There is no official definition for a short let in the London lettings market. In general, short lets can range from a few nights up to many months, with a rough cut off at six months – if a tenant is looking to rent for longer, then from a financial stand point, they would be better off opting for a long let. Short let rents also typically include all bills so the tenant has nothing extra to pay over and above the rent. Because of the convenience, short lets tend to be priced around 50% to 75% more than the equivalent long let property.
Short lets can appeal to all manner of property owners
The vast majority of lettings in the London marketplace are long term tenancies (one year plus) and for many this is just too long a time to commit to. So for a property owner looking for a flexible and temporary solution to renting - short lets are the perfect answer. There are many reasons as to why property owners opt for a short let, including having to move away for work reasons or a short secondment, or they have a desire to go travelling for three or four months. Possibly their property is being sold, but the process is stalling and they want to try to gain an income while the sale proceeds. In all of these situations, a short let is the most appropriate way of letting the property out. The greatest benefit for many landlords is that short lets allow the owner to still generate an income even if they can’t commit to a long rental period.
Short let tenants rent for all sorts of reasons
There are a variety of reasons as to why young professionals require the need for a short let tenancy. With so many business travellers, corporate tenants and holiday makers traveling in and around the Capital each year, the possibility of a short let accommodation is often far more preferable than the alternative of an impersonal hotel. There are also Londoners refurbishing their own property or are perhaps between homes - due to a sale transaction - and need somewhere readily furnished and available for a short period before moving back in.
Short let requirements
In order for tenants to move straight in, a short let property has to be 100% ready and will need to be fully furnished and offer all the comforts of home, for example all linens, towels, crockery, cutlery, as well as televisions and DVD equipment. There are also a number of safety checks that must be completed by law (gas and electric) and a professional inventory is an absolute necessity – these help to highlight the current condition of the property before tenants move in so that any damage can be attributed to them and paid for from their deposit. In this regard, it is also sensible to remove any valuable items before the tenancy commences.
If you are planning on going down the short let path and renting your property out it is sensible to look into any restrictions the mortgage lender, or the head leaseholder may place on short lets and in some areas the local authority may also request that planning permission is sought also. A professional managing agent is also essential to be able to deal with tenants if you decide to go away, as they will be expected to take care of any issues during this period. Typically, landlords can achieve really good incomes from renting out their properties on a short let basis, as all bills should easily be covered by the increased rent and often leave a good amount on top too.
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