FAQ's


Who is UnderTheDoormat?

UnderTheDoormat individually selects short stay homes in London with character and personality.

As a homeowner you can make additional income by opening up your home to tourists and business travelers whilst you are out of town. We are here to make this as effortless as possible by fully managing the end to end process from marketing your home, to managing the guest bookings, inquiries and check-in, conducting photo inventories, managing linens and cleaning as well as any maintenance during guest stays.

Your home will have the hotel touch, as we provide high quality bed linens and towels (putting yours away for your personal use only) and our guests have the option of using our bespoke concierge service to contact us throughout their stay with any questions or requests.

We believe that by telling your personal story and sharing the hidden treasures of your home, we create an appreciation for the home and a high level of respect as a result.  We ensure that guests staying in your home feel like a friend has left their keys ‘UnderTheDoormat’ for them and they have the pleasure of staying in a home and creating their own story through the eyes of a ‘local’.

Who are our homeowners?

Our homeowners are as varied as their beautiful homes, but all love and take pride in their homes and are happy to share them. They are professionals who love travelling themselves and might travel for work as well as pleasure, are open minded to new ways of earning additional income, and have limited spare time.

What does it mean to be a homeowner?

We understand that your home is your sanctuary and one of the most important things in your life. Our values of respect and transparency run through all aspects of our business. This is why security is at the forefront of everything we do. The UnderTheDoormat team is focused on creating trusting, reliable and safe experiences for everyone involved. We have a series of processes designed to give you peace of mind, from how to prepare your home and mark certain things as private, to insurance, guest screening, video-inventories and personally greeting guests on arrival to walk them through how to take care of your home.

What does this mean for you financially?

· Its an opportunity to earn money when your home is sitting empty, to fund extra holidays, improvements to your home or even support a charity

· You earn a set fee per guest night so you know how much you will get for each night guests stay in your home.

· We market your property to guests for a higher amount that includes all our management services and when your guests book, they essentially pay for the management of your property.

· UnderTheDoormat manages pricing and demand changes, to maximize bookings for your home without having to hassle you with constant variations.

Is UnderTheDoormat for me?

Additional income

·      You would like to monetize your most valuable and underused asset, your home;

·      Your home is your primary residence in London and you want the flexibility to use it whenever you need it  as well as to rent it for up to 90 days a year

·      Your home is empty for at least 4 weeks or more per year, perhaps whilst you are away with work or on holiday;

·      Your home is located in London zones 1-2 or south-west London within zone 6.

Safe and Secure

·      You prefer to keep most of your personal belongings in your property in a way that ensures they are safe and avoid costs of removal and storage;

·      You would like UnderTheDoormat to manage any maintenance issues that might arise in your property while you are away;

·      You would be happy to share with us the story about your home, how to take care of it, and your favourite places nearby – so we can take care of creating a guest guide about your home for the people who come and stay.

Does having someone manage my home make sense for me?

·      You find self-management of your property too time-consuming or burdensome (managing bookings, washing sheets, meeting guests, organizing cleaners etc.);

·      You would like UnderTheDoormat to manage guest interactions directly and to arrange the bookings, field any questions, requests and ensure the guests have everything they need

·      You share our values: ‘be open’, ‘inspire trust’, ‘share experiences’ and

‘stay authentic’.

·      You are curious about the sharing economy and interested in being a part of this growing market

·      You are interested in this new property management model which allows you to rent your primary home when you are away for as little as 3 days at a time.

Are there any extra fees/costs?

We work on a model where the amount you earn per night as a homeowner is a NET amount so there shouldn’t be any unexpected extra fees from our side. Occasionally our homeowners ask us to provide extra services such as managing viewings for them if they are in the process of selling their home, sending something to them they forgot before their trip or arranging extra cleaning such as an oven cleaning, or deep clean of your home. For any services of our team, we charge a fee of 20 GBP per hour and extra cleaning is charged to you at cost from our cleaning company. We are able to deduct this from your booking so that there are no additional invoices or payments required for you to make to ensure our extra services are as easy for you as possible.
How much time do I have to invest in becoming a homeowner?

We take care of everything from professional photography, marketing, managing guest enquiries and bookings, providing sheets, toiletries and meeting guests to providing insurance during guest stays to give you peace of mind and save your precious time.

