John Lewis has started its “Perfect Host” classes for potential Airbnb hosts, and at its Oxford Street store I meet Hannah Allen, 26, a community manager and Airbnb veteran. She lives with her partner in a flat in Spitalfields in the east London region, and they rent out a double bedroom for £85 a night. Immediately she deals with my biggest fear – letting obnoxious tourists into my home who will spill red wine on the white carpet and make off with the family silver.
“People are generally respectful and guests tend to clean up after themselves,’’ she assures me. “I leave two hours’ cleaning time between guests – enough to change the bed linen, clean surfaces and tidy. “And think about ways to save time – good-quality, Egyptian cotton sheets won’t crease and need ironing. And if the room is clutter-free, it’s much easier to clean.”