Be it a second salary or a passive income from rentals, many residents are looking at generating an additional source of income to improve their quality of life.

Now, property owners, including expats, have an additional source of income by listing their properties on Holiday Swap, an affordable travel platform that allows people to book, host or swap homes anywhere in the world.

“Yes, anyone can list on the platform, including expatriates who own properties here. It is a very flexible platform where you can list any type of property, ranging from an entire home to a room of your house. Most of our hosts have put their entire homes on the platform. While some have listed their rooms or sections of the house, effectively sharing the accommodation,” said Matthew Davey, deputy CEO at Holiday Swap.

With more than one million monthly users, Holiday Swap is relocating its global headquarters to Dubai. The community-based online platform enables holidaymakers to swap homes or rent directly from one another at minimal or zero cost. It has more than 120,000 listed properties across 185 countries, including the UAE, where it has approximately 1,200 listings. It aims to expand its listings to 400,000 properties by the close of 2023.

Can the tenant sublease?

In addition, he pointed out that tenants can also list the property on the platform if they have mutually agreed with the landlord or property management firm and they are legally authorised to do so.

“If you are a lessee and your lease agrees, then it is open to yours. We recommend that any tenant does check with his/her homeowner or property manager,” he said.

Davey added that they have a very strong representation in Dubai, especially apartments, as they work with a number of partners to help them rent out their apartment units. “Dubai is strong on the apartment side, so a lot of availability there. With our partnerships with particularly property management companies, it is most fully apartments.”

Holiday Swap is also building some new artificial intelligence (AI) features to help people write good descriptions of their homes. It will also give some good suggestions based on the size of the home, the neighbourhood, and landmarks nearby to make the listing easier.

Charges and return

Davey added that there are no charges for listing on the platform. “But when there is a booking, we take a small percentage of that.”

He said the rental return rate is based on external factors, but people who list their homes on the platform realise strong returns which helps them cover their mortgage.

“It is a revenue source... (But) They have to be realistic in terms of what prices are loaded onto the platform. That is often done by looking at average prices in the area and average hotel accommodation prices in the area as well. So that has to be done in conjunction with local knowledge in and around and pricing of other short-term rental accommodation and traditional avenue of hotels,” he added.

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