Frequently asked questions
Have a question regarding short letting? You can find your answers below.
The majority of our clients choose Keey 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 Keey, 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 specialists in-house who focus soley on making you more money, 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!.
In short, we help property owners increase their income with short-term rental solutions, while reducing their workload at the same time. We manage the day-to-day operations of Airbnbs and other short-term rental apartments, including online listing, photography, pricing management, guest communication, cleaning, laundry, toiletries and check-in and check-out of guests.
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 for your whole property or just rooms within a property. We also serve commercial organisations with a portfolio of properties as well as small hotels.
Yes – We have a proven track record of generating attractive returns for organisations as well as individuals. If you are interested in learning more about our services, tell us about your portfolio and we’ll discuss how we can help you improve your portfolio yields.
For our full management option we operate in London, Leeds, York, Harrogate and Manchester. For our online only option we can manage your property from anywhere.
Of course! We will help you set up a listing and manage it for you.
We require a minimum availability of 6 weeks throughout the year, with preference for as many consecutive weeks as possible to maximise positive reviews and revenue.
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.
Yes we replenish stock before it runs out as part as our management service – which we will charge at the cost price we purchased the materials. This includes toiletries, basic cleaning products and kitchen supplies.
Keey listings usually take 3 guest bookings to ramp up. Due to the seasonal nature of the homestay market, this can vary depending on the time of year.
You can cancel our service at any time. We don’t believe in long-term contracts or hidden fees.
There is no minimum contract length – all we ask is you honour the guests that have already made future bookings in your property.
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, we ensure clear and effective communication, a streamlined check-in procedure and 24/7 assistance during a guest’s stay. For example, even if a guest gets stuck outside at 3am having lost their keys or are too drunk to get in (which happens more often than it should!) a member of our team will resolve the issue.
Of course – Keey will always endeavour to accept bookings with as little notice as possible. There are some instances where a same-day booking may not be possible, for example where guests did not pass our robust vetting procedures (same day bookings tend to have a slightly higher risk profile) or where we were unable to find a mutually convenient time to check the guest into the home at such short notice. At Keey, we understand that same-day bookings are characteristic of the short-let market and as a result, we have built a lot of flexibility into our operations. This ensures that we can meet as many of our same-day booking requests as possible, whilst maintaining our high standards of guest experience.
No, hosts may not change any settings on their Airbnb account. This includes: minimum length of stay, price per night, security deposit, booking request settings, check-in check-out times. These are controlled internally by our teams so talk to us about your requirements and we will find the best way to address them.
We offer both self check-in and personal check-in depending on the circumstances. With self check-in we use portable or wall mounted key safes, 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. We know that sometimes keysafes may not be the best option, which is why we also offer personal check-in. Contact us so we can discuss which check-in option is best for you and your property.
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 account manager will walk you through regarding the details we require.
With our superior yields and focus on revenue and search optimisation, Keey has already taken properties switching from competitors. Keey will happily manage any existing guest bookings and incoming guest communications, as long as we can get the right access to your property in the right time period. Your account manager will walk you through in order to get your property ready and answer any questions you may have.
We use the following booking platforms for our listings:
- Booking.com (and partner websites)
- HomeAway (and partner websites)
However, it also depends on your property’s location, price and unique features ‘ meaning that your property might not be listed on all of the above platforms if they don’t match the platform-specific requirements, or if they aren’t a good fit with its target audience.
At Keey 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 account manager.
Provided we have photographs for your property, and all the relevant details required from the host (including but not limited to: government ID, fully completed House Manual, key drop off scheduled, Airbnb verification, listing deposit), your listing can go live in 48 hours on Airbnb. If your photography is scheduled, it can take up to 24 hours for the photographer to edit and send us the final photographs, after which the listing will go live within 48 hours.\n\nFor channels besides Airbnb, the listing can take around 24-48 hours for approval from TripAdvisor and HomeAway, and another 3-4 weeks for Booking.com due to their independent approval processes.
During your onboarding process, we will ask you to give us a minimum of 3 sets of keys. We store these, and one set gets used for the guests, however some guests (more likely for larger properties) do ask for more than one set of keys.
This is entirely upto you, you can either have the listing on your account which we will take over from you (or create you one from scratch) or, add the listing on one of our accounts.
Pricing and Payments
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.
Keey’s online only management fee starts at 10% +VAT and our full service management fee starts at 15% +VAT (this may change depending on the location of your home, the number of bedrooms and the availability of your home). Management fees are agreed with each host individually based on the circumstances. This fee is charged on the nightly rate of each booking, less any platform commission charges. Tell us about your property and our Account Management team will be in contact to answer any questions you may have.
