Friday, 18 October 2013

Would you allow your tenant to ‘nightswap’ your property?

Would you allow your tenant to ‘nightswap’ your property?

By Jennifer Duke
Thursday, 17 October 2013
New ‘nightswapping’ website Cosmopolit Home has some tips for your tenant if they’re planning to travel, which involves the concept of sharing properties across the world.
If you’ve heard of home exchange, the concept is quite similar with no accommodation to pay for when you go on holiday. The website allows individuals, home owners and tenants the opportunity to sign up and swap properties.
Hosting other nightswappers allows you to increase the number of nights you can stay elsewhere.
Founder Serge Duriavig, previous associated managing director of Smartbox, launched the concept in 2011, with the website launching in 2012.
For landlords, this poses an interesting question, particularly as tenants can have their home lived in by someone else for as long as arranged, while they travel overseas.
Client manager, Charlene Mas, in discussing the common concerns, had some advice for tenants.
For instance, if a tenant is told they have no right to receive people at home, she provided the following advice.
“This is wrong! Unlike holiday rentals websites, tenants are allowed to practice Nightswapping, just as home owners. Nightswapping is considered, anywhere in the world, as a loan, and not as a sublet. Since there is no financial transaction, it is just as if you were hosting a parent or friend,” Mas noted.
“Not only is it 100% legal, it also is recommended! To prevent burglaries, insurers recommend not leaving your home empty when you're absent. One more reason to get started! And it is even more efficient and much better-value than going through caretaking websites or security services.”
This has a particularly interesting connotation for those who own properties in typically “tourist” locations.
“The greatest advantage of Nightswapping is to have access to places that would remain off-budget with traditional leasing. With Cosmopolit Home, the economic logic does not apply to the listed accommodations, as the «nights» do not have a financial value. If you live in a small house in the suburbs, nothing's to say that one day you shouldn't enjoy a huge loft in the heart of New York,” Mas explains.
“The second but not least advantage is that, as hosts, you have no risk of tax misconduct. Unlike other rental websites, you won't have to declare income taxes. Another weight off your mind.”