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Beginner’s guide to short letting your home

Getting started

After some research, you’ve made the decision to start renting out your home while you’re away on holiday, or if you’re a savvy landlord, while you await a long-term tenant. The next steps are to figure out what you need to make sure your property is short-let ready.

Typically, guests looking for a home to stay in, rather than a hotel, will have different requirements compared to someone looking for a longer let. If you have contacted UnderTheDoormat already, we take good care of our new home owners and walk them through the whole process. As we are specialists in premium short lets in London, it’s in our interest to make sure that you get everything in place, at the beginning, to make your guest stays are as professional and comfortable as possible.

That said, you might be reading this as you’re thinking about it and doing your research, before you decide to foray into short letting – perhaps on your own?

Covering the basics

If you want guests to be happy staying in your home – and to leave good reviews, then your house or apartment has to be decorated to a high standard and be clean, with everything in working order.

Shabby interiors, with scruffy stained carpets and broken furniture will not do. Have a walk through each room and note any jobs that you’ve been putting off. This is the time to fix that loose step on the stairs, repaint scuff marks on the walls and maybe replace any worn carpets or tired wardrobes that have seen better days. Make sure you change any lightbulbs that have blown, and declutter any surfaces.

From legal, health and safety positions, there are some essentials you’ll need. Does your property have a fire extinguisher, a first-aid kit, a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector? Each of these need to be tested. Don’t forget, you’ll need to provide an up to date gas safety certificate as well.

Things to think about


Are your home and your guests covered by insurance? Short-letting your home with UnderTheDoormat means this won’t be an issue as we have one of the most direct and comprehensive insurance policies around. If problems arise, such as damage to an item of furniture, it’s our job to see that it’s fixed or replaced as soon as possible.


Invariably, among the first things guests will ask as they arrive and put down their suitcases is “what’s the WiFi code?” Internet is something you can’t scrimp on. If there’s no broadband (or just as bad, if it’s deadly slow) you’ll have unhappy guests.

Kitchen utensils

Given that most guests will be from overseas and they’ll be out and about sampling London’s varied and exciting restaurant scene, there will be times when they’ll want to eat at home. It’s easy to overlook this, but it’s vital to make sure your kitchen is stocked with all the necessary crockery, cutlery, glasses, cooking utensils, a kettle and a coffee maker. If you’re concerned about guests breaking anything expensive, you should put those items away and replace with inexpensive yet sturdy pieces.

Home-ready basics

If you’re a rare homeowner who doesn’t have a TV, it might be wise to invest in one. Let’s face it, every hotel room has one and it’s expected. An iron, ironing board and a hairdryer are must-haves too.

When it comes to sleeping, every bed must have comfy pillows and duvets. You’ll want guests to get a good night’s sleep. If you join UnderTheDoormat as a homeowner, the great thing is that as well as cleaning your home at the beginning and end of every stay, our expert cleaning team will make the beds with our own fresh hotel-style bed linen. We even supply towels for the bathroom and provide the guest with toiletries too.

Spare keys

Lastly, but importantly, you’ll need to cut sets of keys for your front door, and don’t forget to make sure to check that they all work! UnderTheDoormat carry out in-person check ins and check outs for your guest stays and key handovers. Our Customer Service Representatives vet and verify guests staying in your home and take copies of their passports. They are also vigilant on check out to spot any damage or missing items.

Should you opt to do it alone and use a lock-boxes for guests to check themselves in and out (which we don’t recommend), how confident can you be that the guests really are who they say they are?

But is it for you?

Naturally, if you’re opting to do it alone and self-manage the lettings, you’ll need to be prepared for a lot of cleaning, hoovering, changing and washing of bed linen. If you receive lots of bookings one after the other, be mindful that this will take up a lot of your time. The level of attention and care required to do things on your own is often something that homeowners can underestimate, which is why the UnderTheDoormat service is perfect for those who value their time.

Short-letting can be a great way to maximise income from your home when it’s sitting empty. Using a specialist like UnderTheDoormat will ensure you get good quality bookings (who are vetted and verified) from the get-go. The guests will be well looked after by UnderTheDoormat’s experienced team, they’ll be happy and they’ll leave positive reviews about your home. This starts off a virtuous cycle as these will, in turn, help attract more bookings and more positive reviews.

If you’re interested in finding out how much your home could while you’re away, contact UnderTheDoormat for a personalised proposal.