13 min read

Short Term Lets: A Guide to Renting Furnished Properties for a Limited Time

Short-term lets have become increasingly popular in recent years, offering a flexible and convenient alternative to traditional accommodation options. Whether you are travelling for business or pleasure, short-term lets can provide a cost-effective and comfortable solution that allows you to live like a local.

A cozy apartment with modern furniture and a fully equipped kitchen, overlooking a bustling city street with people walking and cars passing by

Understanding short-term lets is important before deciding whether this type of accommodation is right for you. Short-term lets are typically furnished properties that can be rented for a period of a few days to several months. They are often available through online platforms such as Airbnb, HomeAway, or Booking.com, and offer a range of options, from private rooms in shared apartments to entire homes.

When considering short-term lets, there are a number of factors to take into account, including regulatory frameworks, financial considerations, operational aspects, market dynamics, community and social impact, and legal and ethical considerations. By understanding these factors, you can make an informed decision about whether short-term lets are the right choice for you.

Key Takeaways

  • Short-term lets offer a flexible and cost-effective alternative to traditional accommodation options.
  • Understanding the regulatory and financial aspects of short-term lets is important before making a decision.
  • Short-term lets are available in a range of options and can be found on online platforms such as Airbnb and Booking.com.

Understanding Short-Term Lets

As someone who has been involved in the property industry for several years, I have come across various types of rental arrangements. One that has become increasingly popular in recent years is short-term lets. In this section, I will provide an overview of short-term lets, their definition, types, popularity and trends.

Definition and Types

A short-term let refers to a rental agreement that lasts for a short period, usually less than six months. These types of rentals are popular among travellers, students, professionals and anyone who needs temporary accommodation. There are various types of short-term lets, including:

  • Holiday rentals: These are properties that are rented out to holidaymakers who need a place to stay during their vacation. They can be apartments, villas, cottages or any other type of property that is suitable for short-term stays.
  • Serviced accommodation: These are properties that are fully furnished and equipped with all the necessary amenities, including cleaning services, Wi-Fi, and utilities. They are ideal for professionals who need a place to stay while on business trips.

Short-term lets have become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks to the growth of the sharing economy and the rise of online booking platforms such as Airbnb, Booking.com, and HomeAway. These platforms have made it easier for property owners to advertise their properties and for travellers to find suitable accommodation.

According to a report by the Residential Landlords Association, the number of UK landlords offering short-term lets has increased by 8% in the past year. This trend is expected to continue as more people look for flexible and affordable accommodation options.

In conclusion, short-term lets are a popular and growing trend in the property industry. They offer a flexible and affordable option for travellers, students, and professionals who need temporary accommodation. As a property professional, it is important to understand the different types of short-term lets and their popularity to stay ahead of the competition.

Regulatory Framework

Short term lets have become increasingly popular over the last few years, and as such, there has been a growing need for a regulatory framework to manage them. In this section, I will discuss the regulatory framework that currently exists in the UK for short term lets.

Planning Permission Requirements

In the UK, planning permission is required for change of use of a property. The use class of the property will determine whether planning permission is required for short term lets. The use class of a property is defined by the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987. If the use class of the property is C3 (dwelling house), then planning permission is not required for short term lets. However, if the use class of the property is C1 (hotel), then planning permission is required for short term lets.

Local Councils' Role

Local authorities have a role to play in the regulation of short term lets. They are responsible for enforcing planning permission requirements and ensuring that short term lets comply with health and safety regulations. They can also set conditions on planning permission, such as limiting the number of people that can stay in a property at any one time.

National Register and Government Initiatives

In 2023, the UK government ran a consultation on a registration scheme for short term lets in England. The scheme would require all short term lets to be registered with a national register. The purpose of the register is to provide information to local authorities about short term lets in their area. This would enable local authorities to better regulate short term lets and ensure that they comply with planning permission requirements and health and safety regulations.

Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, has also announced that the government is considering introducing a new use class for short term lets. This would make it easier for local authorities to regulate short term lets and ensure that they comply with planning permission requirements.

In conclusion, the regulatory framework for short term lets in the UK is evolving. Local authorities have a role to play in regulating short term lets, and the government is considering introducing a national register and a new use class for short term lets.

Financial Considerations

Short-term letting can be a profitable option for landlords, but it's important to consider the financial implications before diving in. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

Rates and Income Potential

One of the main draws of short-term letting is the potential for higher rental rates. However, it's important to research the local market and ensure that your property is priced competitively. You may also want to consider seasonal fluctuations in demand, and adjust your rates accordingly.

In terms of income potential, it's worth noting that short-term lets can require more work than traditional long-term rentals. You may need to handle more frequent turnovers, manage bookings and guest communication, and ensure that the property is always clean and ready for the next guest.

