Airbnb

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chrissyg
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Airbnb

Postby chrissyg » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:33 am

Not wishing ti hijack the new house purchase thread i thought i would start another. I only heard of this last year and i just wondered how and why it is different from advertising on holiday lettings or homeaway ? I assumed from the name that it was for people who let their homes out for odd weekends or times when away and not for villa weekly summer rentals but i am obviously wrong.

filippos
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Re: Airbnb

Postby filippos » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:12 pm

Well, apart from meeting eot requirements and/or setting up a properly constituted business with appropriate licence(s) you need to comply with airb&b requirements, which aren't too demanding and I don't thing they place any restriction on length of stay. The scheme started ostensibly on the premise that property owners would rent out rooms in their homes for one or more nights but, of course, rental property owners were quick to see the potential for both holiday lets of one or more weeks and for filling in odd unlet days between longer term holiday rentals. While the majority of owners deal fairly and legitimately now, around the world, there are thousands of rentals where the property owner is none too scrupulous about declaring income nor, necessarily, about the condition or safety of the property on offer.
Some property owners who have not remained in the property while renting have found that items have been broken or stolen and in some cases where substantial damage has been caused. E.g. there were reports in the UK about someone who had rented their two bed luxury apartment in Kensington for one night at £300. It turned out that the visitors only wanted a party venue for which several hundred turned up. Eventually, neighbours called the police who managed to clear the place but not before many thousands of pounds of damage had been caused and not covered by insurance because of breaches of policy terms and conditions.
I wouldn't risk any property of mine and I certainly wouldn't do so here when licencing is difficult, as is running a legitimate business. Even more would I not try to operate "under the radar" as both licensing and tax evasion is being checked increasingly closely and more frequently.
The government desperately needs money and what better way to gather it by better tax collection and potentially huge fines on anyone operating without all the necessary documentation and not complying with property regulations

P.S. (15:00) Just saw this which is another type of problem

moggieman
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Re: Airbnb

Postby moggieman » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:18 pm

Forgetting the Greek E.O.T requirements.

Traditionally holiday accommodation was let via varying sites. HomeAway, owners direct, Holiday lettings to name a few, then Expedia began buying up sites. Ownersdirect has now been amalgamated into HomeAway, Holliday lettings into Tripadvisor. All of which the old way was you paid to put your property on the sites and then guests saw them and contacted you directly (easy). And paid directly to the owner.

Then came Airbnb and the wave started, their method was you booked through them and they charged a fee on top of the rental cost (and a fee to the owner). And you paid directly to them !!!!!
All the existing sites saw money and changed the way of booking.
They now no longer charge you to put your properties on their sites but add a fee on top of the guest booking fee, between 3 and 15% (payable by the guest) and then charge the owner 3% to transfer the money to his bank account. Usually, some three to four days AFTER the guest has arrived. This upsets a lot of guests as they see (think) its an additional charge by the owner,

The other big change was All GUEST information is removed so until the guest has actually paid (to the site) you see no details. Age, male, female etc so its possible for a party of say eight 21-year-olds to book with no deposit held by the owner. If you try to short-circuit the guest direct to say your website you are penalised and can have your advert removed. Its only after the payment is made to the site does the owner see details. Again penalising if the booking is cancelled.

HomeAway, TripAdvisor etc all insist an E.O.T (licence) number is given to them and displayed on adverts. This is also a Greek letting requirement. Airbnb are not interested in this measure, therefore non-license lettings are now widespread via this site. Leading to a shortage of long-term accommodation as (non-licence holders) see that they can earn more with short-term lets than long term.

Soon (the better) the Greek government will be forced to act before all long-term let's disappear. This has already started to happen in some U.S.A. state where some short-term lets (under one month) are being banned due to a housing shortage.

Airbnb. I hate the site and is a big cause of a lot of holiday letting problems. Some owners love them (usually the ones either with no licence or not declaring income).

https://www.bathecho.co.uk/news/politic ... bath-80158 Already starting in the U.K
Last edited by moggieman on Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

chrissyg
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Re: Airbnb

Postby chrissyg » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:27 pm

Thanks for the explanation. However, Holiday lettings ( the one i am using) have the same fee structure ( now anyway) They charge the ' guests' 15% and charge me 3% plus vat on top of that. I also dont see many details other than a lead party first name and number of adults/ children. I cannot contact them and they cant contact me other than through HL until they have paid in full which is one month before they arrive and i do not get any money until the day after they do arrive. Holiday lettings hold on to the first deposit when they book and all the rest of the money until then.
So it sounds pretty similar to airbnb structure . I do have the EOt etc and i always obey the rules,.so maybe i could advertise through airbnb as well or do you have to be exclusive?

moggieman
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Re: Airbnb

Postby moggieman » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:10 pm

chrissyg

No, you can advertise on Airbnb as well.
Holiday Lettings is now Tripadvisor but i think still keeps its own identity but is routed (without you knowing) through Tripadvisor.


