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Top tips to account for Airbnb income

27th May 2016

 

Accounting services  Airbnb management income Making sure you accurately account for the income from your Airbnb property is extremely important. In recent years the laws have changed regarding expenses you can claim against and which property improvements you can offset tax for.

Whilst there can be a large financial gain with short term lets, you need to make sure your financial records are accurate to keep the tax man happy and things running smoothly. With our top tips we hope to remove some of the potential stress and help you find things a lot less taxing!

Following the Chancellor’s recent budget and with effect from 6 April 2016, the ‘rent a room relief’ was increased from £4,250 to to £7,500. It now means an individual who rents out a room in their main home and meets the conditions will not pay any income tax on the rents received up to this amount, regardless of their other income.

Craig Harman, consultant from Perrys Chartered Accountants added,

“It should be noted however, that this threshold is based on the gross income received before deduction of any expenses and includes receipts for any additional services such as meals and cleaning. 

As with any business it is a requirement to keep detailed records of the income received and business expenses incurred, however this is particularly important for those who exceed the above threshold. In this case, the individual can choose to either deduct the relief from their income and only pay income tax on the amount received above £7,500 or deduct their actual qualifying business expenditure if this is greater. 

From April 2017, the amount of tax relief available for finance costs against an individual’s residential property income will be restricted. However, individual’s who let out their properties on a short term basis and meet the furnished holiday let qualifying conditions will not be affected by the new restrictions. Therefore those in this position will need to take particular care to monitor the conditions and maintain accurate records to determine the number of days the property was available for and the number of days on which it was actually let during the tax year.”

 

Whilst it can initially seem daunting and confusing, we recommend keeping a clear record of how many days your property has been occupied throughout each tax year and the income attributed to those stays. (Our new host dashboard which is currently in beta testing will help you do all of this effortlessly!) Once you have this data, leave it to the experts! For very modest fees accountants such as Perrys Chartered Accountants will take care of everything including submitting your tax return to HMRC, allowing you more time to concentrate on the things that matter in life.

So to recap:

  1. Make a note of the number of days your property is occupied through Airbnb
  2. Make a note of all the income for all of those stays
  3. Keep receipts for cleaning, property improvements, repairs etc (These can be offset)
  4. Find a good accountant to take the above and submit your tax return to HMRC

It’s as simple as that. For more information on, or if you are an existing host who would like to help test Airsorted’s new Host Dashboard please send an email to hello@airsorted.uk.

Airsorted’s Launch into the Scottish Capital

25th April 2016

Today marks the official launch of Airsorted in Edinburgh. Whilst we may have been working away behind the scenes since early February – sorting the logistics, finding cleaners, linen companies and handy men, today is the day we cut the red ribbon and officially open the Edinburgh Airsorted doors to all! We admit we do have a small head start (we managed to bring 20 hosts and their homes on board prior to our official launch!) and such is the enthusiasm from the local residents we expect Edinburgh to be an incredibly successful city and one instrumental to our growth.Edinburgh castle

So why choose Edinburgh you ask?

Edinburgh seemed like the perfect City for us to continue our rapid growth. It is a vibrant hub for tourists to the UK, it has world class Universities and it has fantastically successful year round events which draw large numbers to the City. The Edinburgh fringe festival in the summer months is the perfect example, where the City literally overfills with people and Edinburgh comes together as one to celebrate.

There is so much going on in Edinburgh and with over 1.5 million overnight tourist visits in 2015 alone, and at number two in the “most visited tourist cities in the UK”, it was the clear choice of where to go next for Airsorted!

Our official launch starts with a mail-drop campaign which will see 11,500 leaflets posted by the Royal Mail to the residents of central Edinburgh, educating them about Airbnb management and its benefits as well as offering a special launch discount too! Whats more if you tweet a picture of the leaflet with yourself to @airsorted we will double our launch offer!

We are really excited to be launching- and you, the residents of Edinburgh, now have the perfect opportunity to join the sharing revolution and open the doors to your home whilst you are away.

But we aren’t stopping here! Airsorted have big plans and want to help spread the sharing economy further and wider, whilst helping remove the hassle. We will be launching in new cities in the coming months, so keep an eye out as we may be coming to you soon!

