Typically, I make a good amount from my serviced accommodation… however I’ve just had a nightmare of a few weeks, so I thought I would share.
I had a guest book to stay from Sunday 13th Jan – Saturday 9th March. The total income from the booking was £3,677.66. This included one clean.
Gut instinct kicked in a few weeks before the guests checked in and I booked in an additional 4 cleans at a total cost of £280. As I booked this in late, I couldn’t update the cost with the guest and so had to swallow it.
(Note – for any guests of longer than 2 weeks, always get a clean booked in and include it in the booking costs at the time the guests make the booking).
Expenses on this flat are £948.68 per month.
For the two months that the total expense to me was £2,177.36… so I was due to make a healthy profit of £1,500.30 (again, very good!).
On the 25th February clean, my cleaners report that the property was in good condition.
After that I had a call from a neighbour saying there had been a loud party on my property and could I sort it.
I spoke to the guest… whom it turned out wasn’t staying. He’d actually booked it for his Son and his son’s friend.
So he told me I had to get in contact with his son directly. I did and they claimed it hadn’t been that bad…
Flash forward a week, I’d just got off the plane to JFK, to receive frantic emails from my cleaner.
- The dining room table had been covered in alcohol
- A curry had been dropped on the carpet plus coffee granules sprinkled everywhere in the carpet around the breakfast bar
- The kitchen bin smashed apart
- The shower curtain pulled down
- The bathroom lino torn through the middle
- The carpet pulled up in the hall way
- Mud traipsed through the rest of the property
The cleaners had spent 3 hours extra trying to get the property back to normal.
I spoke to Air BnB, to figure out what I could do. They said that I would either have to make a claim after the guests left in 5 days’ time. Or kick them out early and give them a refund.
I had no choice but to let them stay, because I wasn’t in the country to frog march them out. Meanwhile, the people actually staying in the apartment professed to their Dad that they hadn’t done anything wrong… and I was called a Liar.
5 days later they left and the clean-up operation started.
The cleaners went back in and overhauled the place, washing everything including deep cleaning of the carpets and incredulously rubbing down the table and putting it back together.
I lost a duvet and some pillows in the process… to a funky yellow stain.
The property was closed for 5 nights (unfortunately we couldn’t host the following weekends guests because the flat was such a state, but luckily, they had been wanting to change dates… phew it worked out for the best).
- The loss of 2 nights guests stay was £275
- The property was closed for an additional 3 nights which is usually £70 a night – £240
- The additional clean, plus replacement items £406.06
Total – £921.06
And now, I’m going through the rigmarole of a new hallway carpet, which when it arrives will be £160 and new lino because we’ve had to super glue the current lino to the floor so it doesn’t move, an additional £150… plus fitting costs (Which I hope will not make the total more than £350).
Unfortunately, because the time it’s taken for me to source a new carpet is outside the time frame they have given me to source competitive quotes and organise the works, I can’t claim.
Furthermore, I can’t claim for the cleaning because additional cleaning falls outside the host guarantee.
However, Air BnB have since refunded me £75.
Total profit from this stay was £304.24… for, in the end, just over two months. That doesn’t make Air BnB worth it at all because of the sheer amount of time spent sorting this whole palava out.
It’s also really not worth me claiming this on my insurance…
The biggest problem was that I wasn’t dealing with the actual people staying in the property. In future. I’m going to be more careful with checking this out.
The reality is that this type of chaos doesn’t happen that often. But when it does, it’s painful to deal with.
At the time of writing, Air BnB is still assessing all of my file notes, pictures, emails and communication with the guest.
Serviced Accommodation seems to come with the notion of high income and a hands-off investment. It can be sometimes. But when it goes wrong, you have to focus and seemingly dig your way out.
Onwards and upwards.