Just follow these 6 simple steps to becoming a homeowner:

To get started we ask for the following:

1.E-Sign a partnership contract

We send you the contract electronically for signature. This includes the terms and conditions and occupancy agreement and provides the legal framework for working together as well as ensuring everyone is clear about their responsibilities and protected for all eventualities.

2. Share with us the story of your home and the highlights nearby

This is all about you and the places you love around your area, plus some necessary information about your home which is helpful for our guests to ensure they understand how to take care of your home. We want to help them experience the life of a local through your eyes and also respect your home and treat it as they would want you to treat theirs if the shoe were on the other foot. We will arrange a day when it is most convenient for you and come around to take photos and go together through your answers to the questionnaire. We will send you the questionnaire in advance, so we can just review any specifics or important details together.

What do I need to prepare for the photo shoot?

Photos of your home are a vital part of the marketing materials and this is what attracts the guest the most.
We can help you to have your home clean (with our cleaning company), tidy and free of clutter so that we are able to capture your home as it will be during guest stays. Being able to present your home well in the photographs helps us to highlight the personality and gives potential guests the feeling of what it would be like to stay in your home- all of this helps us to get the best guests and more confirmed bookings for your home.

3. Inform us about your home availability

Once you are on board as a homeowner, please email us with your availability dates. Please also let us know how flexible you are if you would like us to contact you offering other days upon request. To get the most from working with UnderTheDoormat è Please keep us up to date about your home’s availability and think ahead, as many guests think ahead up to 6 months in advance or even longer for special events.

The sooner we know it is free, the more likely it is for us to find the right people to visit your place and increase the number of nights booked while you are away.

4. Generating interest and the first bookings

We will send a proposed summary about your home for our website and guest guide to your home for your review and approval and if you are happy with the photos and the content, we can begin to market your home on our website as well as on other platforms and get your first bookings.

Whenever we receive a booking for your home, we will send you a booking confirmation e-mail with all the details of the dates and times, guests who will be staying, and anything you need to do in preparation, so you can plan accordingly.

5. Secure your valuables in preparation

Before you leave your home: we would ask you to put all your valuables in to the storage/closet/cupboard or a safe where applicable and put a ribbon with tamper proof tape on the cupboards (which we will provide in your welcome kit) so that you have the peace of mind knowing that no one has gone into your most important things.

Safe suggestions: unless you have one already, we would suggest you consider getting one to keep any valuable jewelry, watches, cameras or documents and avoid any worries. This is a recommended safe company that you can consider who will come and install it for you.

6. Enjoy your time away

Leave for your travels knowing UnderTheDoormat is managing everything for you and come back to a freshly cleaned home and some effortless additional income.

We would be delighted to know if you have any comments or questions and are always open to any suggestions on how we can improve your experience with UnderTheDoormat.

How can I be assured that my home is safe and secure?

Being a homeowner is also a responsibility and we strive to show you that once some of the legal requirements are resolved, it is effortless to rent out your home with us.

Please have a look at the few things to do to let your home while you are away:

Gas safety certificate and maintenance

We recommend landlord maintenance policy with British gas for a small amount per month. It covers you throughout the year while you are home or away, and includes the gas safety certificate (a legal requirement), as well as repairs to your boiler, plumbing and electrics. For your convenience you can authorize a 3rd party (UnderTheDoormat) to manage that for you when you are away.

Fire extinguisher, first aid kit, CO2 detector are in place if you don’t already have them

Fire extinguisher, first aid kit, CO2 detector are in place if you don’t already have them

4 set of keys: 1 for us, 1 for cleaners and 2 for guests

While we protect contractually from keys being copied, if you want to be extra secure, we recommend high security keys that can only be copied with authorization.

Physical inventory

We recommend http://www.redinventory.co.uk/, the costs can be covered through your first booking if you arrange for us to set it up.

What level of British Gas Homecare do you suggest to cover appliances, etc.?

We recommend the British Gas Homecare 400 plan. You can include different options based on what best suits your home and select between a 50 GBP excess for a call out or a 0 GBP excess depending on your preference. Our homeowners have found that this has been a godsend year round when things happen to go wrong and British Gas has a great team who can get out to fix any issues quickly.
https://www.britishgas.co.uk/products-and-services/homecare/homecare-400/

Once the basics are in place for the first visit, future bookings are simple and we try and take care of everything we can so all you need to do is let us know when you are away and leave the place clean and tidy when you go.

What are my next steps?

We hope you found this information useful as background.  We find that having a chat through it is even more helpful to understand if this might be the inspiration for becoming a part of the sharing economy with UnderTheDoormat.  We would love the opportunity to meet with you and discuss if you would like to know more.

