Putting your flat on AirBnB

Got a holiday planned for end of August - two weeks in the sun.

I have never been organised enough to put my flat in AirBnB before now but I want to have a serious stab at this as it could offset the cost of the holiday big time.  

Its a nice flat in smart part of Glasgow so should be popular, particularly at that time of year. 

It is a real ballache though?  

We did this in our last house. Only worth the effort for 4 nights or longer.

You are getting a little tight on time for August. When we signed up they sent a photographer to the house, so it takes a little while to get online and your place won't necessarily get snapped up overnight.

Hope that helps.

We do this, it is a bit time consuming but flexible and worth it for us. Might not be worth the hassle for a one off though

My sister used to do it in Edinburgh and I do it a lot with my flat as I am rarely home. I don't agree that it is late to do it for august, particularly if you are doing the photos yourself. Even in Glasgow because of the good transport links to Edinburgh you will find people desperate for festival accommodation. Last year my sister listed her vacant flat with a couple of weeks to go and it was snapped up within a day. As has been said you really want stays of at least 4 days as otherwise you end up spending a lot on cleaners unless you are specifically passing that cost on to the guests. Also need to think about how to arrange the bedding changes.

Because I am doing it a lot more I use a management company to sort out all that stuff for me.

How's your relationship with your landlord and the other leaseholders in the block?  Might be worth warning them you're going to be on Airbnb so they aren't surprised by strangers int the block and then decide to see if your lease permits it.

Was relatively easy for me as I had the discussion with my lendor before purchase that I would be letting it out and there were already a bunch in my block being used for airbnb.

"it could offset the cost of the holiday big time.  "

"its a nice flat in smart part of Glasgow"

Is your holiday at the Morcombe Bay butlins?

Don't knock Glasgow, it's actually a great city to visit and there are an increasing number of people who want to do the festival but can't obtain accommodation in Edinburgh and just train over from Glasgow and places like Falkirk and North Berwick.

It's straightforward. Probably set it up within 30 minutes tops. What are you going to do about getting access, cleaning and any aggro (work out objectively how easy it is to access and "use" your flat). As suggested above, longer bookings will minimise issues.

Main thing is to price it so that you don't get people that will trash it and don't be tempted to over-occupy it. Instant book is worth trying as only people with good reviews can book and you can bin them without penalty, whereas you get penalised if you reject too many in trying to weed potential guests yourself. 

I am tempted by this but - I note that airbnb insurance does not cover quite a lot of things (like damage / theft of art). Also I have cctv in my living room. Would people object to that?

Thanks, in terms of access, I would need to leave the keys with a trusted third party.

Are their companies that can deal with this for you? 

Yes there are a number ranging from people like Air Sorted who just provide check in and check out and cleaning for a fee through to others that will manage everything for you.  Not sure which of the full management companies operate in Glasgow though.

LA have a Google around as there have been a few discussions online about Airbnb's insurance and also their promise to make good damage.

If you are thinking of doing it a fair bit I'd suggest a HomeProtect policy as back-up as it can cover living there and holiday let risks. The AirBnB cover should be enough for damage to fixtures and fittings - contents you are worried about should be locked away or removed if super valuable. Bear in mind there is a tight deadline to raise a dispute and it is a bit like ebay so you have to effectively confront the guest with the damage, and AirBnB only get involved if they don't sort it out. 

AirSorted take a chunky cut and impose their cleaning fee on you (so if you feel you can't charge their full fee then you are losing money) and that is coming out on top of the fee AirBnB are taking from you and the big cut AirBnB are taking off the booker. Their algorithm that sits on top of AirBnB seems to generate higher income, so maybe that offsets it. My biggest bugbear with them is that you don't get the same cleaner, so you need your flat to be straightforward to deal with or write out comprehensive notes for them, and you have to supply a cleaning kit list that will cost tens of pounds to get together.

If this flat was in London I'd recommend Under The Doormat with fully comprehensive insurance and people who take care of everything from marketing your property to cleaning it after guests leave.

Batfink, do you know if you can do this in a shared block? Is there something different in Scotland that means a potential application for permit use? I’ve no idea, but I remember reading something about that and it was a big thing in Edinburgh recently

fully comprehensive insurance from a company without a functioning website with about half a dozen employees

 

under the doormat sounds like deliveroo for poor quality weed distribution

Hargreaves the insurance is naturally provided by an insurance company and not the company itself unlike Airbnb.

Just checked and web site version 2 is fully functioning and currently about 15 staff and 300 properties so yes proper budget operation.

Do a good tidy and pop it on. Remove all valuables before you head off or pop in friends house / a safe / similar.

If it’s a one off, the companies won’t help you. They need a minimum number of nights to make it worth their while. Do it yourself to start with. Do you have a friendly neighbour / friend / relative nearby who can help?

Dont do automatic bookings, make them send you a message. For your first few, don’t accept people without good prior reviews. I find middle aged couples the most easy to deal with and most respectful of the space. 

Whilst away have a WhatsApp message with them for easy communication. Book your cleaner to come in before you get back to make it all nice for you. They can take some photos to let you know how it was left. 

As others say, you have 14 days to make a claim against someone for damage, or until your next hosted stay, whichever is first, so I wouldn’t advise back to back if you are away as you won’t be there to see any damage. 

I’ve been doing it on and off for 3.5 years when we needed extra cash eg renovations, big holidays, etc. Always been fine. 

I hate the idea of total strangers sleeping in my bed etc.  I don't think I could do this.  

It's less nasty than renting a furnished flat and pondering how many people have used the mattress before you.