Agency reports London landlords deserting Airbnb for longer-term lettings

Winkworth says its London offices are reporting significant numbers of landlords who used to advertise on Airbnb and similar short-let platforms moving instead to take long-term tenants as a result of the Coronavirus crisis.

“We have been contacted by landlords who have been offering short lets for the past five years on AirBnB, Booking .com and other platforms. They are now looking for long-term tenants as their properties are empty” explains Max Chaudry, lettings director of Winkworth’s Knightsbridge, Chelsea and Belgravia operation.

“In this area, there are entire blocks owned by landlords who were offering short-let serviced apartments. We have also had international tenants at university or school in England, who returned to their home countries at the end of the spring term and they are not coming back” he continues.

The company says many of its 60 London offices have reported a similar upturn.

Another Winkworth agent – Tom Street, regional lettings manager for Shoreditch, Islington and Highbury – says around 25 per cent of his current stock consists of former short lets.

“We are currently handling a block of multiple flats in the Brick Lane area, which is very popular with tourists and these were let on AirBnB. They are all empty and we will be offering them for long lets. We have another landlord in Islington with five properties, which were formerly short lets and will be available for longer lettings” he says.

The company says the trend back to long-term lettings is likely to continue until international travel returns in some form.

*Airbnb has announced that it’s to make about a quarter of its global workforce redundant. It has staff in 24 companies with its European head office in Dublin.

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