Airbnb was founded in 2008 and has already made a huge impact on the hospitality industry and how people view their home’s earning potential. Anybody can be an Airbnb host as long as they meet the requirements and follow the terms and conditions – there is no training required and you can start right away.
Renting Your Loft in London
In London. up to 80% of hosts actually rent out their own home (rather than additional premises or flats they bought for the purpose) and use the money to fund their costs of living. The typical host rents out their room or flat for 33 nights per year, generating just under £3,000 of additional income every single year. 63% of people in the survey said that the income helped them to pay their bills.
A huge majority of people travelling through the service say that they want to ‘live like locals’ which is why it’s such a popular alternative to hotels. The most popular spots in London are Camden, Greenwich, Hackney, Islington, Southwark, and Richmond, but there are fantastic properties available around the city that take bookings.
How Much is My Loft Worth?
Find out exactly how much you can charge per night using Airbnb’s own calculator, which uses your address and type of rental to decide on a price.
How Much Does it Really Cost?
The site charges a 3% fee every time you take a booking, but you don’t need to pay for a listing. Guests also pay a ‘service fee’ to keep the site up and running, so the costs are split between all of the active users. Other costs you need to take into account are:
- Consumables (soap, toilet paper, tea, coffee, and maybe basic cooking ingredients)
- Breakages or thefts (it’s unlikely but it’s important to consider that this may happen – there is a way to try to get money back through Airbnb)
- Professional photography (it’s not a requirement, but it can really help increase your bookings)
- Taxes and accounting
- Additional electrics/gas bills due to the increased occupancy
Short Term vs. Long Term Rentals
Depending on your location and loft conversion type, you could actually make more with short term holiday rentals than you would with a long-term lodger. One case study found that short term rentals earned around £300 more per month than traditional landlording with the same property. The other perk is that you can still let guests or your own family members stay there when they come and visit without disrupting anybody – you would just mark the loft as booked for those dates.
Make the Right Decision for You
While you have the potential to make more money, a lot of people feel uncomfortable having people they don’t know in their house. If you prefer the companionship or reliability of a long-term lodger who you can get to know, it’s usually the best option to make sure your new earnings don’t cost far more in terms of stress and anxiety. Other people love playing the guide for visitors, and take a lot of pride in recommending their favourite locations and showing their town to guests.