How Do I Find Short-Term Tenants/Guests (Under 6 Months)?


You’re bored of “long”

Or maybe “long” just isn’t suitable.

Whatever the reason, you’re a landlord looking for a short-term tenant. Let’s go through a few of the best options to fill your slot efficiently *ahem*…

Depending on circumstances, some landlords require or prefer short-term tenants (or “guests” as they’re often called) over long-term tenants, which is perfectly cool, because both have their advantages and disadvantages.

However, if you’re still in the midst of weighting up your options on which way to swing, you may want to read my blog post on short-term Vs long-term lets. But, if you’ve already been won over by the shorties, this article will hopefully assist with connecting you with one or two of them.

Before I get into it, I do want to clarify that there isn’t a separate legal definition or status of “short-term” or “long-term”. Short-lets is just a term used to describe agreements that are less than six months, so the duration doesn’t change your legal responsibilities as a landlord/host.

Right, so, anyways…

Use an Online Letting Agent [for 6+ month vacancies]

If you’re looking for a tenant for dead-on 6 months (or more), then I recommend using an online letting agent that will market your rental on Rightmove & Zoopla.

The reason I recommend doing that is because 6 month terms are quite common for regular tenancy agreements, so you’re likely to find a tonne of interested prospective tenants scouring through the biggest UK property portals like Rightmove. Ya’ dig?

Use websites like Airbnb [for super short-let and holiday rentals]

If you’re looking for a tenant/guest for shorter than a 6 month period, then you’d be wise to use marketplaces like Airbnb to list your rental property – where prospective guests from all over the world are specifically searching for holiday and short-term lets, typically ranging from 1 night to a couple of weeks. Months, too.

Below you’ll find a list of marketplaces where you can market your short-let vacancies, whether it be an entire house or a single room. Some of the options listed are very similar to Airbnb (the website which has elevated the cool-factor of short-term lets), while others are better suited for a specific market…

MarketplaceAvg PriceAdvertisesNotes
Price
3%
per booking
Advertises

  • Single rooms
  • Entire property
Notes

The most popular marketplace for holiday-lets

Surely no intro is required, Airbnb is the most popular holiday-let marketplace in the world.

If any landlord wants to maximise their chances of filling those voids, Airbnb is a must!

It’s also worth noting that Airbnb provide ‘Host Guarantee‘, which includes property damage protection of up to $1 million USD for every host and every listing at no additional cost. Lovely!

More Info
Price
3%
per booking
Advertises

  • Entire property
Notes

World’s largest travel community!

TripAdvisor (“world’s largest travel community”) receives massive amounts of exposure, and while a lot of it is due to its gigantic ‘reviewing’ platform, its short-let/holiday rental area is also a hive of activity. But perhaps the most compelling reason to use TripAdvisor Rentals is the fact that TripAdvisor automatically posts all of its listings on its sister website FlipKey, which in itself is very successful for specifically holiday rentals. Essentially, you’ll get two for the price of one!

Unlike Airbnb, TripAdvisor doesn’t offer shared rooms with live-in landlords/hosts, it only advertises private rooms or whole properties.

More Info
Price
3%
per booking
Advertises

  • Single rooms
Notes

Hosted experience

Homestay is a “hosted experience”, which means the landlord/host stays in the property with the guest, so they can provide a genuine and local experience. That does mean it’s a hands-on experience for the landlord.

If hosting and being the local expert is your calling, stick your property on their website!

More Info
Price
6-12%
per booking
Advertises

  • Single rooms
  • Entire property
Notes

Holiday/vacation rentals

Homeaway specifically targets holiday/vacation rentals, although I’ve seen properties in their inventory which are located all over the UK, many of which aren’t your typical holiday destinations!

It’s a pretty popular website, serving 190 countries and millions of travellers.

More Info
Price
6-12%
per booking
Advertises

  • Single rooms
  • Entire property
Notes

Large holiday/vacation properties for families & groups

VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner) is part of the HomeAway group, the world’s leading online marketplace for vacation/holiday rentals. It is very similar to its sister site HomeAway- the main difference is the properties on VRBO are bigger and have gardens, so they’re generally better suited for families & groups.

More Info
Price
10-25%
per booking
Advertises

  • Entire property
Notes

Private homes and apartments for world-travellers!

Booking.com is up there as one of the most popular hotel booking websites on the planet. But what you may not have realised is that Booking.com also lists private homes and apartments for world-travellers!

Like and use booking.com already? Then you may want to use them to market your short-let.

More Info

Please note, I try my best to keep the information of each service up-to-date, but you should read the T&C’s from each service provider’s website for the most up-to-date information.

Just as a sidenote, if you decide to restrict yourself to just Airbnb (as many do), you might be missing out on a lot of great bookings! Remember, all the marketplaces listed above charge commission on confirmed bookings only (at least, at the time of writing this blog post)!

Are you a live-in landlord/host looking for a short-term tenant?

While Airbnb and Homestay do allow for live-in “hosts” to market single rooms, they’re more likely going to attract extremely short-term guests. So if that’s the objective, they’re both fine options.

However, if you’re a live-in landlord/host that would prefer a longer-term occupant, I’d personally go down the “lodger” route. Where’s the best place to find a lodger, you ask? SpareRoom.com, by far…

ServicePriceNotes / Includes
Price
Free
Notes / Includes

SpareRoom is huge, and it’s the to-go for live-in landlords with a spare room and prospective lodgers looking for a spare room.

Visit Website

For more details on being a lodger landlord, you may want to hop on over to my lodger guide, which is jam packed full of useful info, including details on tax-breaks available to landlords that take in lodgers.

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