Please Note: This Article is 5 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

In January, AirBnb announced that it will set an automatic cap on “entire home listings” in London to 90 nights a year. Additionally a 60-night per year cap is set to be established in Amsterdam, a move which is set to hit Airbnb hard. With predicted losses of £325 million in London alone, the hospitality company’s third biggest market.

Over the past year, Airbnb has faced increasing pressure from housing authorities in several of its major cities. In November, the company was fined €600,000 by housing authorities in Barcelona, for listing unlicensed accommodation. While in June, a Berlin court upheld a ban on short-term renting. Those who rent out more than half their property without a permit on a short term basis run the risk of a €100,000 fine.

These new regulations are coming into place after concerns from housing authorities around the world, that permanent residential housing is being brought by some landlords with the sole purpose of renting out entire complexes on Airbnb to turn big profits. Which is eating away at taxable income and inflating rents in already stretched private housing markets.

Airbnb in effort to crack down on those exploiting the platform and to work more closely with local municipalities, has redoubled its efforts to collect taxes on bookings and ensure that listings comply with housing regulations.

But as more hosting regulations come into place in major cities, what other options are there for hosts looking to lease rooms or apartments on short term contracts and still comply with their local municipalities?

Leasing to international students should be a consideration. Most international students tend to rent on a short term basis due to exchange semesters or internships, and are more likely to pay for their stay up front.

For those of you who enjoy the more personal side of hosting on Airbnb, you’ll still be able to have this when renting to an overseas student. There’s satisfaction with knowing that you’re providing a service people need and you’re helping them make lasting memories for their time in a new country.

If you think this is up your street then here are some alternative methods you can use to start leasing to international students:

Social Networks:

Whatever city you’re active in, there’s a guarantee that there will be Facebook groups dedicated for students looking for accommodation.

When you’re ready to begin advertising, set up a post, include some great images and videos of your property and as much information about the local area, as most students won’t be able to view the room in person. Also ask your followers to share and watch your post take off.

Going through your personal network can bring in more trustworthy tenants. While you both may not personally know each other, it could be a mutual friend that refers you, so there will already be a greater connection and trust that doesn’t come with finding tenants that you’re not familiar with.

Advertising on social media gives a bit more control back to both the landlord and the tenant but you’ll have to do all of the leg work yourself. From replying to messages, organising any viewings and then sorting any background checks can be a bit of a hassle, but you’ll be able to cut out unnecessary agency fee’s.

Housing Platforms

There are platforms that cater to renting to international students completely online. Currently, the platform has the most partnerships with university and higher education associations. Initially a platform exclusively for incoming and outgoing exchange students to sublet their rooms on a short term basis. The platform has now extended its service to landlords.

According to Niels van Deuren, founder of the company; landlords can list as many rooms as they want for free and select the right tenant for them. All with the same online convenience as Airbnb – no in house viewings. If the tenant doesn’t arrive, then Housing Anywhere guarantees to reimburse the first months rent.

Landlords can be safe in the knowledge that the platform is not affected by recent housing regulations. Along with the added security of longer term stays, without the inconvenience of coordinating new guests and cleaning costs between each booking. Housing Anywhere offers 100,000 room listings and is available across 46 countries in 250 cities around the world.

University Accommodation Departments

If you’re strongly considering renting out your room to students then it’s worth reaching out to the accommodation departments in your local universities. The department will be able to refer you to new students incoming students and they usually have a university board that you’ll be able to post your room to. They’ll also be able to give you advice on the best times to market your property, how to carry out background checks and any special legislations you should consider.

Lettings Agencies

You can also market to international students in the same way as if you were leasing a traditional let. Reach out to lettings agencies in your local area, as they will be able to look after your ad, market it online and proactively deal with any reactions. In addition to this, find out if the agency has a relationship with local universities so your room/property can be listed on accommodation boards.

While lettings agencies will deal with all of the marketing and managing the admin tasks. However, remember that this can come at a hefty price that is often offset to the landlord and should be something to consider.

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Please Note: This Article is 5 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.


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