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Are Airbnb Long-Term Rentals Worth Booking As a Guest?

Airbnb management processes don't always have you in mind. Flex Living's round-the-clock support team make living easy.
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Are Monthly Rentals On Airbnb Worth The Price?

Airbnb Rentals Are popular Short-Stay Options For People Around The World. But Does The Option To Stay Longer Actually Benefit A Guest Or Are They Massively Overspending?

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In this article, we are going to discuss:

Airbnb has been something of a game changer in the way short and long-term stays work in major cities like London. Ordinary homes have been transformed into high-value and in-demand stays, for people either travelling for tourist or, work purposes whilst they stay in the city.

The platform for short-term rentals in London without resorting to traditional letting, has boomed into its own mini-industry – but what options are available long term? The markup for nightly stays through Airbnb is widely known at this point, so, does the same apply to long-term stays?

 If you’re searching for Airbnb long-term rentals or looking for a cheaper alternative, look no further as we offer fantastic long-stay apartments in London, as a fantastic alternative to Airbnb.  We have worked with thousands of guests to find them their perfect home in London so if you’re in a hurry, save time reading the article and book your new home in London with Flex Living now!

a beautiful interior design of an airbnb property

1) How Long Can You Stay In An Airbnb Long Stay?

Firstly, just how long does an Airbnb long-term stay need to last to be classed as such? According to Airbnb:  a short-term rental or stay is classed as anything up to 28 days, with all stays after that period classed as long-term. Now, 28 days is very temporary for a lot of people but, that threshold for staying at a property on Airbnb applies to many of the properties on the platform leaving options for longer-term stays, a little less open.

The main reason why so many hosts or property owners choose to let their property out for less than 28 days for each stay is money. During the high season for visiting any popular destination, a city like London will see far more demand for bookings during the summer and this means, prices will soar for staying in the city. It doesn’t make much sense to let out an Airbnb property during summer for individual stays longer than 28 days because it will make the owner of the property far less money.

Frankly, prices for Airbnb stays in London are not cheap but, does that mean there are no options available for long-term Airbnb stays in London? As we mentioned right at the start of the article, the demand for monthly stays through Airbnb in London has increased dramatically but options for long-term rentals on Airbnb remain very limited. 

However, whilst there are options to stay in Airbnb properties in London for the short to long term, you will find it very hard to become a long-term tenant in an Airbnb property in London. That’s even if you’re happy to pay what will be, a considerably higher monthly rent than if you were living at a property under a standard assured tenancy agreement.

So whilst we can assume, that trying to find a decent monthly Airbnb property in London will be hard, does this mean that there are no advantages to opting for this method of monthly rental in London?

2) What Are The Benefits Of Staying In An Airbnb Long Term?

Airbnb long-term stays do have their benefits. For one thing, they’re incredibly useful for digital nomads and remote workers, who are constantly moving in between places and need a flexible, easy-to-book option, sometimes at the last minute. Naturally, the quality of the stay very much depends on individual budget but, there are many high-quality properties available on the platform at reasonable nightly prices, with some landlords even offering slight discounts for booking stays longer than 5 or 10 nights at their property.

The convenience and flexibility of booking one or, multiple Airbnbs throughout an extended stay in London, applies to those looking to stay for a bit longer than a few weeks or a month as well. If someone is relocating to the city on a temporary contract or, looking for temporary accommodation before they find a permanent place to live, Airbnb is a great option for month-month stays. Again, the high quality of some properties and the convenience of being able to easily book, move in and then out, make a long-term stay in an Airbnb property quite enticing.

Communicating with a host or property manager through the platform is quite easy. The host is always connectable through the platform and although in some instances, they’ll give you their contact details for you to discuss any issues at the property with them directly, Airbnb operates a very strict policy for communication on their platform so that they can arbitrate fairly during disputes. 

This comes in particularly handy when a guest can end up leaving their stay prematurely, as Airbnb have a dedicated crisis management team which is not shy of spending money in emergencies to make sure guests are looked after if disaster strikes.  So to summarise, you can expect the following benefits from using Airbnb for long-term stays:

  • Plenty of high-quality properties to stay in with good service and amenities
  • Clear communication channels through the platform and hosts
  • Dedicated support in times of crisis


With all that said, it’s time to move on to the negatives of using Airbnb for long-term stays and see how the pros stack up against the cons of using the platform.

a lovely living room of a bookable airbnb property

3) Are There Any Issues With Long-Term Airbnb Stays?

For all the benefits of long-term stays on Airbnb, there are almost mirroring problems to counter them – and some which can’t be escaped no matter what the pros might be! First of all, the flexibility of booking with Airbnb is very much a double-edged sword. Whilst it can be an incredibly flexible platform for finding property and making bookings at short notice, everything else when dealing with a booking can become quite complicated.

