Notes on Short-Term Let, from the owner’s point of view.
Short Term Lets are relatively unusual, but can be useful…
Edmund Cohen, owner of Landed Houses, says:
‘I think the first point to make is that most landlords either go for LONG lets (six months plus) to, say, a family, or VERY short lets (weeks/weekends) which are more work but better money. The three month market is smaller and runs the risk of standing vacant for a while. Whichever route they take it’ll probably take at least two months to get the first guests, unless they heavily discount.
We mainly see very short lets and the main reasons are birthday parties (30th plus) and weddings. Stag and hen events do crop up but some landlords have a blanket ‘no’ to them. For, say, a large seven or eight bedroom house an owner might be confident of making £100k a year with weekend-only lets and effective within a few months of starting up. Price will rise with pool/tennis, location and full week summer lets’.
Why do people short-term let?
Short term lets run from 4 weeks to a day beneath 6 months. People short let for a variety of reasons, including:
- Security – a house being lived in much less likely to suffer from vandalism, problems such a burst pipes or faulty appliances are likely to be dealt with quicker. Burgulars don’t like houses with people in them
- Financial – help with a mortgage or just running costs. Prices for short term lets vary hugely depending on the size of property and where it is. Most large (sleeping 16+) houses, will negotiate their own terms. Prices on Landed Houses start from around £4k a week. The more well-set up a house is, the more it could cost (swimming pools, stables, ménage, cottages in the grounds etc. all add rental value).
- ‘Lived In’ – The owners do not live in the house, but don’t want to sell or long-term let. For example, a relative may have just died, and the family wish to short let the property whilst the legal wrangling is sorted. Or they might want to hold onto the house until the right time in the market. Short let gives more flexibility. Or, the owners have moved abroad, or spend time in a different property (France or Spain being the usual place).
How Would You Go About Short- Letting?
Think about your target market, and how you can address it. What type of people might rent your home?
Think of things that would attract them to the area. They might not want to move there permanently, but they do want to know what you could offer them for a few months. Example: shooting, fishing, sailing, riding, long walks, quintessential British-ness, proximity to a certain city.
Next, decide if you want an agent. Agents will find and interview prospective long-term guests, plus they may sort all the contracts and look after the property (ideal if you’re going to be out of Europe). However, they do charge a % (between 10 and 15%… you can get a better rate if you have more than 1 property with them. So if you’re renting an estate, or perhaps a manor or barn, you would strike a better deal with the agent).
However, it’s not difficult to do yourself, providing you set up the property and the arrangement properly.
For further advice on short term lets, please see our other blog posts…