Anyone let a house/cottage through AirBNB?

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  • Anyone let a house/cottage through AirBNB?
  • Premier Icon the-muffin-man

    My MD is wanting to let some of his holiday homes through AirBNB – he used the usual cottage agencies but is fed up with their fees.

    Now it’s my understanding that AirBNB do very little apart from putting the holiday maker in touch with the the property owner? Is that correct?

    If so I can see this admin job falling on my lap – which ain’t going to happen!


    My mate has some surf cottages in the south west.. and they let them via AirBnB.. Now then, it’s fairly easy to setup, the fees are high, the control is down to the Owner and the complaints are held with AirBnB..

    Cancellations can be a pain, some have “too late to cancel” policies, some don’t, some (most) have a 2 night stay these days to stop the “one night party” brigade.

    But mostly its hassle free for them.

    Plenty of photos, good solid descriptions, try to be as flexible within the rules as you can and you’ll get more lets.. be too rigid and you’ll loose trade.

    They let their house out via it too, but this has proved a bit tiresome with two kids and a dog. It’s not the let out that concerns them but the hassle of cleaning the place pre-post let… lucrative though, this year they got £3.5k for 6 weeks let…..


    I’ve rented out my widebeam boat out thorugh AirBnb since April, link below. There is more to do than a traditional agent, you have to answer any questions about bookings, etc but that is easy enough. But they sort out the deposit and payment which I get through a few days after they have stayed
    Let me know if you have any more questions

    Premier Icon the-muffin-man

    Hello again!

    Right – it looks like I’m setting this up for my MD but not managing it.

    1st problem is the cottage is in another country and the bookings/contact will be with the local property cleaner/manager. AirBNB seems to want to set up the owner as the contact, but can I add the cleaner as the main contact?


    don’t they need the contact details to confirm the property is registered, legally/appropriately in that country and that the owner is declaring the income?

    I have had my holiday cottage with airbnb since last November, as well as using my own website.

    overall its been quite successful and we’ve definitely had more short stays away from the main season.

    I’m not sure why an earlier post thinks the fees are high, I reckon its quite reasonable and definitely a great deal cheaper than a traditional holiday agency (about 30% by the time commission, vat, booking fees etc are factored in).

    I like the way you can interact with people coming to stay and get a feel for them, but to get results you need to be on top of pricing and the whole set up is based around single nights whereas our place, and most holiday cottages I know, are worked out on a per week basis with the rate changing weekly especially as the season kicks in.

    now here are the negatives…

    as a traveller I booked a weekend (ride London) in feb last year. a week before the weekend I had an email saying my booking had been cancelled, I contacted the host and he knew nothing about it so I called airbnb and they admitted that their own system had taken a double booking and thus deleted me. so basically, airbnb can screw up your bookings.

    it gets better…

    you know all those tabloid stories about people renting places and then throwing massive parties? well, airbnb refunded my holiday fee and then credited me enough cash to get another place to stay but being so close (as in days) to ride London choices were slim. I found a place that turned out to be a room in a shared house. first night was ok. then about tea time on the second night people started arriving, and a lot of people were carrying crates of beer. thus followed, in the second airbnb room in the house, a massive party that was still raging at 4.30am when I had to leave. I am 51 and not puny, but even I was really scared for my safety all night and especially about leaving the house with all these out of control people with an expensive bike by my side. and needless to say I had no sleep that night.

    it gets even better…

    the very day I got back to cornwall I had an email from airbnb saying that the prime season week in my holiday house that was an airbnb booking for that coming Friday had been cancelled. this time not airbnb but the guest themselves. I actually had no idea they could cancel witout penalty within days of a holiday starting and although I got a last minute booking myself after discounting it heavily I lost hundereds of pounds on a week that I could have let 50 times over.

    lesson learnt then so now I use airbnb for off season and I block book out all the weeks I know I can let myself.



    If you do an odd nights let is it not very cost effective if you have to then get the cleaners in the next day (presuming the property is not within easy reach for you)?

    Premier Icon the-muffin-man

    don’t they need the contact details to confirm the property is registered, legally/appropriately in that country and that the owner is declaring the income?

    All the tax side of things is fine, my MD does things by the book.

    The trouble is he’s getting on in years and isn’t very tech savvy, so he wants the lady who looks after the property for him to manage the bookings (for which she will be paid).

    All the AirBNB set-up seems to relate directly to the owner (AirBNB account holder), and I can’t see how to add another person as the contact for bookings and communication.

    And thanks for the advice gavtheoldskater – hopefully the property is in an area unlikely to attract that sort of client (quite remote).

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