There is a view that estate agents short lets departments are simply a vehicle to rent out properties that the sales department cant sell. In fact, the short let market is an untapped goldmine that is frequently overlooked.
I believe a lot of this stems from confusion around the term short let. It can be hard to identify a clear definition of a short rental period. We at Jackson-Stops define a short let as a tenancy lasting for less than six months. The confusion arises when short lets and temporary sleeping accommodation are used interchangeably. Airbnb and similar brands offer the latter, which only allow occupants to take a tenancy for up to 90 days in Greater London.
The waters are muddied further when London councils adopt conflicting stances; for example, the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea has strong views on short lets, while Richmond and Wimbledons policies are more relaxed.
And its not just landlords who benefit from this offering; we find that many of our tenants prefer the short let option in comparison to other short term accommodation choices, too.
With an increasing number of clients looking for flexibility, sellers are realising that they can make good money from renting their properties out on a short term basis. Landlords can generate a greater return on rental income on a short let than they can on a longer term rental, as tenants expect to pay a premium for this type of tenancy. The income is also readily accessible, as rental payments of this nature are paid upfront at the start of the contract.
This is especially the case in the London market, as the city is an epicentre, not only for international business, but also for tourism. Our short lets departments have placed a huge range of tenants, from professionals on short term contracts to families who are carrying out renovation work to their own properties nearby. We expect to place a number of prospective short term renters over the summer, with demand peaking around the time The Championships start at Wimbledon.
And its not just landlords who benefit from this offering; we find that many of our tenants prefer the short let option in comparison to other short term accommodation choices, too. Short lets are often more cost effective than serviced apartments, yet they still provide the flexibility of home cooking and space for personal belongings that a hotel room cannot.
Many clients feel that arranging a short let through an estate agent is a more secure way of booking accommodation than through challenger brands such as Airbnb. All our prospective tenants are taken through the propertys features and credentials extensively by a member of our team. They can also visit the property before signing the contract, rather than relying on a description and images posted online, which some clients feel provides great security.
Short term lets are nothing to sneer at; they are big business for estate agents and landlords and service a new breed of tenant looking for greater flexibility and freedom when deciding where to live, where to work and how to travel.