Mortgage and Insurance Implications

If you're planning to let out a property on a short-term basis, it's important to check with your mortgage lender and insurer to ensure that you're compliant with their policies. Some lenders and insurers may have restrictions or additional requirements for short-term lets, so it's important to clarify this upfront.

For example, some mortgage lenders may require you to switch to a buy-to-let mortgage if you're planning to let out a property on a short-term basis. Similarly, some insurers may require you to take out additional coverage for short-term lets, or may have specific requirements around guest safety and security.

As a professional landlord, it's important to ensure that you're operating within the bounds of all relevant regulations and guidelines. This can help to protect your investment, and ensure that your guests have a safe and enjoyable stay.

Operational Aspects

Management and Maintenance

As a short-term let property manager, I understand the importance of keeping the properties well-maintained and clean. It is essential to ensure that the guests have a comfortable stay and leave positive reviews, which can lead to more bookings.

To manage the properties effectively, I keep a detailed record of all maintenance and repairs. I also conduct regular inspections to ensure that everything is in working order. I make sure that any issues are addressed promptly, and the guests are informed about the same.

Health, Safety, and Quality Standards

The safety and well-being of the guests are of utmost importance to me. Therefore, I ensure that all properties meet the necessary health, safety, and quality standards.

I make sure that the properties have adequate fire safety measures, such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. I also ensure that the properties are clean, and the linens and towels are washed and changed after every guest.

In addition, I provide the guests with a guidebook that includes information about the property, the local area, and emergency contacts. I also ensure that the kitchen is equipped with the necessary cooking appliances and utensils to allow the guests to cook their meals comfortably.

Overall, managing short-term let properties requires attention to detail, effective communication, and a commitment to quality. By ensuring that the properties are well-maintained and meet the necessary health and safety standards, I can provide a comfortable and enjoyable stay for the guests.

Market Dynamics

Short-term lets are a dynamic market that is influenced by various factors such as traveller demand, local regulations, and competition. As someone who has been involved in the property industry for years, I have seen how much the market has changed over time. In this section, I will discuss two key factors that affect the demand for short-term lets: demand in key cities and seasonal variations.

Demand in Key Cities

The demand for short-term lets in key cities such as London and Miami has been on the rise in recent years. This is due to the increasing number of tourists visiting these destinations, as well as the growing popularity of short-term lets as an alternative to traditional hotels. As a property manager, it is important to keep a close eye on the demand for short-term lets in these cities to ensure that your properties are always in high demand.

Seasonal Variations

Seasonal variations are another important factor that affects the demand for short-term lets. For example, the demand for short-term lets in popular destinations tends to increase during the summer months when tourists are more likely to visit. As a property manager, you should be aware of these seasonal variations and adjust your pricing and marketing strategies accordingly.

Overall, the short-term lets market is a dynamic and ever-changing industry that requires careful attention and monitoring. By understanding the demand in key cities and seasonal variations, property managers can make informed decisions and stay ahead of the competition.

Community and Social Impact

A diverse group of people gather in a vibrant neighborhood, engaging in activities that promote community and social impact through short term lets

Short term lets (STLs) have a significant impact on local communities and the housing market. In this section, I will discuss the effects of STLs on the local housing market and the relationship with local residents.

Effects on Local Housing Market

The rise of STLs has led to a decrease in the availability of long-term rentals, which has had a significant impact on the local housing market. As a result, the housing market has become more competitive, with increased demand for properties, leading to higher prices.

Additionally, the increase in STLs has led to a decrease in the number of available properties for purchase, which has resulted in a decrease in the number of first-time buyers. This has had a knock-on effect on the local economy, as first-time buyers are often the ones who drive the housing market.

Relationship with Local Residents

The impact of STLs on local communities has been a topic of debate for some time. While some argue that STLs bring in additional revenue for local businesses and councils, others argue that they have a negative impact on the community.

One of the main concerns raised by local residents is the impact of STLs on the availability of long-term rentals. Local residents argue that the increase in STLs has led to a decrease in the number of available long-term rentals, making it more difficult for local residents to find affordable housing.

Another concern raised by local residents is the impact of STLs on the community. Local residents argue that the increase in STLs has led to a decrease in the number of permanent residents in the community, leading to a decrease in community cohesion.

In conclusion, the rise of STLs has had a significant impact on local communities and the housing market. While some argue that STLs bring in additional revenue for local businesses and councils, others argue that they have a negative impact on the community. It is important for councils to strike a balance between the benefits of STLs and the impact on the local community.

The scene shows a rental property with a "no smoking" sign and a list of rules posted. A contract and a code of conduct are visible on a table

Short term lets offer a flexible and cost-effective alternative to traditional accommodation options such as hotels and B&Bs. However, there are a number of legal and ethical considerations that must be taken into account before engaging in this practice.