How London made it onto the podium of ‘most popular Airbnb cities’.

20th April 2016

Since launching in 2008, Airbnb has grown to 60 million users worldwide. With 640,000 hosts spread throughout 34,000 cities in 190 countries around the world, the sharing economy is well and truly booming.

Airbnb Management LondonSo how exactly has London managed to sneak into the podium places? With only Paris and New York ahead, London is officially the third most popular “airbnb city” in the world. Leaving Rio, Barcelona and Los Angeles in its wake, we take a look at just how London has propelled itself to where it is in the rankings.


Surely we have to start with our good old British culture. Everyone loves the Brits, we love to moan, complain and queue for no reason! Who wouldn’t love us?
But seriously, the United Kingdom and especially London has a wealth of history and culture. Everywhere you look in London you are surrounded by it. From the modern architecture in the City of London to the tudor properties such as Sutton House in Hackney, London is saturated with history. We are also a heavily cultured bunch and on any given day in London you can experience operas, ballets, a West End musical, Shakespeare at The Globe, a new modern at The National, the list is endless. There really is something for everyone in London!


Next, it must be us, the people, and of course our accent! Everyone loves the good old British accent, in fact apparently it is an aphrodisiac to certain nationalities around the globe! Londoners can be an extremely friendly bunch when we want to! From Black cabbies who will give you directions to anywhere,and I mean anywhere in the city, to locals in the suburbs we are a really friendly, helpful bunch of people. It may look like no-one talks to each other and we walk around like isolated zombies, but this is how you behave on the underground until otherwise approached. It’s the commuter culture and if you need anything just ask, when approached we’re sure to help!


London landmarks and “British icons” are also a must. Any tourist I’ve ever met visiting London has always said they must get a photo of a black cab, a red bus and of course the good old British telephone box! (although these are now getting rarer and rarer). These are quickly followed by landmarks including Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge and Trafalgar Square. We have so much to see and landmarks and points of interest in every corner of the City that it is often hard to fit it all in to a short city break.


Finally, the food, how can we forget the food? London has some of the finest restaurants in the world and you could quite easily eat a different cuisine every night of your holiday without ever running low on options. From good old British fish and chips to the finest sushi in Europe there is something to cater to anyone’s culinary needs and desire.


All of these are surely winning reasons as to why London is now officially the third most popular “airbnb city” worldwide, however we at airsorted believe the homes people can stay in is also a huge contributing factor. London has a fantastically diverse range of airbnb options available for the global traveller. From the Clock tower at Kings Cross to Regents canal, London has some truly unique options for you to rest your head in at the end of a hard day’s sightseeing. Who would stay in a hotel when you’ve got Airbnb? If your lucky the property will even be managed by Airsorted!

Self Starters ‘Tax Break’ Will Further Boost the UK Sharing Market

22nd March 2016

Autumn Statement papers

The UK’s sharing economy is set to benefit hugely from the Chancellor’s new plans to further cut the tax bill to the thousands of ‘self starters’ who currently share their homes.

Under the new plans, hosts will be able to earn a further £1,000 tax free income by sharing their homes without having to declare it.

The announcement was made within last week’s budget by chancellor George Osborne:

“…we’re going to help the new world of micro-entrepreneurs who sell services online or rent out their homes through the internet. Our tax system should be helping these people so I’m introducing two new tax-free allowances each worth £1,000 a year, for both trading and property income. There will be no forms to fill in, no tax to pay – it’s a tax break for the digital age and at least half a million people will benefit. ”

It will come as fantastic news to hosts using Airsorted’s services and further adds to the

‘Rent a room’ tax relief which was announced last year and comes into force next month. From April 2016 the first £7,500 of income will be tax free, in a bid to encourage more people to open their homes and join the sharing revolution.

2016 looks like an exciting year for the sharing community, with numbers rising rapidly in 2015 and over 40,000 properties currently available in London alone, now has never been a better time to start sharing.

How to take the best photos for your Airbnb property

27th May 2015

Pictures are possibly the most important element of any Airbnb listing.  They bring your property to life and can ultimately be the decisive factor for potential guests. These are our top tips for nailing your photoshoot. 

