Everyone knows holidays can be expensive, so why not let your home make you some money while you're relaxing on the beach? More and more websites are becoming available in order to help people rent out their houses for short periods of time. However, people using these sites need to ensure that they're not breaking any rules.
Such sites have been designed to help people who are new to the property letting game, and those who only want to lease their property for only short periods rather than full time. The way these sites work is that they often let you advertise for free, and take a small percentage, typically 3% of any bookings received.
In order to participate, your home does not have be meet an particular standards, but should preferably be reasonably tidy. Aspects which could increase the likelihood of bookings are a desirable location, and good transport links in the surrounding area. Letting potential clients know of any local events occurring while you are away could also help increase your potential bookings.
You can choose how much you would like to let your property for, but when deciding, try looking for similar properties in your locality to get an idea of how much to charge. It is a good idea to not overestimate, or even underestimate your price as both can put people off.
While this all sounds good and well so far, it's time to condiser the potential pitfalls involved in letting your property.
Leasing out your property could be in breach of your mortgage terms and conditions. Most mortgage providers should be fine about it, as long as they are made aware, and usually only if the letting is done through a reputable company. Another aspect to consider is the timeframe your mortgage provider allows – some companies have a minimum shorthold tenancy agreement of six months. So unless you plan on being on holiday for half of the year, it is definitely worth checking the terms and conditions out when leasing your property.
The majority of insurance companies will continue providing building and contents cover, but usually only if it has been organised through a reputable letting agency. Often, insurers will restrict cover for theft due to the increased risk. To reduce this risk, it would be worth temporary relocating items of value, or taking them with you.
It is more than likely that you will incur some tax obligations due to the increase in income. Always declare any extra income when making your tax assessment, or the penalties could be massive. Sometimes there are ways around this, for example in Great Britain there is a government scheme that allows people to rent out a room for up to £4,250 tax free.
So, why not lease out your property while you're on holiday? Depending on what you're able to fairly charge, your holiday could end up paying for itself!