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Consumers looking for flexible rent deals for summer months

Ian Potter, operations manager ARLA said: "Short-term lets, if managed correctly, can be a great opportunity for both tenant and landlord to benefit from a let that is simple to set up, and is suited to short periods of increased demand."

With summer events like the Henley Regatta, a host of music festivals and Wimbledon coming up, now is an ideal time to think about short term lets.

As well as these immediate opportunities, landlords in London are already aware of the likely increase in demand ahead of next year’s Olympics.

To make the best of these upcoming opportunities, there are a few key short-term let tips that ARLA would advise tenants and landlords follow:

* Pre-agree Bills – Tenant payment of utility bills over a short term can be problematic, therefore it is best to set a price to cover costs at the start of the rental period. This avoids the occasionally problematic issue of recouping or disputing costs;
*  Prepare the property for rent – As with long-term lets, it is wise to thoroughly clean the entire property and ensure the small details, such as replacing light bulbs and clearing outside areas are done before prospective tenants visit or move in to the property;
* Be aware of tenant expectations – With short-term lets, tenants often expect amenities that are not usually offered in the private rental sector; a common example is the assumption that the landlord will a provide cleaning and laundry service for bedding;
* Be careful over payment – Offering a variety of payment options, where possible, can encourage prospective tenants. It should be noted, however, that taking cards can often represent an unacceptable degree of risk for the short term landlord. Regardless of payment type, it is always worth ensuring funds have cleared ahead of the start of the tenancy. If funds are being transferred directly to your bank account, it is always best to use a dedicated account;
* Meet the incoming tenant – Do not arrange for keys to be collected through a third party other than a reputable agent. It is far safer to meet and hand over keys in person, explain the workings of your property and agree when you will collect the keys at the end of the let.

Potter said, "If these tips are followed, it should be possible to strike a balance between remaining flexible with your rental offering and being a responsible short-term let landlord.  Any potential tenants must use an agent with experience in this area – to ensure a transparent and flexible arrangement.

"As the tenancy is unlikely to be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, tenants will not benefit from Tenancy Deposit Protection.

"In areas that are particularly competitive around seasonal events, it is often the small details that will allow your property to stand out from the crowd. Preparing a schedule of your property with good photographs, which can be downloaded from the internet, can be key in securing a good deal."

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