Long term rentals

Stephen1477
Level 2
Coventry, United Kingdom

Long term rentals

 

Hello,

 

I'm doing some research for next year and I wondered if anyone could answer the following:

 

  1. What are the main differences between using airbnb and a site such as Rightmove and then an estate agent for long term rentals?
  2. Is using airbnb more like a long term holiday home, or can you 'live' in the same way e.g. move things around (within reason), have guests etc
  3. Would airbnb be the right choice for renting long term for a working professional?

 

Thank you! Any other advice is welcome.

21 Replies 21
Helen3
Level 10
Bristol, United Kingdom

If you want a long term tenancy you need an assured shorthold tenancy (look it about on the gov.uk website) so you have tenancy rights and you don't pay a high Airbnb fee.

 

Estate agents and Rightmove is the way to go. @Stephen1477 

Mike-And-Jane0
Level 10
England, United Kingdom

@Stephen1477 there is LTR and LTR. The Airbnb version seems to be a month - a few months whereas a 'true' LTR could be for years.

For the 'true' LTR Airbnb makes little sense due to the ongoing fees and Airbnb being inserted between the guest and host. Also, I believe 'true' LTR is unfurnished although it appears different in London according to @Huma0 .

For the Airbnb version of LTR there are significant risks if hosts do not effectively get a tenancy agreement signed outside of Airbnb. Also there are significant legal issues (in the UK at least) as it is by no means clear when a tenancy is established and also what legal criteria need or do not need to be complied with (eg EPCs, safety certificates etc).

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Stephen1477 

 

As @Mike-And-Jane0 mentioned, it's good to also consider the legal aspects. A six to twelve month shorthold tenancy gives you more rights as a tenant. Airbnb is kind of different to that. So, it not only depends on location, but length of stay.

 

If it's a homeshare, different laws apply, because you're not a tenant but a licensee, which means you do not have the same rights and can be asked to leave at any time, for any reason, as long as you are given 'reasonable' notice, which normally means one payment period, i.e. if you pay weekly, that's a week's notice. If you pay monthly, that's a month's notice.

 

Airbnb meanwhile, has it's own set up, policies and rules...

Sudsrung0
Level 10
Rawai, Thailand

@Stephen1477 

All depends on your location, for us here in Phuket LTR have to be fully furnished my villas are all rented out because of covid we had to change our tactic's and went for LTR as there was no tourist here they were not allowed in 

I only have one condo on airbnb and the funny things is it has done good,

My villas have a 12 month contract, the tenant pays all the bills and I insist they use my cleaners,

I took a 2 month security deposit and made an inventory of all the items in the villas.

When the contracts end I maybe put them back on airbnb, lets see,

Have you looked at Furnished Finder? again depends on your location as it's mostly traveling nurses.

I have an article comparing FF v Airbnb I can send it to you,

Stephen1477
Level 2
Coventry, United Kingdom

thank you I'm in the UK but for some reason my profile just says 'null'. Can't seem to get the location to update on my profile.

Stephen1477
Level 2
Coventry, United Kingdom

Hi thank you sorry I'm based in the UK.

Gwen386
Level 10
Lusby, MD

@Stephen

@Huma0 Is absolutely correct. It depends on your location. 

I’ll answer #3 based on my location. LTRs work for me because I’m located where the only nuclear power plant in MD is located. So between July and February, the plant contracts out of state workers to come to the area for outages. My first LTR just ended for 2.5 months, which worked out well. My next one is coming for one month at the end of January. 

 

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Stephen1477 

 

There is no deposit on Airbnb, unlike most regular rentals and less checks/no references required (although you do get reviewed and rated as guest, so I guess that's supposed to replace the official references) and, although technically there is a contract, it is far more flexible than signing a long term lease. And, as @Gillian166 pointed out, you might get a lot more thrown in, but that will vary. But, my guests do not pay extra for bills, Council taxes, cleaning etc. and don't need to buy their bedding, towels, toilet paper, cleaning products and many other things. So, when you do price comparisons, you have to compare like for like.

 

It really depends on the host, to be honest, as different hosts will have different rules. I focus on long term stays, but I rent three rooms in my own home where I live and all communal spaces are, well...communal. So that kind of dictates how I go about things to a certain extent.

 

So, for example, I do not allow guests to move the furniture (this is when damage often happens) and they need to ask permission to have guests over. If guests stay the night, there is an additional fee. But that's just how I do it. I have my reasons. 

 

I think that you can have a very successful stay as a long term guest on Airbnb, otherwise I wouldn't be hosting so many happy, long term guests. You just have to do your research and make sure you pick somewhere that is right for you. 

 

Read the whole listing top to bottom, especially the house rules and the amenities list, other things to note etc. If anything is unclear, ask the host about it. Check out the reviews. Don't make assumptions. Try to have a bit of communication with the host BEFORE you book. Avoiding any misunderstands/misconceptions is the key to a successful long term stay.

 

 

Stephen1477
Level 2
Coventry, United Kingdom

Thank you very helpful

Gillian166
Level 10
Hay Valley, Australia

@Stephen1477  LTR generally aren't furnished, and don't include all the bills paid. And for that reason ABB are more expensive. You can do LRT with furniture in it too, but with an agent the tenant signs a lease, they generally have to pay a bond and go through a proper vetting process, and have inspections every 6 months.  

