French Londoner Dorothee moved to London 14 years ago, and has been in Brixton for the past 11 years. Dorothee is one of many live-in hosts on Airbnb – she lives with her partner and two children, and lets out a single room in their bright, modern townhouse to guests. As she’s discovered, the benefits of hosting visitors to the city can be more than merely financial.
What made you decide to become a host on Airbnb?
‘Having lodgers has always been part of our lifestyle, so when Airbnb came along, it made sense to use it, especially as we have a spare bedroom that we rarely use, and the simplicity of the app makes it easy to connect with guests.’
What are the main benefits for you of hosting?
‘The best thing is that we get to meet so many different kinds of people, from so many countries. We literally bring the world to our kids – that's priceless! The extra money is great too – we mainly spend it on fresh, seasonal produce, which means we barely use supermarkets any more.’
What types of support are available for hosts on Airbnb?
‘I really like our host community – we meet up, discuss and share tips, but also talk about the area we live in, beyond Airbnb. We have a passion for our local area, and the small businesses within it.’
What tips do you have for people new to hosting?
‘Don't be afraid to enforce your rules – it's your place, so you get to decide everything for your comfort and that of your guest. It also helps avoid potential awkward conversations, like if someone decides to walk around a communal area shirtless!’
Dorothee’s local picks
‘A swim in Brockwell Lido delivers a real “Londoner” experience, and the café is amazing for breakfast.’
Dulwich Road, SE24 0PA
‘Brixton Academy is a great venue – it attracts the best bands and is part of Brixton’s history.’
211 Stockwell Road, SW9 9SL
‘The Black Cultural Archives is a great spot for cafés, and more importantly, tells the story of African and Caribbean people in Britain. Oh, and it's free!’
Windrush Square, SW2 1EF