PHOTO: Many home owners who rely on short-term rental income are feeling the pinch of mass cancellations. Photo: Peter Braig

Airbnb hosts and owners of other short-term rental accomodation are scrambling to get properties leased out longer term, as bookings from international and local visitors dry up due to the coronavirus.

Properties previously pulled from rental markets for more lucrative short-term stays are being put back up for lease, agents report, as investors seek more secure rental income amid the drop-off in tourists and increasing economic uncertainty.

“The honeymoon is over,” said Michelle Williams, director of @home Property Management Solutions in Launceston, who has been contacted by more than a dozen hosts – some with multiple properties – in recent days. 

“[Short-term letting] was a great opportunity for clients to achieve income well above that for the standard long-term investment property … [but now] it’s time to head back into your safer option … at current market rents.”