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Gillian166 I can't tell where @Stephen1477 is based, nor do I know which location he is looking to rent, but this stuff will vary a lot from place to place.

 

So, while you say LTR generally aren't furnished, that is not the case here in the UK. We have three general categories: unfurnished (rare), furnished (most common) and fully furnished (rare, except for short lets). 

 

'Furnished' means at least basic furniture such as beds + mattresses, wardrobes, sofas, essential kitchen appliances such as fridge, stove, that sort of thing, maybe also bedside tables, drawers, coffee table, TV stand/cabinet, chests of drawers, desk, dining table and chairs, washing machine, dishwasher, microwave etc. It will vary from place to place, and depends on the size and the price, but you would certainly expect the first few items I mentioned. With fully furnished, you then start to expect pots and pans, plates etc.

 

And things might have changed here since I last rented out an entire apartment long term, but I don't ever remember six monthly inspections being required. 

 

So, unless @Stephen1477 mentions where he is looking to rent (maybe I missed that), it's difficult to say really.

Gillian166
Level 10
Hay Valley, Australia

@Huma0  interesting. here in Aus by far the most common LTR is  unfurnished. But a dishwasher is a fixture, so those stay in the house.  Stove too. otherwise you have to byo everything else. 

Tenant inspections might be even more often, like quarterly. I know i resented it, having some 20-year old girl or boy come out and "inspect" my housekeeping and take photos of everything. I get why they do it, but doesn't mean I appreciated it.

And we might have to agree on some terminology, i'd consider LTR to be at least 6 months, but more often 1 year terms.  MTR might be a better term for 1-6 months, sometimes called "corporate leasing" here, and those are usually fully furnished. 

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Gillian166 

 

Whereas, in many other European countries, unfurnished is the norm. But, in those countries, the tenants tend to rent the same apartment for years and years. That is not so common here in London.

 

So, my friend in Berlin got a seven year contract when he rented his apartment and it was unfurnished and it's not uncommon apparently for the tenants to fit the kitchen and appliances and even take them with them when they leave, which is something that would be really unusual here.

 

People in London move around a lot I guess. It's unusual to have a lease of more than a year (although of course you can usually renew it year by year). Seven year leases are unheard of.

Sybe
Community Manager
Community Manager
Terneuzen, Netherlands

@Huma0 One flat we viewed before deciding to move into the one we're living in now offered a 36 month contract. Both my flatmate and myself were very surprised by this as it's quite long, even for the outskirts of London! 

 

I see many of my friends in the Netherlands making changes to their rental homes that would simply never be allowed here, like painting the walls (some places allow but only if you paint it back at the end to the colour it was when you moved in). I'm not sure how it is for the rest of the UK but in London it's exactly as you say, it's very common to move around a lot.

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Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Sybe 

 

Yes, that's another thing. I know in a lot of places, it's no big deal to redecorate a rental. A former guest who lives in Hamburg showed me photos of her rental flat and she had completely redecorated top to bottom, including fitting the kitchen. She has been there for years and the landlord seems perfectly happy, but then she has made it look fab and also come up with some clever solutions for a small, awkwardly shaped place. The landlord is probably thankful for the free renovation!

 

Here, like you say, most landlords/letting agents are very strict about making any changes or putting up pictures etc. I know people who do it, without asking permission, but then they have to repair and repaint the walls before they leave if they want their deposit back.

 

There are loads of hacks online though about how to personalise a rental without breaking the terms of your lease, e.g. adhesive wallpaper and tiles, command strips for picture hanging, removable sofa and chair covers, sprucing the place up with small accessories such as cushions and potted plants etc. You don't have to start drilling holes in the wall!

Mike-And-Jane0
Level 10
England, United Kingdom

@Huma0 when we lived in Berlin the typical requirement at the END of a rental was to repaint the entire apartment/house from top to bottom. Also places didn't usually come with kitchens - All very odd!

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Mike-And-Jane0 

 

Yes, that's also what I understand from my friends in Berlin. 

 

I guess it's normal if tenants are staying for years, and people there do tend to rent a place for longer than we do here, to paint the walls, put pictures up, choose their own furniture etc, but I found the whole kitchen thing bizarre. 

 

A fitted kitchen is designed for that specific space, so what really is the point in ripping it all out, transporting it elsewhere and trying to get it to fit another space, meanwhile leaving the next people to start all over again? Doesn't seem like the most practical, nor most economical, nor most sustainable option to me...

Sybe
Community Manager
Community Manager
Terneuzen, Netherlands

@Huma0 Yes I agree, any changes should always first be discussed with the landlord if you're renting!

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Sybe
Community Manager
Community Manager
Terneuzen, Netherlands

@Huma0 Holes in the wall would be the last thing I'd do for decorating, that's very often the absolute no-go. 

 

We were very lucky to find a place unfurnished, at some point you do want to start making your space feel like "home" and your own furnishing is a big part of that. Our landlord also allows pets - a very rare thing in London even with the new laws!

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Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Sybe 

 

Well, it sounds like your landlord is pretty flexible, which is great. Personally, having been a landlord (and having also helped my mum with her rental properties), I don't appreciate tenants making changes without asking. Some will actually improve the place, so I guess it depends on the original condition of the rental and the tenants, but when my mum last had tenants leave, they had done stuff that definitely did NOT improve the place and it was way more work getting it ready for the next ones than it should have been.

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