1. Clean & tidy

Your first step should be to make the place look as presentable as possible. Make the bed, wash the dishes, and get the hoover out.

2. Be well equipped

The camera on your smartphone will probably suffice, but if you have access to a decent camera, all the better. Airbnb actually connects hosts with free professional photographers in many cities. Depending on your location and listing, you might be eligible for this service.

3. Lighting

Natural light is the best setting for indoor photography, so try and arrange your photoshoot in the daytime. You want your Airbnb property to look bright and friendly, not dark and dingy.

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4. Focus

An obvious point, but you’d be amazed at the number of pixelated pictures on Airbnb. Poor quality photos suggests a poor quality service, from a host that hasn’t invested enough time or effort into the process. Use large, high resolution photos that reflect your professional standards as an Airbnb host.

5. Attention to detail

Wide shots of each room help Airbnb browsers get an overall feel for the place, but often people will be sold on the finer detail. Take close-ups of any interesting or unusual features, and potential selling points.

6. Think outside the box

If you have garden, terrace or balcony, don’t be afraid to show it off in your pictures. Likewise, if you have an eye-catching view, include it in your gallery. Just be sure to wait until the weather’s nice for the best effect.

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7. Personality

In your attempts to make your photos sleek and professional, don’t lose the character of your home. Part of the charm of Airbnb are the weird and wonderful properties available – don’t make yours look like a boring hotel.

8. Less is more

There is no limit on the number of images you can upload on Airbnb, but we think 15 is a good amount. At first glance, few will look past your first 5 photos, so be sure to give a good overview of your property with some of your most striking shots.

 

 

10 Purchases Airbnb Hosts Should Make

19th May 2015

The pressure to be well-stocked and ultra-prepared before welcoming your first Airbnb guests can be overwhelming. So much so that essential items can go forgotten in a flurry of oversight and panic. To help out, we’ve put together our definitive list of small purchases that will make a big difference to your guests’ stay.

1. Travel adapter

Even the most prepared traveller can forget essential items, and it’s great if you’re already prepared to help. If they’ve forgotten a travel adapter, be on hand to solve the crisis.

2. Toiletries

Whether their shampoo was taken at flight security or they’ve run out of toothpaste during their stay, it’s great to have your toiletries fully stocked in case of emergency.

3. Fresh Towels

Freshly laundered towels will ensure your guests feel comfortable and at home. White is the best option here because you can bleach them if they get stained, and try to find good quality 100% cotton – your guests will feel the difference.

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4. Fresh sheets

Again, great cottons are the secret to a snug stay. It doesn’t really matter what colour or design you choose, just make sure you buy a spare set of bed sheets for your guests, and keep them clean!

5. Guest book

Encouraging your guests to hand-write their reviews is a great way to document your Airbnb experience and to receive constructive feedback as a host.

6. Spare kettle

Buying a second kettle means that you can equip your guests with their own tea and coffee station, without the need to leave the privacy of their room.

7. Snacks

While certainly not mandatory, offering your guests food will guarantee brownie points. Whether it’s a food basket on arrival or a complimentary breakfast, a little goes a long way when it comes to free food.

8. Local guidebooks and maps

An important part of managing Airbnb is sharing local knowledge and personal recommendations with travellers. By offering them guidebooks and maps, you can also let your guests discover the area for themselves.

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9. Water bottles

Long days of sightseeing and day travelling can be thirsty work. To save your guest the expense of buying bottled water, offer them reusable water bottles they can fill in your kitchen sink.

10. English phrasebook

Encourage your guests to speak to other locals by lending them an English phrasebook. It’s a great way to make them feel independent and confident while exploring a foreign city on their own.

The 10 Most Amazing Airbnbs in London Right Now

18th May 2015

Heading to London for the weekend? From swanky apartments with panoramic views of the city, to cosy hideaways with no internet or electricity, check out our wishlist for the best Airbnb rentals in the capital.

1. St Pancras Clock Tower

Surely London’s most incredible Airbnb – you can actually stay in the St Pancras clock tower! The ten metre high room in the tower also looks out upon other famous landmarks such as St Paul’s Cathedral.

2. Round Room in the Sky

One of the most unique and eye-catching listings on Airbnb, this ’round room in the sky’ is a great option for those seeking the unconventional.

