Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question regarding short letting? You can find your answers below.

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General Details

If you’d like to short let your property and achieve the highest potential income without compromising on safety, we are the right service for you. You might be a landlord who wants to boost your rental income or a frequent traveller who’d like to make some extra money while you’re away.
A Keysafe is a tiny, very secure, metal safe that is accessed by a combination lock. We can install it somewhere near your property, and guide your guests on how to find it, and how to get in. We generally install them onto a wall or even railings within a 3-minute walk of your property. They have been used in the hospitality industry for over 30 years, and are already employed by millions of hosts all over the world, including every single Pass the Keys client. The benefits come at the check-in. Guests can arrive as and when they like. It does not matter if they are late, or get lost. They can then let themselves in and make themselves comfortable, without an often awkward check-in experience with someone who is letting them in.
Pass the keys offers a comprehensive hospitality management package which includes pricing optimisation, calendar and booking management, guest vetting, guest greeting and communication, cleaning, and laundry services. We take the hassle out of short-letting!
We currently operate in Bath, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, London, Manchester, and Oxford. Don’t worry if you have a property outside of these areas - we will do our best to find a solution for you.
We have two types of client at Pass the Keys. Part-time and Full-time. Our part-time clients need access to their property, or even to live in it, the majority of the time. These people want to earn money from their property while it is empty, and the flexibility of short-letting enables them to have the best of both worlds. With Pass the Keys, they are able to earn while they are travelling or out of town. For many, this means creating income when there was previously only a cost. Our full-time clients are those who are choosing to short-let their property for most of the year and it often replaces more traditionally lettings like ASTs. This is the model formerly reserved for holiday homes, but with the rise of platforms like Airbnb and Booking.com alongside short-let management companies like Pass the Keys, this short-let model is now available for everyone. Our clients tell us the two reasons they would switch from ASTs to short-letting are flexibility and money. Even a full-time property only achieves about 75% occupancy on short-letting sites like Airbnb, which means that for around a quarter of the year, the owner can have access to their property, to take inventory, do repairs, or even stay in for personal use. Regarding money: Short-let guests pay a much higher price per night than long-let tenants. This means that even net of voids and management company fees, most landlords can earn significantly more with short-letting. At Pass the Keys, we monitor your properties performance with us against your potential long-let value, as we know that these base earnings are an absolute red-line we must not cross. To find out how much you can earn, please use our free income calculator, for an income estimate that includes occupancy rates and seasonal fluctuations.
To get the ball rolling, simply give us your details via the form found here or call us directly on 020 8050 2818. Our lovely specialists will be able to explain our services, walk you through the process, and provide you with an estimate of how much your property can make through short-term letting. If needed, we can schedule a visit to your home as well.
The standardisation of our service model allows us to support you in a prompt and efficient manner, maximise your occupancy rate and generate the highest possible income from your property. As such, we cannot make special arrangements on a per-property basis. We are always eager to improve our overall offering, however, so please don’t hesitate to suggest ideas!
Airbnb only is when your property is listed only on Airbnb rather than Airbnb and other-other short-letting platforms like Booking.com, Expedia.com etc. Multiplatform is a product available to our full-time clients whereby the property is listed on all available platforms, in order to maximise occupancy throughout the year. Due to the added complexity of listing one property on over 25 different sites, Multiplatform is only currently available to our full-time clients, and takes a small time longer to initiate. If you have a particular desire to be listed via Multiplatform, please call our host advisors on 0208 050 2818 to discuss the options.
Unfortunately, in order to be able to deliver the excellent guest experience that is required of us by all stakeholders, it is necessary for Pass the Keys to take control of your Airbnb account. This means that you will need to set up a new/second account if you wish to travel with Airbnb.
As with any safe, a very determined person with the right kind of tools might be able to access it, however, we mitigate this risk by ensuring that the safe is not installed in a location which makes it obvious which property it belongs to, and that your keyring is not marked with the property address. This means, that should anyone manage to open your safe (this has not happened yet), they would not know which property it belongs to.
You will have complete access to all information regarding your listing including pricing, guest communication, income, and reviews. We will provide full transparency on how we work to achieve your goals.
You will receive your income directly from Airbnb at the moment guests arrive at your flat. Other platforms may differ in how they process payouts, so please ask our specialists for specifics.
While the exact percentage depends on many factors, such as the characteristics of the property, local rates, and the time of year, we expect you to make at least 150% of what you’d earn from long-term rental income after our fees have been deducted.
Everything in life carries risks, and renting out your property is no different. At Pass the Keys we add extra levels of security and insurance on top of that already installed by the short-letting platforms. We vet our guests before we stay, we do not allow 2 night stays on the weekends, only 3 (this largely removes the chances of any parties), and with additional Guardhog insurance included as part of our premium service for full-time clients, if something does go wrong, the host is covered. For more information on our insurance process, please call our host advisors on 0208 050 2818
As a Hospitality company, we’ll do everything possible to ensure that your guests have a great experience. This starts from the moment a potential guest makes their first enquiry, and we ensure clear and effective communication, a streamlined check-in procedure, and 24/7 assistance during a guest’s stay.
You can cancel our service at any time. We don't believe in long-term contracts or hidden fees.
You can begin using our management service within just a few days of signing up. We just need time to prepare your listing.
In order to maximise the guest and host experience, Pass the Keys does not do personal check-ins. When we started in 2015 we used to, but soon learned they are often complex, aggravating, and generally uncomfortable experiences! Guests are often late, or change their plans, or are simply tired and feel uncomfortable during a personal check-in, and Airbnb itself back in 2016 began recommending to all hosts to do remote check-ins via key safes. So much so, that in order for your property to qualify as ‘business ready’ (an important part of getting high Occupancy rate), remote check-in is required.
Hosts can cancel at any time, subject to a specified minimum notice period. For hosts using our Airbnb-only service, this period is three weeks. For hosts using our Multiplatform service, this period is six weeks.
Airbnb provides a Host Guarantee programme (https://www.airbnb.co.uk/guarantee), which covers damages up to £600,000. We will be able to assist you in the claims process, but ultimately the decision to compensate or not lies with Airbnb. There are independent insurance providers who specifically cater for short-lets, an example of which is GuardHog. We’d recommend that hosts have an awareness of what’s on offer.
During your onboarding process, we will ask you to send us 3 sets of keys. Two of these we store, and one set gets used for the guests. For check in / check out, guests locate the installed keysafe, enter the code, and then will be able to access the keys and the property.
The majority of our clients choose Pass the Keys because either they cannot do the work associated with short-letting (if they are travelling for example), they do not want to do it (there is a lot of elbow grease involved), or they feel it is more economically efficient to ask us to do it. We estimate that for a beginner, one full-time short-let property can create up to 40 hours per month of work. At Pass the Keys, we will swap you all that work, for a cut of the booking amount. For many, this makes good sense. What is more, because we are professional co-hosts for Airbnb and have specialist departments in-house, we can often increase our hosts' gross booking values by more than our fees. Meaning that our hosts can often end up financially ahead, whilst also not having to do any of the work!.

