The latest proptech company in the headlines because of backing by such names as Kenny Bruce, Harry Hill and Sir Terence Leahy, was previously a laundry business.
Lavanda, which previously set out its stall as the ‘Uber’ for the laundry industry, will now offer property management from long-lets to short-lets via Airbnb.
There have been many Airbnb property management companies sprouting since the ‘turn your home into a hotel’ site has become mainstream. Some have been massively funded, including Airsorted, Hostmaker and Passthekeys.
Lavanda however comes with a unique offering which it calls ‘service let’.
The company’s website says “tenants are also permitted to homeshare up to an agreed limit in return for sharing a percentage of their income with the landlord”.
Whether this means the property becomes an official HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) or stays within recent 90-day legislation on short-term lets, is unclear, but this offering is certainly unique.
Interestingly, the Lavanda blog discusses how to get around the 90-day legal limit in London:
Many high street agents have flirted with using Airbnb to fill the voids between lettings, but this is the first to see an agency offer tenants a share of the profits.
Instinctively this makes perfect sense: landlords get the security of a long-let, with the bonus of additional income from short-lets.
And in a world where tenants are spending up to 60% of gross income on rent in London, an optional ability to save/make money is welcome by many.
However, many tenants already rent properties that are larger than they need, with the intent of using Airbnb to monetise the spare bedrooms.
It seems for all those tenants who haven’t thought of renting out a spare room – or a living room *** bedroom – Lavanda would be introducing them to the concept. And potentially encouraging them to earn all the profit by not using Lavanda next time.
For high street letting agents wondering where they will make up the income lost by the tenant fees ban, proptech like Lavanda could point the way – but perhaps only in London?