Is Renting Your House Out For The Summer Genius or Madness?

By Simon on 22nd Feb 2021
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Demand for staycations this year is absolutely unprecedented and it’s clear that it’s going to exceed supply not only in school holidays but probably from whenever accommodation reopens through to September and beyond.  There are going to be many disappointed people who left it too late and sales of motorhomes, caravans and tents are booming.

If you’ve ever considered moving out and renting your home there will never be a better time, and if you have a second home that you normally keep for yourself then opportunity knocks!

Second Homes

Many clients don’t really need the money and their place is precious to them so why do they bother with the hassle?  Some just like the idea that a few weeks' rental can cover their annual expenses but for many it’s the concept of ‘free money’.  This won’t make sense if you are an accountant but in their mind the money is in a different category so they can spend it on something they couldn’t normally justify to themselves- spectacular holiday, classic car, motorbike or jetski, you get a really big reward for minor inconvenience.

Main Residence

This is another level of challenge in that packing up and moving out of your own home is a major undertaking.  You can put your stuff into a garage or spare room that’s locked up or rent some storage but don’t underestimate what a task this is!  Of course circumstances vary- a single person in a large house may find it relatively easy, a family with three children rather less so.  Several of our clients have said that part of the benefit was being forced to declutter and throw away things they never use and with a deep clean before and after the rental it was almost like therapy for their home!

Methods for the madness?

Broadly speaking there are three options to consider:

Do It Yourself

With platforms like Airbnb it’s certainly possible to get the bookings yourself, especially this year and if you’re just going to move locally and be around anyway it may be an option

Pros
Lower fees than full agency (not as low as they seem as substantial fees are added to the price before the guest pays)
Cheaper cleaning and laundry cost if you employ a cleaner directly
Cheaper still if you do it yourself!
Allows for marketing as homeshare so less preparation

Cons
Dealing with guests from enquiry to arrival
Being on call 24/7 for potentially challenging guests
Less control over cancellation policy and other conditions
Income not certain until booked


Full service agency

Letting with a premium agency takes away all the work and worry, especially if you are planning to go away.

Pros
No need to interact with guests, do any work or deal with crises
Expert advice on pricing and presentation
Professional cleaning and linen supplied
Brand and existing client base for marketing

Cons
Commission may be higher
Cleaning & linen costs with vat
No connection with guests- you may enjoy delivering hospitality
Need a proper clear out and deep clean

Rent to an agency

Some agencies including ourselves will rent the house for the whole period at an agreed rate and take on the risk of voids and costs of cleaning, linen & guest services.

Pros
You know where you stand from the start and so can book that holiday
Hand over and forget without buying extra things needed
No risk of empty weeks or cancellation

Cons
Less income in the end if all weeks are sold


Think long and hard before making a commitment as you can’t back out at the last minute but also think about what you usually have to do to earn the money- it may be the easiest cash you ever made!