London is one of the most visited cities in the world, with 31.5 million tourists in 2015, and its popularity sees much less seasonal variation than many other destinations. It’s already third in the world when it comes to cities with Airbnb listings, and there’s plenty of demand. While there is a rule against renting out your entire property for over 90 days each year without planning permission, there’s no such restriction on spare rooms in your property. Becoming a host could be a lucrative side business for you. While it will require some time and effort, as well as sharing your home with strangers, you can earn more per day than you can from having a permanent lodger, with the flexibility of choosing when people can stay.
So how much money could you make as an Airbnb host and how much effort is involved? The rate you can charge varies immensely, depending on the size of the room, the type of bed, the number of guests you can accommodate, the facilities available, and ultimately, the nature and location of your property. While many visitors will want to stay in zone 1 or 2, others may be willing to stay further out to cut costs, and some areas have their own appeal (if you live in Wimbledon, for example, you could benefit from the annual influx of tennis fans).
A look at the Airbnb website would suggest that for a double room with an en-suite bathroom, you could earn at least £35 a night, though it’s up to you to decide what an appropriate rate for your room and location is. You can also charge an additional cleaning fee and require a security deposit – this, along with clearly stated rules, can help ensure your guests treat your property with respect. Do bear in mind, though, that you’re competing with other Airbnb owners, along with real hotels and hostels. Providing essentials like clean towels and bed linen, toilet paper and shampoo etc will help ensure your guests’ stay is a comfortable one. Securing good reviews is essential to ensuring more people visit in the future, so try to be a good host!
You will have to commit some time in order to manage your Airbnb, but it’s certainly not incompatible with working full time. You can manage bookings via the app and then remain contactable to your guests via mobile throughout the day. You’ll also need to arrange for them to collect and return the keys, and either clean the rooms yourself or pay a cleaner to do it for you, along with restocking any consumable items they’ll have used, like shower gel and soap. Beyond that, however, there isn’t much you’ll need to do, and you can set minimum stay times to ensure you’re not constantly chasing after a revolving set of guests.
Tempted to make some extra income from your loft conversion? For more information on how to rent out part of your property to guests, visit this page on the Airbnb website.
Landmark Lofts is part of the Landmark Group - the only group in London specialising in the project management of loft conversions, extensions and refurbishments to include a Chartered Building Company (CIOB), Chartered Architectural Practice (RIBA) and to be regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The Landmark Group specialises in the project management of loft conversions, extensions and refurbishments.