How to Start an Airbnb in the UK: Top Tips

how to start airbnb uk

By The Hospitable Team

Airbnb is a well-known online marketplace that offers people a flexible and relatively easy way to earn some extra income by welcoming guests to properties they don’t use. It started as a side hustle in the US, but now it’s one of the world’s leading vacation rental platforms, and many homeowners across the UK use it to list their rental spaces.

Are you considering putting your property on Airbnb in the UK but unsure how to get started and attract potential guests? In this blog, we’ll share some tips on how to start Airbnb in the UK and what to do to make your STR business a success.

Vacation rental investment can be very profitable if you buy a property in an area with a high demand for vacation rentals. It’s essential to base your decision on market research data so you may want to check out our blog article to learn about the Airbnb average occupancy rate in the UK market.

How to Start Airbnb UK: Essential Steps

Suppose you own a property in a popular tourist destination. In that case, Airbnb can be a great option if you want to earn some passive income to help with your household bills or want to build a full-time business and achieve financial freedom. You can get started on the platform by listing any space, even a spare room, and become a successful Airbnb host without any previous experience in running a business.

The key to success on Airbnb is creating unforgettable experiences to make your guests happy with their stay, and that’s impossible without fast and clear communication. Travelers expect that you will be available to them 24/7 and will respond to their messages quickly, and that can be rather challenging. That’s why many hosts use vacation rental software like Hospitable, which allows them to automate guest messaging at all stages of the customer journey and save a lot of time.

Have conversations with your guests even when you sleep.

We will detect questions and answer on your behalf; send fully custom messages triggered by events, and much more!

If you’re looking to open your space to guests, here are some essential steps to get started on Airbnb and its alternatives in the UK.

Consider legal issues

Before you begin hosting on Airbnb, it’s crucial to find out what laws and taxes apply to short-term rentals in your area and follow them. Keep in mind that STR rules vary from one place to another. For example, Greater London has a planning restriction that affects using residential properties as short-term rentals, and hosts in Scotland are required to obtain a license to operate an Airbnb.

We recommend you thoroughly research the national STR laws in the UK and local regulations. Airbnb can’t provide legal advice, but it has guides with region-specific information about responsible hosting. Check them out to get a general sense of the hosting requirements in your city. You may also find it helpful to check out our blog article, which discusses some of the most important legal requirements for Airbnb hosts in the UK.

STR regulations constantly change, so you should contact local authorities to learn more about STR policies, regulations, and restrictions specific to your circumstances. It’s also always a good idea to consult a local lawyer or a tax professional.

Assess your local market

Check out Airbnb listings in your area that are similar to your space. Find out what they offer and what features and amenities they’re missing. This info can help you define unique selling points to set your listing apart from other STR properties in your area.

Think about the type of travelers who might consider your space appealing and would like to book it. Does your local area get a lot of business travelers or families on holiday? Are there any local attractions, such as historic sites or national parks? This information can help you decide how to style your living area to impress your guests and what vacation rental amenities and kitchen essentials you should provide to make your guests feel comfortable.

Get your rental space ready for guests

Prepare your home for welcoming Airbnb guests. Take some simple steps to ensure the safety of your guests—equip your place with safety items, such as carbon monoxide detectors, smoke alarms, and functioning fire extinguishers.

Free your home from the clutter and make the necessary repairs and renovations. Invest in practical, durable furniture and update your home décor to create a cozy and inviting space for your target guests. 

Ensure your Airbnb has basic amenities and supplies that most guests expect for a comfortable stay, like bed linens, bath towels, hand and body soap, shampoo, kitchen utensils, and a good coffee maker. Consider providing some extras to make your listing stand out.

Create a perfect listing

Sign up for Airbnb and follow the instructions to add your listing details. Try to make your listing as compelling as possible, but be honest about your rental space when writing your description to manage guests’ expectations. Highlight unique details that make your space special.

Add high-resolution photos of each room that your guests have access to. Remember that Airbnb pictures are often the first thing guests notice before booking, so you may want to hire a professional photographer to ensure your photos display your rental space at its finest.

Set fair prices for listing to ensure that your nightly rates cover your operational costs and allow you to generate a profit. It’s also essential to ensure your rates are competitive, so you should consider that other hosts in your area charge. Remember to update your rates according to seasonal trends in supply and demand. It will be easier to adjust your prices using a dynamic pricing tool. Learn more about the approaches to building a short-term rental pricing strategy.

Decide how you’ll manage your property

Running an Airbnb involves many responsibilities, like communicating with guests, updating the calendar and prices, restocking supplies, doing laundry, and cleaning your rental space between guests. You may opt to do everything yourself, but as you start accepting more guests, you may quickly find that being a host becomes incredibly time-consuming.

That’s why it makes sense to outsource cleaning and maintenance of your STR property to professionals and automate routine tasks using vacation rental software like Hospitable. Our tool has comprehensive features that will help cut your workload and streamline your business operations. Then, you’ll have more time to focus on providing a 5-star experience for your guests to win great reviews and repeat bookings.

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Market your rental space on other platforms

Airbnb is one of the most well-known OTAs, but it’s not the only option for renting out your UK property. You may consider listing your rental space on other major vacation rental platforms, such as Vrbo and Booking.com, to reach more travelers and attract more bookings.

Marketing your STR property on multiple channels will help you increase your occupancy rate. But to maximize your earnings, you should create your vacation rental website and drive repeat direct bookings.

You can easily build your direct booking website using our dedicated service, Hospitable Direct. Then, you’ll be able to save on OTA fees and have complete control of your bookings. Our partners will help you screen your guests before they book and insure your property with up to $5M worth of damage protection.

Additionally, your property will be listed on Google Vacation Rentals. Travelers can discover your website and book your property directly through Google Search, Google Maps, and when browsing the Vacation Rentals tab in Google Travel. This way, you’ll get more bookings without paying hefty third-party fees.

legal requirements for airbnb uk

Legal Requirements for Airbnb in the UK

Every host is bound by UK laws and local rules that apply to short-term rentals. Legal requirements for Airbnb in the UK vary; some regions are stricter than others. In this article, we’ll talk about some of the most important legal requirements for Airbnb hosts in the UK to give you some general guidance.

airbnb average occupancy rate

Airbnb Average Occupancy Rate in the UK Market

One of the most important metrics you should consider when choosing a market and checking out prospective investment properties is the Airbnb average occupancy rate by city. Read the article to learn about the occupancy rate in different UK cities and regions.

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