Millions of UK homeowners plan short term lets

Sites such as Airbnb have boosted the popularity of short term lets Photo: Airbnb /

Renting out a home in the UK for the short term is a popular way to generate extra income for households struggling to make ends meet. Indeed, 3.2 million homeowners are planning to rent out their property or take part in a house swap in the coming 12 months.

69 per cent of those already taking part in a short term let scheme rent out their whole property, while 58 per cent rent out a room for the holidays. Indeed, services such as Airbnb have become increasingly widely used, enabling people to offer temporary accommodation to holidaymakers or business visitors instead of traditional hotel accommodation.

The average income expected from such a venture is £54 per room per night, providing a two-bed homeowner with up to £758 per week during the holiday period.

Londoners, though, have been exempt from this practice for some time unless they hvae a council permit. But plans are currently underway to abolish the 40-year-old rule, allowing those in the capital to rent out their homes without having to apply and pay for permission.

If passed, London homeowners can expect even higher rental revenue up £116 per room per night. With sporting events such as Wimbledon taking place in the capital every year, let alone the city’s ongoing tourist appeal, a two-bedroom homeowner could potentially earn £1,629 over seven nights.

Direct Line cautions those tempted by the idea of becoming a short-let ladnlord, though, noting that only 29 per cent of homeowners who have rented out their property have never incurred any damage to their home. Average repair bills cost £326, adds the insurer, while 20 per cent faces costs of more than £500 after conducting a short term let.
“Short term lets can be a fantastic means of generating additional income, especially around holiday season,” says Louise Lumley, head of the firm’s SELECT Premier Insurance sector. “It is vital however, that home owners take the time to protect their properties.”