Onboarding Details

Onboarding is our term for ‘getting your property ready to host. An investment of time at the early stage can save lots of hassle further down the line. Currently, our clients use an online checklist, which they can work through in their own time. If at any point you become stuck, your account manager will be able to help you move forward.
At Pass the Keys we use professional photographers to take photographs of all our properties. As part of the ‘onboarding’ process, your account manager will arrange a time that is suitable for this to happen. Success on any short-letting platform is largely dependent on the quality of the property photos, and therefore we take this part very seriously. If you feel you already have, or are able to take professional quality photos, please speak with your host advisor to make sure we do not end up duplicating work. They can be reached on 0208 050 2818.
The guest. When a booking is taken, the guest is charged an added cleaning fee. This fee is paid to you, and then invoiced by us to pass to the cleaners and linen providers in the form of a disbursement,
After sign up, our clients are assigned an account manager, and begin our ‘onboarding process’. Onboarding is our term for getting you ready to host. This means ensuring that we understand all the small nuances of your property, so that we have the ability to troubleshoot issues if and when they arise. It ordinarily takes 14 days, but if you are in a hurry, our record is one day and is managed by the Pass the Keys CSMs.
Pass the Keys has a plethora of contracted cleaners all over the UK. These teams are selected by the city managers, and then trained and monitored carefully to make sure all cleans are completed to the highest standard, and crucially - on time! Our cleaners accept jobs via our provider app, and if a job is not marked complete on time, an alert is sent to the city manager who can intervene and ensure the task is completed.
Our service is as hassle-free as possible! You may need to invest in a few extra sets of linen and towels, but in some cities, we provide these as part of the service. Please consult our specialists for more details.