Airbnb has very strict payment and cancellation policies. The majority of the money you pay for a property when you book, is non-refundable, with last-minute cancellations still costing you a heavy amount of the total cost of the booking! The bookings themselves can range between being moderate to massively expensive per night, especially if you’re looking at doing a monthly rental when compared to a standard letting agreement. 

As an example. Take a rental property in Liverpool Street, with the market rent for that property at £2,700 per month and an average nightly Airbnb cost of £300; the cost of staying at the property for a month through Airbnb would be £9,000 without any deductions for making a long term booking. Even if we applied a 20% deduction (which very rarely happens) to the rent for booking the property out for the whole month or longer, the total cost of renting this property each month through Airbnb would be three times higher than the rent you would be paying for traditional letting.

Airbnbs are expensive, make no mistake about that, even for a city like London which is already quite expensive to live in. Although bills are included in Airbnbs, the added inflation to your monthly rent means you should always, think carefully before you consider opting for a long-term stay with Airbnb. On the subject of bills being included, there is a misguided understanding that living at an Airbnb means free cleaning whilst you stay at the property.

a lovely house with garden

Not every Airbnb landlord or management company will include cleaning the property for free during your stay and to be honest, most will charge quite a significant cleaning fee on top of your rent for your stay even if they do. Dealing with your host or host management company can not always run smoothly, as although you can communicate with them through the platform, the level of service you receive can vary

Airbnb will try to maintain a policy of neutrality when arbitrating any issues between guests and hosts but, not every decision they make will go in your favour if a problem arises which as a guest, can often leave you out of pocket after spending a significant amount on your stay. To sum up, these are the most common drawbacks to renting an Airbnb property for the long term:

  • Much more expensive to stay in good quality properties than traditional renting
  • Strict cancellations and payment policies make bookings less flexible
  • Property maintenance and dealing with issues and cleaning can vary between each host
  • Bills are included but the cost of paying them is much cheaper in a private rental property

At this point, you might have decided that long-term stays through Airbnb are not for you but, there is an important point to address about the function of Airbnb before we make a final judgement on the merits of the service. Many people are forced to use Airbnb due to a lack of options for finding a place to stay both short and long-term in London due to a lack of clear alternatives. 

If you aren’t a native of London or the UK then, of course, trying to find somewhere even if it’s just for a few months will have many challenges. Not everyone looking for accommodation in London can privately rent if they’re not going to be living in the UK on a work visa or, under permanent residency. Airbnb is a popular platform to book shorter stays due to its global presence but, it doesn’t help anyone looking for more affordable or, long-term accommodation.

There are plenty of companies that offer alternatives to renting through Airbnb in London for both long and short stays but, very few can offer a package similar to the one which Airbnb delivers. Are there any viable alternatives to monthly rentals on Airbnb with a similar set-up but a better service overall?

a lovely kitchen design linked to a garden

4) The Flex Living Alternative To Airbnb Long-Term Rentals

At Flex Living, we spent many years working with Airbnb (and still do on some occasions) to provide an exceptional experience. We provide an alternative which understands the headaches of the Airbnb model, offering greater benefits for our guests and giving them options for stays far greater than Airbnb can provide.

As part of our model, we offer the following for all our guests whether their stay is short or long:

  • Flexible Renting:  Guests can choose to stay as long or as short as they wish including how they wish to pay rent during their stay. Options for month-to-month agreements or longer rentals, without the ridiculous fees and markups for nightly stays you find with Airbnb!
  • High-Quality Properties Ready To Move In: No issues with poor cleaning or untidy spaces. All our homes are recently refurbished with professional weekly cleans before, during and after your stay. 
  • The Perfect Work-From-Home Space: Either sit back and relax or prepare to work in a brilliant home-office space. With all the latest digital amenities from smart TVs to high-speed Wifi, always feel comfortable at home whether you’re working or reclining after a long day in the office.
  • 24/7 Contact & Assistance: Our dedicated maintenance and customer service team are always on hand to respond to any issues with our properties during your stay.  Expect a friendly, reliable and fast service to deal with any queries or problems during your stay with us.

We’ve worked to place thousands of tenants and their families, in either temporary or permanent accommodation, all across London. If you’re looking at moving to the UK for work or want to find an alternative to staying in London on Airbnb, get in touch with us today at Flex Living and let’s see if we can work to make your dream move to London become a reality!

For more helpful articles, including for those already thinking of moving to London for work and guides for the best places to live for families, you can find these articles and many more over on our blog, to let us help you plan your next move to London!

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