Try Homeaway same conditions as Tripadvisor but once you have had a few bookings you can request preferred owner status and you get paid as the guest pays them. Also once you're on (HA)they link to all there sites through Europe, a lot more exposure.
Cost you nothing to advertise but i find them better than Airbnb for customer service. Airbnb ALWAYS sides with the guest if you have a problem. As i found out.

chrissyg
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Re: Airbnb

Postby chrissyg » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:20 pm

Yes i thought i might to homeaway too next year. I think they chage an annual £250 as wrll but may be worth it. Thanks for the advice, sounds like airbnb may be one to avoid, we will see how next year goes.

moggieman
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Re: Airbnb

Postby moggieman » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:30 pm

chrissyg

HomeAway is stopping a subscription, changing all the time. If you want to go that way do it soon.

chrissyg
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Re: Airbnb

Postby chrissyg » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:49 pm

O thats useful to know, wonder why. I must admit it put me off for this year as i only started renting in July and thought it wasnt worth it. I will get it all up and running again in a few weeks for next year. Thanks.

Clio
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Re: Airbnb

Postby Clio » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:21 pm

Only three or four years ago a young couple stopped me one evening and asked if I knew where a foreign family called X lived, because they were renting a room from them.

Later I mentioned that casually to a friend who said oh yes, there’s this new company through which you can stay in a family home, get to see a bit more of local culture, and they can make a few euros.

Who could have foreseen where this homely, amateurish-sounding scheme would lead?

Last year I heard from an acquaintance who lives with her young family in central Chania that they had been given notice to quit by their landlord officially because he needed the property for himself, but in fact because he’d cottoned on to the potential of Airbnb, and was turning all of his several properties over to it.

I thought hers was a sad story, but had no idea then that it represented in microcosm a phenomenon with huge implications for many more countries than Greece.

Increasingly now there are reports like this one:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... ity-locals

on the deleterious impact which Airbnb is having on the rental market, already hugely over-heated, in cities like London. Because of it the young, the low-paid, have even less chance of finding something affordable to rent in the big cities of the world.

I find it profoundly depressing that what started as a pleasant, human-scale idea working to mutual advantage of ‘landlord’ and ‘tenant’ should have been hijacked so quickly and profitably by big business.

On the other hand…the initial idea is still a good one, and some of my best friends are now (legally) on the Airbnb books. They are of course nice people so they’re doing a good job of sticking to the original concept, throwing in free extras and making new acquaintances with the people who seem to love staying with them. Me, I’m just glad I don’t have a spare room so I’m not tempted.

Incidentally The Greek retail trade generally is in the doldrums, and mostly stagnant for the past three years except for the supermarket sector, which is showing a modest increase because, they reckon, of all those tourists self-catering in their Airbnb accommodation….

moggieman
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Re: Airbnb

Postby moggieman » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:34 pm

chrissyg
I think the reason HomeAway is stopping subscription is they want to change to an instant book platform. The guest presses a button and its booked. So make sure your calendars up to date, or double booking becomes a nightmare.

chrissyg
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Re: Airbnb

Postby chrissyg » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:40 pm

When i started the holiday lettings they say do u want to link with any other calenders eg homeaway, so i am hoping that it works. With HL they tell you you have a booking, will you accept? I was hoping HA was the same.

moggieman
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Re: Airbnb

Postby moggieman » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:43 pm

Yes its the same until (if they do) change to instant book.

SueA
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Re: Airbnb

Postby SueA » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:36 am

Another aspect of the Airbnb thing - when people stay in self catering accommodation, they often just use it as a base and generally go out and use the local bars and restaurants. With Airbnb and the like, they are renting places with fully equipped kitchens, TVs, Netflixs, sofas etc. They have no need to go out. They buy from the supermarkets and actually do self-cater. Airbnb properties can be as bad for an area as all-inclusive hotels are.

Guy M
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Re: Airbnb

Postby Guy M » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:50 am

I’ve used Airbnb in London twice (but not in Greece). It’s a lot cheaper than hotels and there are some nice places.

The first place was a self-contained flat and had a kitchen so I could have had meals in - but it was next to Marylebone High Street where there are some very good restaurants and anyway I am a lousy cook. The second place, near Waterloo was a room in someone’s home - no cooking facilities there so I went out to eat. The point about Airbnb being as bad as all inclusive because they don’t benefit the local economy is moot: if you rent a place via a normal agent you’ll use a kitchen just as much as if it’s through Airbnb.

The tax situation is likely to be more of an issue. Unless the tax authorities have got their act together, i guess it would be quite easy to avoid declaring tax on an Airbnb

Kilkis
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Re: Airbnb

Postby Kilkis » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:05 am

I think this thread illustrates one reason why I wouldn't choose to get into the letting business. When you start you obviously do a business plan taking into account all the government regulations, including taxation, and all the terms of the letting agencies that prevail at that time. Unfortunately both the government and the letting agencies can change their regulations/taxes/terms at a moments notice and any change could potentially blow your business plan to smithereens. You have no say in whether they make such changes and no influence over them. You simply have to conform to them. If they do make significant adverse changes they will probably affect everybody so, potentially, if you decide to get out of the business it is at a time when a lot of other people are trying to get out.

Obviously this does not apply to everybody. Some people decide to own a holiday home anyway and simply let it if they can when they are not using it to get a bit of extra cash. Letting it is not really part of their rational, just an incidental.

My feeling is that in this day and age return OF capital is a much bigger consideration than return ON capital.

Warwick


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