3. Riverside Apartment

This stunning riverside apartment combines panoramic views of the city, a prime central location, and spacious and stylish interior. Part of the award-winning NEO Bankside development on the Southbank, this property comes equipped with a 24 hour concierge service and a residents’ gym.

4. Designer Canal Oasis

There are a handful of houseboats listed on Airbnb, and they are an increasingly popular option for those who want to experience London from the river. This one is our favourite, combining novelty with design in one of the most unusual properties on Airbnb.

5. Piccadilly Circus Yurt

This is the perfect choice if you want to combine country and city life. With Piccadilly Circus just a stone’s throw away, you can enjoy this peaceful sanctuary in the knowledge that central London is on your doorstep.

6. Eco Paradise

Yes, another yurt, but this Airbnb offers no electricity or internet. This eco house promotes a more simple way of living, and certainly one for those seeking a cosy hideaway while staying in the city. Oh, and there’s a hot tub in the garden.

7. Victorian Shop

Surround yourself with history and culture with a stay at this unique Airbnb property. This quirky Grade II listed former Victorian shop boasts beautiful art nouveau tiled walls, a mahogany cashier’s booth, and a mosaic tiled floor.

8. Camden Garden Cabin

A great choice, particularly for the summer, this cosy garden cabin leads out to a beautiful decked garden perfect for enjoying breakfast or relaxing afternoons in the sun. With a fantastic location in the heart of the popular Camden area, this property is ideal if you’re looking for a sunny stay in the city.

9. Stylish Penthouse

One of the classiest London listings, this designer penthouse boasts striking architecture, chic furnishing and spectacular views of Chelsea.

10. House on the River

This property combines rustic charm with a stunning location on the Thames. Surrounded on two sides by the river, it’s located just minutes from Canary Wharf and the Olympic Park. The house itself is beautifully designed and has even featured in a number of architectural publications.

A stunning house on the river in London

The Airbnb Checklist: what to remember before listing your property

15th May 2015

Think you’re ready to start hosting on Airbnb? Think again. 

There’s a lot to consider when taking the Airbnb plunge, and chances are you’ve forgotten something.

But don’t worry, we’ve made a definitive checklist of things to remember before your listing goes live. The majority of Airbnb newcomers overlook at least one of these key necessities, and in doing so fail to make the most of becoming a host. Follow our step-by-step guide and manage Airbnb like a pro.

1. Embrace expenses

Everyone wants to make as big a return as possible, as soon as possible, on their Airbnb rentals. But being too cheap doesn’t pay. Initially, you have to accept some additional costs, such as extra linens, cleaning supplies, toiletries and other essentials. Don’t worry, your investment will soon be rewarded.

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2. Personalise

People choose Airbnb because they want to stay at authentic local homes – they don’t want the bland, clinical experience that they could get at any nearby hotel. Make sure your home reflects your character and tastes, and create a homely environment for your guests. Personal decorations will go down better than generic design, so be creative!

3. Keep it clean

If there’s one thing that will sabotage your Airbnb dreams, it’s failing to maintain a high standard of cleanliness. One cobweb, carpet stain or dusty surface is enough to destroy your Airbnb credentials and jeopardise the likelihood of future guests. If you don’t have the time, invest in professional cleaners – it’ll be worth it in the long run.

4. Nail the photoshoot

Positive reviews, appealing pricing, and a prime location will all interest guests, but nothing will draw attention to your listing like stunning images of your property. Airbnb is visual by design, and the most successful hosts capitalise on this by posting great shots of their home.

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5. Know your safety net

Currently, hosts in the UK are covered by a £600,000 “host guarantee”. This doesn’t cover everything, however, and Airbnb recommends that all hosts should obtain appropriate home insurance on top of this.

6. Make it legal

Airbnb says that it is up to all users – both hosts and guests – to ensure their arrangement doesn’t breach any city, state, district, or country laws. For hosts, this generally means that you must clarify that there are no clauses against subletting in your rental agreement. You may also need to get permission from your landlord before listing your property. For more information, check out Airbnb’s extensive terms.

