Starting a bed and breakfast in retirement

HomeProtect were cheaper than the premium we used to pay before we started doing Airbnb!
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john young bb

Encouraged after speaking to friends who are Airbnb hosts, and having recently retired and looking for a part-time activity to keep busy, John decided to give it a go and set up a B&B in 2016. So far, it has been well worth it, both socially and financially.

“We see guests for perhaps a few hours each day and apart from cleaning the bed linen and cooking breakfast, there is not too much to do. I enjoy cooking breakfast as cooking is my hobby anyway,” says John.

As a newly built home, the letting is proving popular, with a choice of two bedrooms. Located close to scenic Surrey Hills, most people visit if there is a wedding or birthday to attend, and occasionally on business as Dunsfold Aerodrome, where Top Gear is filmed, is only a few minutes away.

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Establishing the bed and breakfast was not entirely straightforward, however. John & his wife were conscious that letting the spare rooms in their home could leave them open to risks. Finding a company that would provide cover for residential insurance as well as ad-hoc Airbnb lets was a challenge:

“Most companies we talked to had never heard of Airbnb so considered us to be a commercial bed and breakfast establishment and refused cover. We tried to explain that there is a world of difference between a commercial B&B and what we do. Sometimes we have no guests for a week or two and then we might have 3 different guests in a week.

You [HomeProtect] had heard of Airbnb and understood what we were doing. There was no higher premium above ordinary home insurance rates. In fact, you were cheaper than the premium we used to pay before we started doing Airbnb. It was easy to take out your insurance online and you responded to my application quickly.”