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Short-Term Rentals Vs Long-Term Rentals: A Guide for Landlords in the UK

If you're a landlord exploring the rental market in the UK, you've likely wondered whether long-term or short-term rentals are more profitable. You may have been attracted to the allure of short-term rentals, enticed by the promise of higher returns and more flexibility. But is the grass always greener on the other side? Let's dissect the key points about short-term and long-term rentals to give you a clear, unbiased picture.


Why Do Landlords Prefer Long-Term Tenants?

The preference for long-term tenants largely stems from the reliability and stability they bring. With long-term rentals, landlords can enjoy predictable cash flow without the constant concern of finding new tenants. Moreover, long-term tenants can foster a sense of community and continuity, which contributes to a property's reputation and appeal.

Long-Term Tenants

The 90-Day Rule for Short-Term Lettings

The 90-day rule was introduced in London in December 2016 to regulate the burgeoning short-term rental market. The rule applies only to Greater London, and it places a limit on the number of days a property can be rented out short-term within a calendar year. Non-compliance can result in hefty fines up to £20,000 per offence, turning what seemed like a profitable endeavour into a financial drain.

Are Long-Term or Short-Term Rentals More Profitable?

The profitability of rentals depends on several factors, such as the property's location, market demand, and the landlord's ability to manage or absorb the costs associated with each rental type. While short-term rentals can provide higher rates, they also incur more management costs, less occupancy stability, and regulatory restrictions. On the other hand, long-term rentals offer more predictable income and fewer management headaches. The answer isn't black and white, and ultimately, profitability depends on individual circumstances and preferences.

Short Let vs Long Let: The Key Differences

Short lets refer to properties rented out for less than six months, while long lets typically refer to rentals of six months or longer. Short lets tend to attract holidaymakers or business travellers who want a temporary place to stay, and they often come fully furnished and with utility costs included. On the other hand, long lets cater to tenants looking for a stable, long-term residence. These are typically unfurnished or part-furnished and often exclude utility bills from the rental cost.

Does Renting Long-Term Make Sense?

Absolutely! Long-term rentals offer landlords consistent income, more manageable maintenance, and a lower risk of property damage. Moreover, they provide the opportunity to build a long-term relationship with tenants, which can reduce issues related to property misuse or non-payment of rent.

Why Being a Landlord is Stressful?

Being a landlord can be stressful due to the amount of responsibility it entails. From handling repairs, complying with regulations, dealing with problematic tenants to handling administrative duties, landlords have a full plate. Short-term rentals can exacerbate this stress due to their demanding nature, with frequent tenant turnover and increased maintenance.

What are Most Profitable Rentals?

The profitability of a rental property largely depends on factors like its location, condition, and the local rental market. However, many landlords find long-term rentals to be more profitable due to their stability and predictability.

Profitable Rentals

The 1% Rule on Airbnb and Making Money with Short-Term Rentals

The 1% rule suggests that the monthly rent should be at least 1% of the property's upfront cost. While this rule can guide landlords towards profitability, it doesn't consider the additional costs that come with short-term rentals, such as high turnover costs, management fees, and the risk of low occupancy.

Average Tenancy Length in the UK

As of 2021, the average tenancy length in the UK is just over two years. This provides landlords with a solid period of secure income and less time and resources spent on searching for new tenants.

Notice Period for Long-Term Tenants

As per the UK regulations, landlords are required to give their long-term tenants a notice period of at least two months if they wish to end the tenancy agreement, providing tenants with ample time to find new accommodation.


While short-term rentals may seem enticing, long-term rentals offer their own distinct advantages. From steady income to lower maintenance hassles, the benefits of long-term rentals make them an attractive option for landlords. It's vital to weigh all these factors to make an informed choice that will benefit you in the long run.

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Whether you're interested in short-term rentals for a few months or long-term rentals for several years, it's crucial to understand the associated laws, rules, and demands. Whatever route you choose, remember the ultimate goal is to secure a reliable, profitable, and manageable rental income.