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The Pros and Cons of Short-Term Renting

Phi Spencer

By Phil Spencer

Short-term renting is an increasingly popular tenancy option, especially in large cities like London. Whether you’re between properties, are relocating or visiting an area – this could be an option for you. But what actually is short-term renting? Where can you find this type of tenancy? And moreover, what are the pros and cons of short-term lets?

What is short-term renting?

The simplest way to describe short-term renting is to think of Airbnb.

It’s the renting out of a furnished home or apartment for a brief period of time. Renting property is divided into two categories: long-term and short-term. Long-term is typically anything over 6 months, short-term is anything over a day but no longer than 6 months.

Short-term rentals come fully furnished and kitted out as a home – with towels, crockery and bed linen included. The only thing you’d be expected to purchase would be consumables.

Short-term rental properties usually include all bills in their price.

When would you use short-term renting?

These are ideal when you have a gap between homes. This can be when you’re between selling your property and purchasing a new one or even during home renovations. Alternatively, short-term lets are popular with those looking to relocate to a new area and aren’t yet sure where to lay their roots. People renting this type of property are usually those who don’t want to commit to the longevity of a standard tenancy.

Where to find short-term rentals

From the outside, it can seem difficult to find a short-term let though they’re closer than you think. Here are some key places to look for them:

Serviced apartments

Service apartments is an umbrella term used to describe furnished apartments available for either short or long-term rentals. They offer facilities like a hotel but typically have more space than a hotel room.

Letting agents

It may surprise you but often letting agents will have a selection of short-term rentals on their books. It doesn’t hurt to ask them.

Airbnb

Airbnb is an online community marketplace for unique accommodation around the world. This is one of the most popular platforms used to find short-term rentals.

Holiday let companies

These usually have similar business models to Airbnb but with varying features.

Pros and cons of short-term lets

If you’re considering renting a short-term property, here are some key pros and cons to consider.

Advantages

  • You don’t have to live in a faceless hotel for a long period of time – a homely environment is far more comfortable than living off room service
  • It’s cheaper to stay in a short-term let than a hotel – you also get a lot more for your money
  • The property can often be unique, allowing you to stay somewhere you ordinarily couldn’t
  • If you’re staying for a number of months, you may be able to negotiate a deal with the landlord

Disadvantages

  • The property will already be fully fitted – your furniture will have to stay in storage
  • Short-term renting is more expensive than long-term renting
  • Ad descriptions can be misleading – not all rentals are vetted before advertised online

Advice for short-term renting

Don’t be put off by the horror stories. Go with a reputable provider and short-term renting can be a great option for those in the right circumstances. As with all rental processes, do your homework thoroughly beforehand and make sure you know what to expect.

Renting long-term is always worth considering, though it’s worth having a rolling one month break clause after six months written into your contract.

Even if you do only stay for a period of a couple of months, it’s worth doing your research on the surrounding area. Find out everything you need to know about a location. From local amenities to crime rates, schools and more – you can discover it all with Phil Spencer's Property Report.

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