Friends take over Thanet holiday-let management franchise

Sofia and Dayna have taken on the Pass The Keys franchise for Thanet

A property management franchise in Thanet is now being headed up by new bosses.

Pass The Keys manages properties on short-letting sites like Airbnb. The franchise for Thanet has been taken on by friends Dayna James and Sofia Manoudaki.

The pair previously worked together in admin/sales for the healthcare industry but say a shared passion for property – and Thanet- resulted in them taking on the franchise for the area.

Dayna, 30,  has lived in Ramsgate for the past couple of years but has visited many times prior to that to see family. Sofia, 23, moved to Broadstairs four years ago.

Dayna said: “We love the beautiful scenery, the calm slow pace of life and the friendly people and we also have family ties here.

“We have worked together in our previous roles and both have an interest in property and owning properties in Thanet drew us to the idea. We are also keen to share the charm of the area with others whilst creating job opportunities for local people and boosting tourism.”

The duo took on the franchise last September but started trading this month and have been hiring local people and businesses.

Dayna said: “We are still in hiring but we have around 70% of our suppliers already and all of our suppliers will be locally based. We aim to have three cleaning suppliers as well as maintenance suppliers, local photographers and we will be hiring some local freelancers to help with everything to do with the business such as handymen, gardening, sales, operations and more.

“The main purpose of Pass The Keys is to make air bnb/ short let/ holiday renting completely hassle free for property owners. We provide a full end-to-end management service which means that not only do we advertise the property to guests and manage their stays, we also fully maintain the property, including everything from keeping them up to date with compliance, servicing equipment and appliances, deep cleans, gardening, everything is arranged by us.

“The whole concept is that once you ‘Pass The Keys’ you can rest assured that your property will be fully maintained and making you an optimal income. We also install key safes, take professional photography and advertise our properties on more than 20 booking channels to maximise results for our hosts.”

The pair say Thanet is an ‘exceptional’ location for short-term rentals due to its beaches, history, busy events programme, thriving arts scene and accessibility by train from London.

Dayna added: “With industry trends showing that fully managed properties in Thanet can potentially earn more than 15% higher daily rate and 20% higher occupancy, it’s a great option for hosts who want to up their revenue without the hassle.

“Partnering with Pass the Keys was a natural choice for us in the short-term rental management space. In our extensive search for a franchise, Pass the Keys emerged as the clear market leader in the UK.”

Pass the Keys Thanet

Call  01843 264709.

Details on

Second homes data

The number of second homes in Thanet increased by 10% from 2021-22 rising from 1,733 to 1907 and by another 1% from 2022-23 to 1,922 properties.

The figures are shown in data analysed by Action on Empty Homes. Each year the organisation analyses the Government’s official data on long-term empty homes. The latest data is from November 2023.

The data also lists a rise in long-term empty homes from 866 in 2022 to 1,143 in 2023. This is lower than the figure given by Thanet council last July when deputy leader Helen Whitehead said the isle had 1,551 long term empty homes being monitored by the authority.

Of those she said 1,540 were in private ownership and 11 properties belonged to the council. Seven of the council homes were fire damaged, three were welfare units and one was currently under consideration for future housing plans.


    • Well, those on minimum wage will be in most cases eligible for benefits in the form of local housing allowance to help them afford a home, though the obvious answer is for those on minimum wage to put the time and effort into getting training and education to be able to compete for the jobs we currently seem to need migrants for.

  1. 300 male asylum seekers to be moved into newly built luxury apartments in Farnborough, that were up for rent at £1400 p/ mth.

    I bet many of Britains poorest would do anything for that sort of treatment.

    • The term luxury and new build are not synonymous, especially if built by Persimmon or Barratts.
      I am sure you are not playing the ‘immigrants taking all our jobs,houses, and replacing us’ theory,but it sounds like it.
      We of course can’t check out your allegation,but it sounds unlikely with this govt, unless glamping is involved.
      This pair were in healthcare and are now dabbling in property,well I hope they find the success they are seeking, while not making homelessness worse in Thanet.

      • Anecdotally , there are seemingly more properties returning to the long term rental market from being holiday lets. Demand has dropped off a bit having peaked towards end of covid and just after, energy prices mean that overheads are way higher than they used to be over the winter months, and the increases in long term rents has turned the tables a bit too.
        The likes of Pass the Keys want around 20% plus vat to manage properties , which is a big chunk.
        There couldmof course be new properties being bought to the market that evens out those leaving. Be interesting to see how it plays out and if local authorities are to be given the opportunity to charge extra council tax if certain criteria aren’t met, similar to has happened in wales. Though that looks likely to backfire in terms of the damage it is predicted to do to the tourist trade.
        Lots to keep an eye on and to see if our leaders can steer a sensible path .

  2. Thank you Kathy Bailes for adding the ‘Second Homes Data’. Really balanced approach. I wish I could just accept that so many people make money from their ‘spare’ properties via Airbnb. but in context of so much homelessness I can’t.

    • It’d be even more balanced if there was also an explanation as to how tax legislation favours short term holiday lets over long term residential lets and how that has encouraged many to switch.
      Also that where there has been some action on the disparity it’s been to tax holiday lets more rather than reduce taxation on traditional residential lets, which would help remove some of the pressures that are pushing rents up.
      Though it’s hard to see why Sofia and Dayna haven’t asked for the story to be deleted given the negative slant the housing data gives to a story about a new business venture.

  3. Not sure about the tax benefit of STLs but considering the future difficulties of eviction without a reason due to S21 being repealed, it’s not hard to see why Airbnb is a safer bet for renting. Even better if it’s run through a Ltd Co, all costs are offset.
    This is the way forward for property owners in Thanet. Good luck to the pair.

    • Airbnb should pay double council tax at least, better still ban all together. This is nothing more than tax evasion and creating massive homelessness and overpriced rents

      • Don’t be so daft, using the tax legislation to your advantage is the sensible option for any entrepreneur to pursue, in addition why is it deemed sensible to tax people who are investing in a sector that patently needs it ( if it weren’t profitable and there be a demand people wouldn’t do it) Thanet doesn’t have the overall demamd to support an equal number of “proper” hotel rooms in the periods of peak demand, such as large events at Dreamland and holiday weekends with good weather.
        Many of Thanets issues lie in its overall low level of educational attainment and poor skills, there’s a disconnect between affordability and the better standards of housing people demand in our modern age.
        That in recent years, Thanets previously cheap property has attracted those with money to spend to the area ( which can hardly be a bad thing) , has altered balance is something that needs addressing, but to punish those who’ve studied the rules /formed business plans and invested, to make life easier for many who didn’t put effort in at school, haven’t worked at attaining skills and are happy doing the minimum for maximum benefits/tax credits , is hardly a way of incentivising people to try and succeed, rather it encourages laziness and dependency on others.

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