“In areas that are particularly competitive around seasonal events, it is often the small details that will allow your property to stand out from the crowd. Preparing a schedule of your property with good photographs, which can be downloaded from the internet, can be key in securing a good deal.”

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4:42 AM, 9th June 2011, About 13 years ago

Thanks for the article Mark!

I am considering letting a two-bed garden flat in Fulham as a short let from now until say after the Olympics (with expected void periods in October/ November and then January to say March).

Where would be the best place to advertise it (I expect there will be mostly foreign tenants)?

Is it worthwhile setting up a website specifically for this purpose

Many thanks!


Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

7:19 AM, 9th June 2011, About 13 years ago

Hi Milton

I don't know the answer to your question but somebody here may. If not, try Property Tribes. They are a none commercial discussion forum that don't allow advertising. It's very easy to use and completely free. Whenever I need to check my own research or check a company out that's where I pose my questions. You will usually get 20+ responses.

James Rossi

12:28 PM, 17th March 2014, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "09/06/2011 - 07:19":

I have an apartment that I would like to rent short term and have had an enquiry for 2 months initially which suits me. However this is the first time I have strayed away from 6/12 month and thereafter periodic. Should I be letting under a holiday let agreement and if so do we have a template available on 118.

The potential tenants may extend and if they decide to do so will I then need to draw up another holiday let agreement for whatever period thereafter. If I want them out do I have to give them notice or just let the holiday let take it's course. Also where am I legally on deposits. Should I be taking a one months deposit.

17:22 PM, 17th March 2014, About 10 years ago

Holiday Lets are my pet topic and I love to answer questions about them. 🙂

A holiday let agreement is not the same as an AST and the guest has no rights of tenure.

It is similar to a hotel in that you pay for your time in the holiday let and then you leave.

If you let through an agency, they will provide terms and conditions of the stay.

It is worth saying that I have let out 2 holiday lets on the South Coast since 2008 and I have never experienced any issues with guests, other than very minor breakages that can be paid for out of the "housekeeping deposit" - NOT the same as a normal deposit. I offer a high end product, charge a premium rate, and attract good quality guests. The market demands a high quality holiday rental imho.

Please visit the Holiday Lets Tribe for tips on marketing, increasing your occupancy, etc.

The best place to advertise is HomeAway or Need More Rentals.

Need More Rentals do not charge you anything for their service, they then advertise on all the holiday let portals and they take a small commission when they achieve the booking for you.

Be mindful that some London boroughs have restrictions on short term lets and so do some leasehold flats, so check the terms of your lease first. You should also check that your mortgage lender is okay with you letting out the property, and also that you have the correct insurances in place.

I recently discovered a fantastic app called Coponis that helps guests make the most of their stay at your cottage and this can help streamline the whole process of holiday letting:

Hope that helps?

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