Last Monday the Evening Standard reported that ‘nearly a quarter of a million people have a second home in London which they only live in part-time’.
A large number of these second homes are bought by overseas investors, often from the Middle East and Russia, who view prime central London as a secure long-term investment. Mayfair and Belgravia in particular, are popular with these buyers and many have no intention of living in them at all.
Families with both a London home and a second holiday home make up the largest share of this figure but a staggering 63,000 properties are accounted for by homeowners with two addresses in the city, splitting their time between homes in two different boroughs.
Many of these are simply left sitting vacant for large periods of the year. However, some innovative homeowners are turning to specialist home rental companies like Vive Unique (www.viveunique.com) who offer a flexible solution, enabling homeowners to earn extra income from their homes by renting them out to guests when they’re not using them.
Vive Unique take care of everything says Claire Whisker, Co-Founder and Director:
‘We take care of everything from the booking, to check-in and check-out, and everything in between, we prepare every home and return it to our homeowners, just as they left it. Bespoke insurance is also included as standard for our homeowners.’
And it’s not just second homeowners who are making use of a growing trend in home rentals. Claire goes on to say:
‘Many of our homeowners made tens of thousands of pounds last year by simply renting out their place when they were away on holiday or travelling for work. Our more entrepreneurial homeowners are taking the opportunity to stay with friends and family for a few days, while renting out their homes to paying guests. We are also seeing a lot of boyfriends moving in with their girlfriends for a week or two and vice versa.’