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UK Homeowners Look to Cash in on Short Term Rents

30 June 2014

Uk homeowners are continuing an increasing trend of renting out their properties on short-term bases as a way of extracting extra income from their properties. Over the next 12 months 3.2 million UK homeowners will be looking to rent their home on a temporary basis.

A survey of short-term letters found that 63% of home owners swap houses and 69% rent out their whole property. 53% of short-term letter said they rent out a single room of their property.

Short-term letting may sound like a license for landlords to print money however costly damages are all too common. Only 29% of short-term landlords have never incurred damages to their properties. Repair costs can soon become a costly expense, with the average damage amounting to £326 while 20% of landlords have suffered damages of over £500. 14% of short-term landlords have paid out over £1000 worth of repairs.

Theft of items is also a problem that is faced by a large number of landlords. If someone is renting out their property for a couple of weeks when they head on holiday then there is little that person can do to safeguard tenants being able to go through their private property and take items that might not be obvious to detect are gone until later in the future. one in four landlords have reported theft while renting out their property on a short-term basis.

It is imperative that landlords have the proper Landlord insurance to cover their property and contents as repairs and replacements can quickly wipe out any profits made from the rental income. Homeowners should always inform their insurer as requirements may be different if letting out their home to tenants.

The average rental income in the UK for short-term lets is £54 per room per night, this equates to £758 a week for an owner of a two bedroom property. The highest average rate comes from London of £116 per room per night and the lowest in Scotland at £31 per room per night. Some entrepreneurial homeowners take advantage of events such as the Wimbledon tennis tournament where weekly rents can sky rocket into the thousands.

Total property damages cost short-term renters £1.4 billion last year. It is advisable that if you are looking to rent out your property make sure you correctly vet the tenant, check references and make sure you have the proper insurance in place.

Bill Woodhead - post author

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