Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Darling, Shall We Rent out the Futon Tonight?'; the Accidental Landlord Victoria Whitlock Gets a Surprise When She Advertises a Room as a Holiday Let

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Darling, Shall We Rent out the Futon Tonight?'; the Accidental Landlord Victoria Whitlock Gets a Surprise When She Advertises a Room as a Holiday Let

Article excerpt

Byline: Victoria Whitlock

I ADVERTISED an empty room in my rental flat as a holiday let, via the website Crashpadder, and straight away I got an inquiry. Just one mind, but I thought it was an encouraging start and it got me wondering whether short-term rentals might be the way forward.

A guy who was coming to London to look for a place to live offered to pay [pounds sterling]175 to rent the room for just one week while he searched for somewhere more permanent. As long-term renters wouldn't pay more than [pounds sterling]120 a week for the room, including bills, that was a great price, even after deducting Crashpadder's 10 per cent commission.

However, as yet I have not received any further interest in the room. The "Crashpadder Team" sent me a chirpy email suggesting I add a photo of myself to my profile page on their website to bump me up the search results. Also, a photo of yourself means you're 40 per cent more likely to get bookings, they said. Not if you look like the Bride of Wildenstein you won't. Best not to show my face till I've got the bookings, I decide.

I've received a few other emails, all of them from Crashpadder telling me about travellers registered with the site who are planning trips to London. They've suggested that I contact these people and pimp my room. Among those I've emailed are an Australian painter who's coming to London for three months to visit her daughter; a Japanese woman from Battersea looking for a room for a couple of weeks for her parents who are coming to London for her wedding, and an American tourist planning five nights in the capital as part of a European tour.

So far my emails have been greeted with a deafening silence. Crashpadder, as the name suggests, seems to be used mainly by budget travellers looking for a cheap alternative to a hotel. They aren't necessarily looking for even a room, often a sofa will do. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.