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What is Short term rent?

by | Nov 4, 2022


Do you work in a field that makes you travel regularly? Do you like travelling or changing cities often but you find booking hotel arrangements exhausting and stressful?

If dealing with the receptionist, getting your luggage across the hall, not being able to prep your own food or just hate intrusive cleaning services… then short-term rent is the one solution to all your problems in the private rented sector.

This type of rental often comes in handy for people with flexible lifestyles. Moreover, the checks carried out by landlords and relative financial responsibility for the tenant drastically decrease with short-term rents.

What is Short-Term Rent?

A short-term rent or short-term rental is described as an accommodation that is rented out for shorter periods of time. This accommodation can be any living space such as apartments, flats, country cottages, rooms and more.

Also known as vacation rentals, as discussed earlier, these accommodations are considered to be an excellent alternative to the more traditional solutions offered by hotels and motels.

Typically, short-term rent is characterized as a period of fewer than 6 months. However, it can vary anywhere between a month to a few months. Recently, landlords have also begun letting out accommodations for a couple of days or weeks.

Short-term rents are an emerging trend and have been the basis of letting platforms such as Airbnb and HomeAway. Also, this type of rental comes with lesser responsibilities than long-term leases for both the landlords and the tenants – so many people now look forward to it.

Are short-term lets legal?

To summarize the idea, yes, short-term rent and its respective contracts are legal in the United Kingdom. However, some laws do govern this sector such as making sure there are rules so tenant’s don’t fall into rent arrears and that all tenants have a right to rent check.

For example, greater London is protected by the Greater London Short-term Rental Regulations. If the rental period exceeds 90 days, the landlord has to attain a planning permit to pursue short-term rent. 

For further details, click here.

Do short-term rentals include bills?

An agreement or contract surrounding the short-term rent includes all bills. Thus, the tenant does not have to pay for any services he might use during the tenancy.

Therefore, the landlord has to pay duties like utilities, council tax, TV license, or internet fee.

Short-term rent Vs. Long-term rent

Short-term rent

This type of rental varies from weekly periods of rent to monthly ones, but, the rental tenure is always less than 6 months. Thus, if you’re visiting a new town, it is much more cost-efficient in comparison to Airbnbs or hotels. 

Depending on the landlord, these residential accommodations can either be furnished or unfurnished – but usually are equipped with the essential furniture, such as a bed, that will allow tenants to move into immediately.

Each landlord has a different opinion on the furnished vs unfurnished debate as many argue that these places should come fully accommodated for the tenant.

Often, landlords operating with this type of rental enjoy the place for themselves for most of the year and then rent it out only in peak moments such as religious holidays or bank holidays weekends.

Also, if the location is a crowded area with a high demand for accommodations, short-term rent is the best option for a landlord as he has the authority to raise the rent anytime a new lease begins.

However, from a tenant’s perspective, short-term rent comes in handy when the renter is visiting a location temporarily – i.e for work reasons, a short holiday or for visiting friends. 

This rental offers flexibility – therefore, if a tenant is unsure about moving to one place – he can use short-term rentals as a trial experience. Similarly, there are no extra payments involved, for example, paying for electricity bills or council tax.

To find short-term rental accommodation in London and the UK, click here.

Long-Term Rent

If you are looking for security and stability over a long period of time, long-term rents might be what you need as either a landlord or a tenant.

And you should also check out rent to rent as these provide even more secure tenancies and regulations around long term leases.

It allows renters to let an accommodation on yearly contracts or similar leases. Before the contract is initiated, the renter submits a deposit to the landlord and might have to include a rent guarantor in the lease contract.

Often, tenants who look forward to moving less often, starting a family, or completing their education at a determined location opt for long-term rentals.

However, people pursuing education in colleges or universities have been seen preferring a student room over other accommodations due to cheaper prices. This growing trend might be due to the inauguration of schemes similar to the rent-a-room scheme.

keys of a short-term rented property

What Should A Short-Term Rental Agreement Include?

Following is a list of important clauses that can act as your personal comprehensive ‘how to rent guide’ in the sector of short-term rents.

1.  A clear description of rental property

This should include what furniture, amenities, or other necessities are provided by the landlord along with the accommodation.

2. Information about the tenants

The tenant must specify all their background details. Also, the name, contact number, profession, and address of any potential guests must be stated.

3. Maximum Occupancy

The maximum number of guests or people allowed to stay at the place during the rental period must be specified. 

4. Rental period

The exact period for which the short-term rent agreement is valid must be specified. Starting and ending dates must be clearly stated otherwise you can sue your landlord for not providing the right information in your agreement.

5. Restrictions

The landlord has the right to introduce any rules, and the tenant is legally required to follow them. Some examples may include a no-smoking, no-child, no-pets or no-party policy.

6. Payment method and details

All details regarding the agreed monetary value of rent must be clearly stated in the agreement for short-term rent. Also, the due dates, the method ( i.e bank transfer or cash deposit), and any other necessary information must be included.

7. Extra clauses

Depending on either party, the agreement should include any extra clauses that comply with their requirements concerning the short-term rent.

What is The Minimum Rental Period in the UK?

In the United Kingdom, there are no laws governing the rental period. Any minimum or maximum lengths have not been specified by the government. 

Usually, long-term rents are approached by people using 6-month or annual contracts but this differs if you are using a commercial lease agreement template. Similarly, any contract regarding a period of 6 months or less is called short-term rent. Short-term rents can vary from a few days to a couple of weeks. 

Is short-term rent practised in London?

In the United Kingdom, if a landlord wants to let out a property, they must ensure that they have all the required permissions.

Similarly, in London, the sector concerning short-term rent is protected by the Short-term Rental Regulations. To summarize the idea, if the period is under 90 days, you are good to go, but to cross this limit, the landlord has to obtain a permit.

From a tenant’s perspective, London is full of many prospective properties that one can choose from. Hence, short-term rent is actually practised in London.

for rent sign hanging in a window


As the world progresses, people tend to look out for ways to generate more income. Therefore, if you are an owner of two or more properties, letting them out on short-term rent might be the best choice for you.

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Donnell Bailey

Property expert

Donnell is a property expert focusing on the property market, he looks at a combination of legislation, information from property managers, letting agents and market trends to produce information to help landlords.