Long Term Lets

Longer leases could be the answer after festival
cancellations leave landlords looking for lets

With no festivals and fewer tourists visiting due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s been a tough year for anyone with a rental property in Edinburgh. Houses and flats that are traditionally booked year-round have stood empty since March 2020, and private landlords who rely on sites such as Airbnb to provide a steady stream of short-term lets have been scratching their heads for a solution.

The market has been turned upside down – it’s usually guests who struggle to find rooms in the city in the height of summer. But the absence of numerous summer festivals, from the Edinburgh Fringe to the Military Tattoo, has left a huge hole in the short-term rental market and landlords have been forced to compete for the few business bookings still on offer.

Short-term lets have never been an issue for Edinburgh’s Airbnb landlords. With around five million people visiting every August, demand has always exceeded supply. But not this year.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FBS) estimates the festival cancellations will cost the city around £300m, and landlords are amongst those bearing the brunt. While the situation with short-term lets is unlikely to change during the ongoing pandemic and beyond, the option of renting out properties on longer leases could provide a welcome answer.

Buying property in Edinburgh is challenging because of a lack of availability and the traditionally high prices commanded by a vibrant city centre location. Renting can offer a viable alternative because properties are often in sought-after locations, close to the transport network and main city attractions.

Where mortgages might be unachievable, rents are more affordable, and Edinburgh is a city where discerning dwellers are prepared to rent rather than buy in order to achieve the more desirable residences.

Good rental property remains in demand, despite the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, and new properties coming onto the market are being snapped up. Often tenants have had their eye on homes that up until now have only been available for short-term lets, and in turn short let landlords are welcoming the opportunity to earn a regular – if somewhat reduced – income.

Switching from Airbnb-style lets can be daunting, and many landlords are nervous about signing up tenants on longer leases. But the Private Residential Tenant scheme introduced in 2017 provides more flexibility for both tenants and landlords. And with the future of the 2021 summer festivals looking uncertain, now is the ideal time to make the change and secure reliable longer-term tenants.

Using an Edinburgh-based letting agent can help ease the strain, ensuring landlords get a fair rent for their properties and they’re seen by a wide number of potential tenants who have all been vetted and checked. The help of an expert agent when leasing a property for the first time can provide reassurance and ensure all bases are covered.

Edinburgh letting agent Clan Gordon has been letting properties in the city since 2007 and has a dedicated team of 12 agents who go over and above to deliver exceptional service – a fact reflected by the 100% satisfaction score in their 2019 client survey. To find out more, call today on 0131 555 4444.

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