Property Details

We place our approach to effective, proactive stewardship of your assets at the heart of everything we do. We have developed a specialised method of guest screening and will advise you of any damage that may be caused to your property. Airbnb provides a Host Guarantee of up to £600,000 to cover any potential damages, and we can also recommend specialised home insurance for extra peace of mind.
We utilise portable or wall mounted key safes in conjunction with smart locks, so guests can check in at any time of the day and night. Our key safe is a police approved lockbox and will give you and your guests peace of mind. The flexibility that comes with keysafes make check-ins much smoother for guests, and it is the solution currently being championed by Airbnb itself. So much so, that without a keysafe, you cannot be “business ready” on Airbnb.
If your property becomes unavailable all you need to do is let us know and we’ll take care of the rest. We usually ask for notice so that we can ensure that the last few tasks are carried out correctly. We understand circumstances change and the property might not be available in the near future, so we have the option for hosts to either offboard (if their property will no longer be available) or temporarily suspend (if their property could become available in the near future).
We have a number of systems in place to check the quality of the cleans. Our most reliable is by asking the guests for live feedback. When guests check in to your property, our system will send them a text message asking them to rate the cleanliness. If they respond with a score below ⅘, the guest experience team will be alerted, and action will be taken to rectify.
We have a dedicated revenue management team who monitor your Airbnb (and Booking.com, HomeAway, etc.) listing performance on a daily basis and apply a dynamic pricing strategy to fill any open dates or last-minute cancellations and ensure your property maintains a high occupancy rate.
While we can’t provide furniture ourselves, we’re always happy to lend our expertise to help you maximise the value of your property on short-let platforms. Things like knowing where to put toiletries, or how to stack chairs, can make all the difference!
Should you want to make use of your property, access it for maintenance, etc. you will be able to block any dates when you want the property to be unavailable for guests through the Client Portal, where you’ll be able to manage the calendar, as well as see any upcoming bookings.
Occupancy rate (OR) is the number of nights your property is booked, as a percentage of the total available. I.e if you had 100 days availability, and 75 nights booked, you would have 75% occupancy. With short-letting, there are always going to be voids between tenancies, however, it is our job to minimise these. We recognise that a high occupancy rate is the key to a happy host, and we are proud to say our managed properties outperform the global Airbnb portfolio significantly. OR is a very difficult thing to master as there are many different inputs. The property size, interior, photos, pricing are always different from property to property, but then there are external factors too, such as the time of year, local events, or even competition. The methods we use are a combination of computer-based dynamic pricing algorithms and human intervention to ensure your property is not left out in the cold. Our system will recognise if your property is not being booked quick enough, or is being booked to quickly, and will send an alert for human intervention.
Absolutely! Just let us know, and we will include them in addition to our standard house rules. As a default, we do not allow guests to make excessive noise or smoke within your property.
Pricing your property correctly is key to ensure long-term success. At Pass the Keys we use a combination of computer-based pricing algorithms, and human intervention. We have data from various sources which enable us to accurately price your property in the first place, but then we need to also consider various external factors, such as the time of year, local events, or even competition. We also ask each client for their minimum and maximum price to get an approved pricing band. Once your price is set, and your property is put live, we monitor the rate of incoming bookings, as this is the real indicator of whether it has been priced correctly. Our system will recognise if your property is not being booked quick enough, or is being booked to quickly, and will send an alert for human intervention.

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