What Is Serviced Accommodation? A Complete Guide

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The Insider @ Houst
Last updated on
May 22, 2024

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What Is Serviced Accommodation? A Complete Guide

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Staying somewhere new is always exciting, and we all love feeling pampered and well-cared for, like when we stay at a nice hotel. But what if you could enjoy all those hotel perks with the added comfort and privacy of a home? 

Sounds great, right? 

That's what serviced accommodation offers, a unique blend of hotel luxury and home-like coziness that you just won't find anywhere else. Let’s get into its details. 

Table of Contents

What is Serviced Accommodation? 

Serviced Accommodation (SA) is a combination of renting out a furnished apartment and managing a mini-hotel. Landlords offer fully furnished properties for short stays, including all essential amenities and services like housekeeping and concierge services, providing guests with the comforts of a home and the perks of a hotel.

Serviced accommodation puts a fresh spin on traditional property rentals. Rather than committing to long-term leases, landlords can welcome guests for short-term rental, whether a single night, a weekend or even a few months for a travelling professional. 

You know what’s the best part?

Even though you might be using the same type of property as a standard rental, serviced accommodation has the potential to rake in significantly higher profits. Why? Because nightly or short-term rates are generally much more lucrative than what you'd earn from a long-term tenancy. 

Types of Serviced Accommodation

Serviced accommodation is often perceived as luxurious apartments with added perks like concierge services and parking. However, the reality is much broader. Today, there's a wide range of serviced accommodation options to invest in. Here's a quick rundown of each type to consider.

Residential Serviced Accommodation

As the trend of upscale residential apartments continues to rise in London and across the UK, developers are creating spaces that offer a perfect blend of privacy and community living. For example, provide a luxurious rental or owned flat with exclusive amenities like a games room, movie theatre, restaurant, and swimming pool for residents and their guests. And let's not forget the added convenience of a dedicated concierge and access to services like dry cleaning and personalised grooming. 

Corporate Housing

In the past, multinational companies relied on traditional buy-to-let flats to accommodate their international staff and contractors. But times have changed! Nowadays, these companies are going for hotel-like serviced apartments that offer all the comforts without the hefty price tag. 

Aparthotels

Aparthotels are a hot new trend in the UK that offer a unique blend of home comforts and hotel-style luxury. Investors are seizing the opportunity to capitalise on the rising interest in this modern lodging choice. With a strategic presence in bustling city centres, businesses, and popular tourist destinations, aparthotels can cater to both short-term rental and long-term rental.

Why Property Investors and Landlords Prefer Serviced Accommodation

There are a number of reasons investors and landlords love to invest in Serviced accommodation. Let’s have a look at some of them: 

Generate Income and Revenue 

Managing serviced apartments can provide a pretty good income stream free from the typical constraints of the buy-to-let sector. The quality of the units is so high that the returns often exceed what can be achieved through single-let properties and Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs).

Investing in serviced apartments can make a big difference, especially in popular areas like London, Birmingham, and Manchester, where rental yields may not be very high.

"Corporate lets" are in steady demand in bustling cities. Landlords can earn reliable rental premiums by offering serviced accommodation units to employees or contractors on secondment. Some landlords also choose longer-term rentals to reduce turnover, and accommodating larger groups can lead to higher returns.

Also, homeowners often convert larger properties, add ensuite rooms or annexes, and offer unique options such as eco homes, barn conversions, beach huts, and character cottages.

Expand Development and Mixed-Use Properties

Successful Serviced Accommodation operators are taking property revenue to new heights by acquiring buildings and development sites for innovative purposes. For example, they're integrating SA units with trendy cafes, lively bars, inviting restaurants, cosy coffee shops, fitness-centric gyms, yoga studios, saunas, versatile hot desk spaces, convenient meeting rooms, and even childcare facilities.

These ventures tend to grow when strategically located near public transportation places and high-traffic areas.

Tax Benefits

While building up your serviced accommodation business, many of your overheads will be tax deductible against profits. You can also claim Capital Gains Tax (CGT) reliefs as a trading business and capital allowances for furniture and other fixtures you purchase.

Remember that there are specific timeframes to adhere to, such as the property being available to let for a minimum of 210 days per year and physically let for at least 105 days of the same year. 

Check out the Tour Operators Margin Scheme, which could further reduce your liability. If you own property in a personal name, consider how Section 24 will impact your income tax liabilities and explore making any acquisitions within a Limited company structure.

Above all, it's important to seek independent, qualified accountancy advice before making any current and future decisions.

Easier to Sell Up

Selling a property with tenants can be a real challenge; you're dealing with a smaller pool of potential buyers, and offers might not be as lucrative. If you're ready to retire from the landlord life altogether, selling will be a breeze without the hassle of waiting for tenants to move out.

Drawbacks to Landlords of Serviced Accommodation

While the potential rental income from serviced accommodation can be quite appealing, it's important to keep in mind a few key factors, such as:

  • You'll be responsible for essential services like housekeeping, utilities, and Wi-Fi
  • Marketing costs might be higher compared to traditional rentals
  • Seasonal fluctuations, especially during winter, can lead to income dips
  • Furnishing your property to a high standard is necessary to attract guests and justify rates
  • Managing guest inquiries and addressing any issues that crop up will also be your responsibility
  • Opting for a letting agency will add to your expenses
  • You'll need a system in place for welcoming guests, whether it's a personal meet-and-greet or a convenient lockbox.

Essential Inclusions for Serviced Accommodations

It's like a home away from home, with all the comforts you need, minus the food, included in the rental price.

Here's what landlords should provide:

  • Everything you need to whip up a meal, complete with a dishwasher and washing machine for added convenience.
  • A private bathroom
  • A stylish living area to relax and unwind in comfort 
  • Wi-Fi and a TV
  • Separate bedroom or a dedicated sleeping area.
  • Include all utilities 
  • Regular housekeeping.

Types of Guests Who Choose Serviced Accommodation

Serviced accommodation attracts a diverse range of guests, from vacationers to professionals and individuals looking for temporary lodging during relocations or home renovations.

Businesses frequently reserve serviced apartments for their employees who work away from home for extended periods or attend training programs.

The flexibility of serviced accommodation, accommodating guests from one night to several months, opens up entirely new markets for landlords compared to traditional buy-to-let arrangements.

Also, landlords can negotiate different pricing structures for different lengths of stay or seasons, similar to a holiday rental, while catering to business travellers requiring accommodations for weeks at a time.

Conclusion

Feeling the pull of serviced accommodation but not the tasks that come with it? No worries! You can skip the multitasking mayhem of being a chambermaid, booking agent, and estate agent all rolled into one. Houst handles everything from property management to guest vetting, advertising your property to guest check-ins, from securing those bookings to property maintenance and property insurance.

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team at Houst is dedicated to providing up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals. If you have hosting inquiries, please write to us at expert@houst.com. For guest inquiries, reach out at guest@houst.com. We are here to help you navigate the world of short lets and look forward to assisting you with your needs.

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team at Houst is dedicated to providing up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals. If you have hosting inquiries, please write to us at expert@houst.com. For guest inquiries, reach out at guest@houst.com. We are here to help you navigate the world of short lets and look forward to assisting you with your needs.

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