Over the weekend Airbnb announced that guests around the world can cancel their reservations for a full refund and no cancellation fees in light of the Coronavirus pandemic. These are worrying times for many Airbnb landlords who rely on this income to pay the bills and to pay their mortgage. Long term letting provides a stable, hassle-free alternative and it’s straightforward to switch.

A fall in tourist numbers

Last week we published a blog relating to a drop in summer tourist numbers due to the Coronavirus outbreak which is proving to be catastrophic to landlords with Edinburgh airbnb properties. Airbnb’s response over the weekend has been enforced to avoid putting pressure on guests who are essential for Airbnb fulfilling their mission; ““help create a world where you can belong anywhere and where people can live in a place, instead of just traveling to it”. According to Airbnb’s CEO “we know our hosts depend on money from Airbnb. 50% depend on it to pay their rent/mortgage” however many Airbnb landlords have found themselves in a very difficult financial position.

The case for Airbnb lettings was weakening

Short term holiday lets have been under scrutiny for the past couple of years and last month the Scottish Government announced that regulation would be coming into play next Spring which will make conditions tougher for Airbnb landlords. Aside from this, many landlords have questioned the net income they receive from short term letting. While headline figures are eye-catching, by the time running costs are deducted (gas & electric, TV & broadband, TV license, council tax/business rates, cleaning and hefty short-term letting management fees), the remaining amount is comparable with what can be achieved on the long-term market.

Long term letting is a good solution

Long term letting is less hassle, less risk (credit-checked long term tenants looking to make a home versus weekend guests there in holiday mode) and the financial case is strong. Long-term letting is not be protected from the wider impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, as tenants will certainly have their own financial difficulties and health worries however the long-term letting market will continue to operate through these challenging times as Edinburgh residents’ living requirements change and they need to move to a new rental property.

How Umega Lettings can help

At Umega Lettings we’re experienced in helping landlords  transition from Airbnb to long term letting seamlessly. We’ve seen a steady flow of airbnb landlords moving over to long-term lettings for the past 12 months and this has accelerated in the past month. We’re here to help ease the burden on landlords and can do everything remotely [link to other blog]. We’ll advise on any additional requirements for long-term letting (including all required safety certificates and guidance on landlord registration) before fast tracking these properties onto the long-term market.