Subletting and Ownership Rights

It is important to note that not all properties can be legally sublet. If you are a tenant, you will need to check your lease agreement to ensure that subletting is permitted. If you are a homeowner, you will need to check your mortgage agreement to ensure that there are no restrictions on subletting.

It is also important to consider the ownership rights of your property. If you are subletting your property, you will need to ensure that you have the legal right to do so. If you are renting your property, you will need to obtain the consent of your landlord before subletting.

Implications for Hotels and B&Bs

The rise of short term lets has had implications for traditional accommodation providers such as hotels and B&Bs. Many hotels and B&Bs have been forced to lower their prices in order to compete with short term lets. This has had a negative impact on their profitability and has led to job losses in some cases.

In addition, there have been concerns raised about the impact of short term lets on local communities. Some communities have experienced an increase in noise and antisocial behaviour as a result of short term lets. There have also been concerns raised about the impact of short term lets on the availability of affordable housing.

To address these concerns, some local authorities have introduced rules and limits on short term lets. For example, in Scotland, homeowners can continue to let out their own main or sole home for up to 90 nights a year. Local residents are protected from being pushed out of their communities by excessive short-term lets. Fines may be imposed on those who do not comply with these rules.

Overall, it is important to consider the legal and ethical implications of short term lets before engaging in this practice. By doing so, you can ensure that you are acting in a responsible and ethical manner, and that you are not putting yourself or others at risk.

Future Outlook

A modern city skyline with high-rise buildings and futuristic architecture, surrounded by green spaces and efficient public transportation

As the short-term lets sector continues to grow, there are several key areas to consider when looking at its future outlook.

Technological Advancements

Recent technological advancements have had a significant impact on the short-term lets sector. The emergence of digital platforms and the sharing economy has made it easier for people to rent out their properties for short periods of time. This has led to an increase in competition, which in turn has driven down prices. As technology continues to advance, we can expect to see even more changes in the short-term lets sector.

One area where we can expect to see significant technological advancements is in the use of artificial intelligence (AI). AI has the potential to revolutionize the short-term lets sector by making it easier for property owners to manage their properties. For example, AI could be used to automate the process of cleaning and maintenance, reducing the workload for property owners.

Predicted Sector Growth

The short-term lets sector is predicted to continue growing in the coming years. According to recent research, the sector is expected to be worth around £30 billion by 2025. This growth is being driven by a number of factors, including the increasing popularity of short-term lets among tourists and the growing number of people who are renting out their properties.

However, it is important to note that there are also challenges facing the short-term lets sector. For example, there are concerns about the impact of short-term lets on local communities and the availability of affordable housing. In response, governments around the world are introducing regulations to control the growth of the sector.

Overall, the future outlook for the short-term lets sector is positive, with technological advancements and predicted sector growth set to drive further change. However, it is important that the sector is managed carefully to ensure that it benefits both property owners and local communities.

Frequently Asked Questions

A signpost with "Frequently Asked Questions Short Term Lets" surrounded by curious onlookers

How can I find short-term lets in my vicinity?

If you are looking for short-term accommodation in your area, you can start by searching online for reputable platforms that offer short-term lets. Some popular platforms include Airbnb, HomeToGo, and Booking.com. You can also check with local estate agents or property management companies to see if they have any short-term let options available.

What regulations apply to short-term lets in Scotland?

In Scotland, the Scottish Government has introduced new regulations for short-term lets. These regulations require hosts to obtain a license from their local council if they want to rent out their property for short-term lets. The regulations also require hosts to meet certain safety and amenity standards. It is important to check with your local council to ensure you are complying with all the relevant regulations.

What are the latest developments in the short-term let market?

The short-term let market is constantly evolving, with new platforms and regulations being introduced all the time. One recent development is the rise of professional property management companies that specialize in short-term lets. These companies can help hosts manage their properties more efficiently and ensure they are meeting all the relevant regulations.

How can I secure affordable short-term accommodation?

If you are looking for affordable short-term accommodation, there are a few things you can do. Firstly, consider booking well in advance to take advantage of early bird discounts. You can also look for properties that are slightly further away from the city centre, as these are often more affordable. Finally, consider booking for longer periods of time, as many hosts offer discounts for longer stays.

What should I consider when looking for a short-term let in Edinburgh?

When looking for a short-term let in Edinburgh, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, consider the location of the property and how convenient it is for your needs. You should also consider the size of the property and whether it is suitable for your group. Finally, consider the amenities provided, such as Wi-Fi, kitchen facilities, and laundry facilities.

What is the role of the Highland Council in regulating short-term lets?

The Highland Council is responsible for regulating short-term lets in the Highland region of Scotland. This includes issuing licenses to hosts and ensuring they are meeting all the relevant safety and amenity standards. The council also investigates any complaints or concerns raised about short-term lets in the area.