A calculator that highlighted how landlords could make more income using Airbnb rather than letting their properties to local people has been criticised.

Bespoke blinds company Thomas Sanderson incurred the wrath of local councillors in Brighton and Hove after it created the online rental return calculator which showed how landlords in the city were making an average monthly income of £1,375 by renting their property, whereas Airbnb could pocket them £2,241 a month. 

Thomas Sanderson is a prolific creator of property-related online tools such as ‘Student Cities’ which helps users see which cities are likely to have the most student renters, and the ‘Buy-To-Let Hotspots’ tool to show rental yield as a percentage of the property’s overall value in towns and cities around the UK.

However, its latest PR wheeze was slammed by city councillors in Brighton and Hove where it’s estimated that 2,000 homes are listed as holiday lets.

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They fear encouraging residents to register their homes for Airbnb means taking rentals out of the long-term rental market, negatively impacting on residents.

Green councillor Martin Osborne told the Brighton and Hove News: “A lack of affordable housing in Brighton and Hove means we have one of the most acute housing crises in the country. 

“This new calculator works directly against plans to alleviate this crisis by encouraging landlords to switch to short-term, holiday lets rather than offering a longer tenancy, potentially draining the private rented sector of available homes.”

Richard Petrie, marketing director of Thomas Sanderson, defended the tool and says it was not designed to encourage landlords to stop renting long term. He explains: “Although we discovered the monetary rewards are potentially greater for Airbnb rentals, they carry more risk and more work than traditional renting and therefore require a totally different approach.” 

1 COMMENT

  1. Hi,

    I read this article and particularly Martin Osborne comments and it makes me wonder: Are politicians really that stupid or do they make an effort to appear so?

    Martin, if you are reading this, let me spell it for you as you seem a bit thick to understand it:

    The different Tory governments – starting with George Osborne who hated us landlords – had made it impossible to turn a profit doing regular buy to lets. They’ve done this because they needed a scapegoat to justify their ineptitude at sorting out the crisis. It was easy for George to say “Properties are very expensive because of greedy landlords” than having a hard look at why there aren’t more properties being built.

    Since George was chancellor – and even from before – we’ve had to deal with increasingly higher taxation. Just to give a few examples:

    – Higher stamp duty for investment homes.
    – We can’t deduct interest – mortgage interest relief eliminated – form our profits.
    – 10% wear and tear deduction on furnished properties eliminated.
    – Several items that were tax deductible are not any more – example, fridges or kitchen white goods in general.
    – Massive CGT when you sell compare to other assets you could invest your money in.

    On top of this, we face increased regulations that make it even less profitable to do normal ASTs – example, the plan to eliminate Section 21 notices.

    So with this environment, is it any surprise that landlords are turning to AirBnb to make some profits particularly in a city like Brighton that is a holiday hot spot? Let me tell you, it is a massive amount of work to rent through AirBnb, you have increased costs – you need to pay council tax, utilities, internet, sky, etc., you need specialist mortgages that are more expensive and you need to check in and out guests frequently at odd times and take care of cleaning the properties, wash linen and such. The reason most people do it is because the tax treatment is much more favourable.

    So, Martin, if you want to help sort out the housing crisis in Brighton and elsewhere, why don’t you talk to your mate Javid and see if he can reduce our tax burden or better still give some tax incentives to BTL instead of wasting your time criticising an App? He might listen to you – from politician to politician. He s sure as hell not listening to landlords.

    Me personally, I could buy many more properties to rent and increase the size of my portfolio. I will do so, but not in this country. I rather invest somewhere else – like the US – where landlords are appreciated.

    Regards

    Adrian

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