Bookings

When do I need to leave before a guest visit?

On the first day of a booking the standard is that homeowners have left the home by 10:00am so that we can ensure we have the home ready for our guests before check-in. If you are leaving earlier, please let us know so we can offer earlier check-in for guests and if it needs to be later, this must be agreed in advance depending on the guest arrival and cleaning times.

How should I leave my home?

Your home should be left tidy and generally clean. We assume you have a weekly cleaner or equivalent and that it will just need some basic surface cleaning before a guest visit. If any deep cleaning is required, please notify us in advance so that we are able to arrange extra time with our cleaners for you.

How do I update my available dates?

We set all our homeowners up with google calendar which is an easy interface with your own calendar (whatever type of calendar you might use). Whenever you have new dates or changes to your dates, you can update your calendar with us to reflect the new availability, its as simple as that!

What if I'm selling a house and I have to do viewings?

One of UnderTheDoormat team members has to arrange to be there for the viewings, to ensure that we have clear ‘ownership’ of the flat during booking periods from a liability perspective (as an example, if a guest would misplace an expensive watch and someone had been there that we weren’t supervising, it can lead to serious issues).

Our standard charge is 20 GBP per hour for extra services, in this case our team member presence during the viewing.

We can do viewings with 24 hours minimum notice – with high preference for daytime bookings between 10 and 5pm to minimize disturbance to the guests.

What happens if my plans change last minute and a booking has been accepted?

Once a booking is confirmed, it is important to honor that booking as your guests have chosen your home specifically for their stay and finding another similar home is not always easy, especially if it is close to their arrival date. In exceptional circumstances, we can offer an alternative to your guests and we will try to find something as similar as possible amongst our homes or via booking an alternative for them. In those cases, while we will try to find something of a similar quality at the same price point to avoid your incurring costs, any additional costs to relocate the guests to another home would need to be covered by the homeowner so it is important to avoid these changes wherever possible.

What happens if something is damaged during a guest stay?

We take care of your home like if it was our own and that is why we have a number of processes in place to avoid any issues arising, from deposits and insurance to physical and photo inventories as well as personal check-ins and check-outs, operating an honesty policy with guests and trained cleaners who are always looking out for anything.
We believe that selecting the right guests and managing everything in the right way prevents most issues from ever arising. Occasionally an accident can happen and if we have missed something and you find that there is something that is not right upon your return, please let us know straight away so that we are able to work with you and provide the required information to make a claim for anything which needs to be repaired or replaced so that we can ensure your peace of mind while you are away on future travels.

What happens if there is an electric, plumbing breakdown or any maintenance issue whilst I'm away?

We recommend a British Gas Homecare policy for all our homeowners so that while you are away we are able to manage any unforeseen maintenance issues for you. This policy helps you year round and ensures that while you are away there aren’t any unexpected costs.
If a guest reports an issue, we work to ensure both for the homeowner and guest that it is resolved as soon as possible so that you come home to everything working perfectly. For 90% of the issues that may arise, we are able to resolve it without ever contacting you during your travels. Many of our homeowners find this to be an extra peace of mind, especially in winter where they have had bad luck in the past with something breaking while they are away. For anything more important or that requires more specialist knowledge about your home, we will contact you to ensure we are able to find the right solution for you.

How do you find guests for my home?

We have a number of ways of finding guests for your home. Our website is our main channel and provides guests the opportunity to find out about all our homes and select the one that is perfect for them. We also use other platforms to market your home and over time, we adjust the platforms based on our experience with them and ensuring we are getting the right guests for you.
Many of our guests are referrals or return guests and this is increasingly the case as our guests have a great experience and want to tell other people they know about it or have the peace of mind in working with us for future visits to London.

Is it possible to list my home with another company?

It is possible to work with more than one company however there are a couple of considerations:
1. The sharing economy is about being open and transparent. We need to ensure that any other companies you choose to work with are not directly in the same space as that can create confusion with potential guests if they see the same home advertised for different prices etc. on the same or similar sites. We believe it is very important to be transparent in everything we do and we ask your help in ensuring that your potential guests are feeling good about the experience of staying in your home from the start.

2. Most of our homeowners work only with us and they find that is the easiest experience as coordinating between multiple companies and ensuring there isn’t any overlap in requests can be extra work our homeowners generally like to avoid.