Manage properties on Airbnb

Rent a holiday home or holiday apartment abroad

(rh) Hand on heart: How many weeks a year do you spend in your holiday home or holiday apartment abroad? If you work, probably two or three weeks rather than four or five weeks. The house or apartment is therefore empty for almost 50 weeks a year. Nevertheless, you pay high fixed costs, including capital costs, premiums for building insurance and additional insurance for natural hazards as well as the costs for cleaning the house or apartment and, if necessary, the maintenance of the garden. There are also minor repairs and major renovations. The bottom line is that the holiday home or apartment will cost you a lot of money even after buying it.

Renting abroad is more difficult than in Switzerland

So it makes sense to think about the financing. Many owners rent out their holiday homes or apartments in Switzerland more or less regularly. To friends, acquaintances or colleagues, but also to strangers. This is easier if your holiday home is in Ticino instead of Tuscany or your holiday home in Valais instead of the Algarve. Because you are likely to be in Ticino or Valais more often, have known your neighbors there well for many years, who can support you locally, and you are more familiar with Swiss tenancy law than with Italian or Portuguese. Nevertheless, many Swiss people rent out their foreign holiday apartments and houses. By yourself, through an agency or via Airbnb.

Rent holiday home or holiday apartment yourself

Renting is a lot to do. Especially if you only rent out the property for a short period of time. You have to market the holiday home or holiday apartment, for example via your own website or Facebook, answer telephone and e-mail inquiries, write invoices and check incoming payments or accept credit card payments, greet guests, hand over the keys, say goodbye to guests, clean the property , carry out minor repairs and plan major renovations. You can do administrative tasks yourself from Switzerland. For all other tasks you need an administrator on site if you do not live nearby yourself.

The best thing to do is to hire someone to look after your house or apartment from A to Z and look after the guests at the same time. This will cost you part of your rental income, but it is worth it. Especially if your holiday home or apartment is in a popular holiday destination and you can charge a high rent for it. In the calculation, also consider the consumption-dependent additional costs (heating, electricity and water).

Rent a holiday home or holiday apartment through an agency

You can outsource the work entirely. For example to an agency like Interhome. There are various providers on the Internet, the easiest way is to search for “Rent a holiday home”. Agencies market and rent your house or apartment online to guests from all over the world, collect the rent and settle accounts with you, maintain the property, look after guests and advise you on legal issues, which can be valuable abroad. Of course you pay a fee for this, but it can be worthwhile because you have no work with the rental and a good agency optimizes your rental income.

Rent a holiday home or apartment through Airbnb

Platforms like Airbnb take care of the administration for you. So you need someone to keep and clean your holiday home or apartment, handle the handover and return of keys with the guests, fill up supplies such as toilet paper, wash and change the towels or call an electrician in the event of a power failure. The bottom line is that you pay Airbnb a fee for each booking (usually 3 percent) and the manager a fee for their work. This is only worthwhile with a high occupancy rate - or if you live on site and take on the administration and guest care yourself.

Tax consequences for real estate abroad

If you own a holiday home in Tuscany or a holiday apartment in the Algarve, you have to pay tax on the property and income in Italy or Portugal. In Switzerland you have to declare it, but not pay tax. The value and the income (rental income or imputed rental value) determine the tax rate for wealth or income tax in Switzerland.