Which Is More Profitable for Landlords: Short or Long Term Renting?

Investing in property can be financially rewarding. However, it can have its ups and downs, with many decisions to make. Once invested, landlords face the dilemma of whether to rent short-term or long-term. While long-term rentals are in high demand, short-term rentals can be immensely lucrative. To help make that choice, we will discuss which is more profitable for landlords, short or long-term renting.

Advantages of Short Term Renting

High demand

Staycations in the UK are rising, meaning a growth in the demand for short-term rentals and the possibility of greater yields.

More profitable

Which is more profitable for landlords, short or long term renting?
Short-term is generally more profitable, attracting up to 30% higher yields. Beachside properties, quaint thatched cottages, or chic city centre apartments can attract higher rents. Short-term lets can take advantage of times when there is a high demand, such as the summer, festivals, and key sports events.

Easier to maintain

Shorter stays mean more access to your property for cleaning, allowing the opportunity to notice maintenance issues early.


As a landlord, you have more freedom over who stays on your property and for how long. If you are in an area with high demand, you can be more selective about who can occupy your property.


Bookings are shorter. Therefore, moving back to your property or selling at any time is more straightforward.

Advantages of Long Term Renting

Reliable income

Strong demand for long-term rentals means a steady income. Landlords collect regular payments, while tenants take responsibility for expenses such as Council Tax and utility bills.

Tenant investment

In a recent government survey, on average private renters lived in their rental property for 4.3 years. When tenants feel secure with their lease, they become confident they can stay in the property for the long term. They want to make it their home. Tenants will invest by buying furniture and curtains and may even redecorate if the landlord agrees.

Property is looked after

A long-term tenant is likely to look after the property and want to safeguard their deposit by minimising damage and wear and tear. For example, they remove their shoes at the door to protect carpets.

Cheaper overheads

Most long-term rentals are unfurnished, so landlords avoid the cost of providing up-to-date furniture and amenities. Long-term renting also avoids additional costs associated with bookings, cleaning, and advertising.

Less chance of a stoppage in income

The longer a tenant stays, the steadier the cash flow and the less chance of a void period looking for a new tenant.

Disadvantages of Short Term Letting

Unsteady income

Due to seasonal demand, peaks and troughs in bookings can cause an inconsistent income. It only needs one poor season to affect your annual earnings.

More time and effort

With a regular changeover of tenants, it is necessary to factor in extra time for cleaning and general maintenance, gardening, check-ins and check-outs, and marketing.

Increase in maintenance

Short-term tenants might treat your property differently than they would their own, and maintenance costs might be higher.

Additional costs

The owner covers expenses such as utility bills, Wi-Fi, and a TV licence in a short-term rental. Costs that the tenant usually covers in long-term renting.

Disadvantages of Long Term Letting


Circumstances can change, and there might be a necessity for the landlord to sell or move into the property. Regaining possession in long-term renting is more difficult than in the short-term rental market.

Loss of control

If you are carrying out maintenance on the property, you cannot simply enter the house. You have to arrange a suitable time with the tenant. Also, legal proceedings can be challenging and lengthy if a tenant fails to pay. During this time, you could be without income.

Periods of vacancy

Long-term landlords rely on regular payments. There will be times between tenants. A period without rent means covering associated costs with an empty property, such as Council Tax, utility bills, and referencing fees for prospective tenants.

Property damage

At some point, the property will suffer from damage. The weather, the tenant, or general deterioration could cause it. Factoring in the cost of repairs is a necessity for landlords. In the case of tenant damage, their deposit may not cover expenses.

Short or Long Term Renting?: Key Points

So, which is more profitable for landlords, short or long term letting? If a short-term rental landlord can achieve consistent bookings, short-term is more profitable, with up to a 30% higher yield. However, both types of rental have advantages and disadvantages.

  • Advantages of short-term rental: Demand for short-term rental is high, and it is common to hear about successful properties boasting lucrative profits. Other benefits include freedom and flexibility. Landlords have easier access to their properties, including greater opportunities for repairs and maintenance.
  • The advantages of long-term rental are a steady income and lower running costs. The stronger the relationship between landlord and tenant, the more trust is involved. It increases the likelihood of a tenant wanting to invest in the property and create a home. Therefore, reducing tenant turnover, lowering void periods and the risk of undesirable tenants. The outcome is a reliable income, reduced wear and tear and fewer ‘tenant-find’ fees.
  • Disadvantages of short-term renting include an unsteady income affected by market fluctuations. Sometimes for more time and effort. There can be an increase in maintenance as occupants take less care. Additional costs can add up as renters expect more amenities.
  • The disadvantage of long-term renting is losing the freedom to come and go. It can also be problematic if tenants fail to pay on time. Sometimes, the property is between tenants, resulting in associated costs. Damage will happen on occasion, and factoring in unexpected damage is essential.

Comments are closed.

Discover our online property management software and join our large landlord community. A simple, yet powerful tool used by thousands of landlords!