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Under the skin of the letting market

Here we share news and views on both the local letting market in & around Oxfordshire and all planned and recent legislation.

A move away from short lets

Since lockdown an increasing number of landlords have made the decision to shift from short- to long-term lets to ensure continued income on their investment property. Reduced numbers of tourists during the pandemic has resulted in a dramatic drop in demand for short-term lets. In July, the CEO of Airbnb announced a loss of 80% of their business in just 6 weeks1 and recent reports claim that Airbnb lets are “flooding the market” in London2.

Following the national lockdown our Oxford offices were contacted by three separate landlords who had properties which they had been running as short lets. Demand had totally dropped off and they wanted to explore the option of acquiring longer-term tenants rather than leaving the properties empty for an indeterminate period of time.

An existing Finders Keepers client wanted to find long-term tenants for two recently renovated apartments on a vibrant road in Summertown which they had been letting out on a short let basis. One of the apartments has two double bedrooms and a balcony and the other has one double bedroom and a good-sized garden. Both apartments are modern, stylish and bright, and we knew their excellent location, within walking distance of the city centre, would make them popular with tenants. The two bedroom apartment was listed at £1,3003 and after one week we let it to a couple who liked its proximity to the University departments where they work. Two weeks later we let the one bedroom property (photo above, which had been listed at £1,100) to a professional who was keen to live near the Jericho area.

We were contacted by another landlord who had a two bedroom, ground floor apartment in a popular development off of the Abingdon Road in Oxford. We had previously let the property up until 2015, so the owner got straight back in touch with us when they were looking for long-term tenants. We listed the property at £1,275 and let it to a professional couple who were moving out of London and liked the location of this apartment, only one mile from Oxford train station.

The third landlord had a large two double bedroom apartment with a private balcony in the Eagle Works development in Jericho which they had been letting through Airbnb (photo below). The property is in excellent condition and, having let out several properties in this development, we knew that tenants love the location – close to Jericho’s restaurants and bars and also a short walk from tranquil Port Meadow. We listed the property – complete with video tour – at £1,500 and within 12 hours we had received an offer from a professional couple who loved the apartment’s quality, size and location.

Of course, location is important in any tenant’s property search, but so is the quality of the property. Finders Keepers was founded on the principle that the properties in the best condition let to the best tenants at the best rent. Each of these apartments had been presented to a high standard, with modern fixtures and fittings and stylish furnishing, so it was no surprise that they let within a matter of weeks (or hours in one case!) to great tenants.

We anticipate more landlords moving away from Airbnb-style lets following a recent landmark case in which Oxford council won a planning appeal banning the use of a property for short lets (following complaints of anti-social behaviour). The council is urging landlords to apply for proper permission before letting out a property as a short let and is also calling on the government to regulate Airbnb lets and similar properties.

If you are considering switching from short- to long-term lets in Oxfordshire contact us to discuss your property.

Call 01865 311011 or email



3. All rents are marketing rents and are pcm

Posted 25th August 2020