 

5 Budget Ideas for Airbnb Hosts

15th April 2015

When managing Airbnb, it’s important to remember that old cliché: a little goes a long way. Most Airbnb hosts won’t want to pay over the odds just to rent out their room, so how can you remain frugal but ensure a stay to remember? Here are our best ideas for hosting your holiday letting on a budget.

1. Food

Free food is always a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. It’s hard to be unhappy when gorging on complementary delights. One idea is to assemble a welcome hamper full of tasty snacks and treats. It’s also a great way to introduce foreign guests to local cuisine, while not exactly breaking the bank.

2. Books

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If you want to show off your personality and provide an additional perk free of charge, why not share your library collection with your guests? They might enjoy a read before bed and be interested in exploring another literary culture. Another option is to offer a selection of newspapers and magazines for them to read in their spare time.

3. Drink

Having coffee and tea in the bedroom is an overlooked necessity. Your guests will quietly appreciate not having to get dressed and journey across to the kitchen every time they want a hot brew. Ensure milk and water are easily accessible too, so you’re not disturbed in the middle of the night by your guest crashing around in the dark trying to locate the kitchen.

4. Decorations

Artwork and photographs don’t only brighten up the place, but provide easy conversation starters. More personal decorations like family portraits, holiday photos and children’s artwork will also bring a quaint and cosy quality to the room. Four white walls and an empty mantelpiece lacks character and betrays a blatant lack of thought.

5. Information

One thing that is completely free, but that your guests want the most, is local knowledge. Sharing your favourite spots and things to do offers them a native’s insight into the area and a chance to venture off the beaten track. Tell them about the best cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars, parks, shops and activities your area has to offer, and you’ll be giving them a priceless gift that costs you nothing at all.

6 Biggest Hassles for Airbnb Hosts

15th April 2015

So you’ve decided to become an Airbnb host – great! It’s a fantastic way to meet amazing people from all over the world, to share the secrets of your city with newcomers, and make some money all at the same time.

Managing Airbnb isn’t without its difficulties, though. From scrubbing dirty sheets to juggling meet and greets, hassle is part and parcel of being a host. Here are some of the biggest Airbnb management issues you’ll face.

1. Damages & repairs

Damage and repair problems are often expensive, time consuming and can, if not handled well, fuel bad blood between you and your guests. From minor hitches like broken lightbulbs and faulty wifi, all the way to floods and fires, it’s your responsibility to be on hand to resolve these issues. Damages and repairs are usually time sensitive and require an immediate response, disrupting your day, and costing you money.

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2. Key exchange

When travelers arrive exhausted and stressed from their travels, they don’t want the hassle of a complicated key retrieval processes. Alternatively, simply leaving a key under the doormat poses a serious security risk, both to you and your guest. Hence, key exchanges can prove the biggest headache for Airbnb hosts and result in a time-consuming, uncoordinated meet and greet…

3. Meet & greet

Late arrivals are an inevitability when people are travelling long distances to a new city. Transport delays, navigational problems, and language barriers can mean wasting hours of your time waiting for guests. Frustrating and inefficient, this issue will likely become disruptive to your work and social commitments. Equally, you’ll struggle to reconcile a bad first impression if you yourself are late to greet your guests. Worse yet, if you are hosting multiple properties, meeting every guest in person might not only be a logistical nightmare, but a physical impossibility.

4. Screening & security

It’s important to feel comfortable with your guests, so being selective with your choice is key to an enjoyable stay for both parties. By finding responsible and trustworthy people, and avoiding trouble makers, you’ll immediately minimize hassle at the first hurdle. Security is one of the most critical issues when it comes to Airbnb management, so taking time to screen guests is a must.

5. 24/7 support

Would you be happy receiving a call from a lost tourist in the middle of a meeting at work? Or worse yet, getting woken up at 3am because your guests can’t navigate their way home from the bar? During reservations, you need to be available to help remedy any issues that may arise, and be responsive to your guests around the clock.

6. Cleaning & laundry

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Maintaining a clean home for your guests is imperative: you must go above and beyond. They will notice if your bathroom isn’t spotless, if the sheets don’t smell freshly laundered and if food has been left to rot in your cupboards. As much as they might get along with you and enjoy their stay, a failure to provide a high standard of cleanliness will most likely reflect negatively in their reviews and damage your reputation as an Airbnb host.