Not convinced, not a problem! We also offer a Fixed Pricing option where we fully manage your property and give you a payout of a set rate each month.
No, we dont charge you anything to get started, we do however have a £109 deposit which you get back. It goes towards:
- Lockbox rental and installation.
- Hotel quality linen and towels.
- Property photography – an important part of creating the best possible listing for you.
- Creating and/or optimising your property listing.
- An in-person onboarding session at your property (usually 1-2 hours) with your dedicated account manager.
If you decide you’d like to stop using Keey for good, we’ll happily return your deposit.
There are just two things we require before we can refund a deposit:
- All the items we’ve loaned, including lockbox, linens and towels, to be returned to us.
- Your property has had at least 30 days of bookings since joining our service.
- If you haven’t done, or are unable to do these things, you can still leave the service, in this case we just need to keep the deposit as partial cover of your setup costs.
We add a cleaning fee to your Airbnb listing, which your guest pays. Guests are used to seeing this on Airbnb listings.
The one exception is the very first clean in your property. This is the only clean you’ll need to pay for, but you can also book one-off cleans whenever you like if you’re using the property yourself. The cost of a clean is unique to your property, and ensures cleans of the highest standard are delivered.
We do take a commission on the cleaning fee your guests pay (just as Airbnb does). We do this to cover the cost of organising linen collection and cleans for your property.
Additional charges a host may be liable for include, but are not limited to:
- Any housekeeping services organised after a host’s stay in the flat
- Any maintenance works carried out by our handymen, including giving access to a third party maintenance company, or delivering requested items to the property during a guest’s stay
- Any third party maintenance company charges and co-ordination charges.
Some hosts would like services that go beyond standard Airbnb management and we’re happy to help with those tasks as well.
Sort it out jobs
£25 per job up to 2 hours and £25 per hour thereafter. This includes:
- Purchasing and delivering essential guest supplies to set up home
- Key cutting (if required sets aren’t provided before service starts)
- Picking up post and sending on to host
- Furniture dry-cleaning (sofa, arm chair covers etc)
- Changing lockbox codes
- Any similar ad-hoc requested jobs
Mid-range maintenance call-out £80 per hour (+ VAT):
- Basic plumbing (tightening taps, faulty toilet flush)
- Basic carpentry
- Re-pressurising boiler
- Electrical work
- Any similar ad-hoc requested jobs
Specialist call outs
Charged at cost:
- Pest control
- Carpet cleaning
- Severe plumbing issues
- Repairing / changing locks
- Any similar ad-hoc requested jobs
The charges for any of these maintenance services goes entirely to the person/company completing the task. Organising any of this for you is included in our management fee.
Payments are processed at the last working day of each calendar month.
Property and Safety
Nothing is 100% risk free, and renting out your property is no different. At Keey we add extra levels of security and insurance on top of that already installed by the short-letting platforms. We vet our guests before they stay, we do not allow 2 night stays on the weekends, only 3 (this largely removes the chances of any parties). 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 pause (if their property could become available in the near future).
Get in touch with your Keey Account Manager to inform us about the dates you want to block in your calendar. Before you arrive, we will make sure that your property is cleaned up, laundry is done and toiletries are replenished.
We always recommend that items of high monetary or sentimental value be removed from your home for safe keeping and peace of mind. You may leave other personal belongings in the home provided they are stored away and leave sufficient space for guests to unpack their belongings. We encourage hosts to leave decor and photographs in the home as these help to create a welcoming environment.
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, have parties or smoke within your property.
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.
We regularly audit properties to identify any signs of obvious and substantial damage, and then alert this issue to our Account Management team. We then proceed on a case-by-case basis, depending on the severity of the damage. We would always advise, however, that hosts should expect some light wear and tear, and encourage you to look into short letting insurance options (we can help you with this). In addition, Keey ask all of our hosts to lock away items of value that you want to protect.
In London, the regulation allows you to do short lets up to 90 days per calendar year. To optimise your rental income, Keey will help you to define the best period to use short lets, and then help you switch to medium or long term lets. \n\nWe partner with medium and long lets online platforms such as Zoopla or Rightmove, to find you the best guests and tenants all year round, without exceeding the 90 day policy.
We don’t require specific certificates. But we do expect your property to be fully compliant with all local health and safety regulations. Prior to hosting, we recommend to contact your gas and electricity suppliers for an up-to-date safety inspection, and to make sure that all fire and carbon monoxide alarms are functional.