Choosing Between Short Term Lets and Long Term Lets

The length of a tenancy can vary greatly – from one night to a year or more. Long and short lets both have their advantages. The option which you go for depends on what you want to get out of your stay, be it flexibility or long-term security. We’ve put together a short guide to help you decide which is the best option for you.

What is a long term let? 

A long term let is a rental period of over six months. Contracts usually span six to twelve months and can be renewed if both landlord and tenant agree.

 What is a short term let? 

Short term lets are typically under six months, although often much shorter. They’re harder to find than long lets but are becoming increasingly common thanks to the Airbnb revolution.

What are the benefits of long term lets?

Long lets are a good option if you want to put down roots in an area. You’ll have security for a fixed rental term, meaning you won’t have to leave at short notice, and renegotiations are less frequent, so rent is unlikely to increase often. The landlord and letting agents are legally required to make sure the property is up to scratch and will keep the tenants safe.

Long term let properties are likely to be in residential neighbourhoods, closer to schools, and provide a fixed address that allows you to enrol your kids (or yourself) at a particular place of education.

What are the benefits of short term lets?

If you’re only in the area for a short amount of time due to work commitments, or waiting for a property purchase to complete, a short let is the perfect option. It’s also a good idea if you’re scouting out an area before committing to buying a property.

Short term lets are flexible and convenient, and much cheaper than putting the family up in a hotel. You’ll also get more privacy, space and personality than you would in a hotel room, especially if you want to invite friends over.

Beyond paying for the let itself, there’s very little responsibility involved; the landlord has to cover any costs (such as utility, internet or council tax) that would usually be paid by the tenant and the property should be fully furnished, right down to crockery and linen.

family sat on the floor in new home next to cardboard boxes

What are the disadvantages of long term lets?

Long term lets are generally less flexible; once you’ve signed a rental agreement, you’re tied in until the end of the tenancy period. This isn’t ideal if you’re unsure of the length of your stay; you may find yourself paying rent when you’re not even living in the property.

Unlike short lets, long lets require you to pay bills and do not have to be fully furnished, so are more of a hassle when it comes to admin and moving in and out. On the plus side, however, some longer lets have a break clause half way through, which allows you to end the terms of the rental agreement early if you want to move out.

What are the disadvantages of short term lets?

The main pitfall of a short let is the price; rates can be up to 30% higher than long term lets and landlords can charge a premium for rental during popular events such as festivals. It can sometimes be hard to find a short let, especially at these times.

If you’re looking for rental security, a short let may not fit your needs; it’s harder to put down roots and, should you decide to extend your let, the landlord can change the rent price. You’ll also have less freedom to make the place your own than you would in a longer-term tenancy.

Neither option is without its drawbacks, but each also has its advantages; when looking at the rental market, you’ll need to consider your own personal situation and decide what suits you best.

However, if you’re looking for a home and somewhere to live for more than six months, a long-term let will likely be the best option for you. You can enjoy living in a place you can call “home”.

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