Is Airbnb for Short-Term Rentals?


You’re thinking of renting your property or spare room but aren’t sure if listing on Airbnb or other vacation rental distribution sites counts as a short-term rental. Here at AllTheRooms Analytics, we’ve taken a look at the definition of a ‘short-term’ rental, as well as case studies of cities around the world, and why short-term rentals are so popular. So, is Airbnb for short-term rentals? Here’s what we know.

Definition of a Short-Term Rental

Generally, in the travel industry, a short-term rental is considered to be a property that is rented out for three months or less. Properties rented for longer than three months are normally considered to be long-term rentals. There’s a high demand for short-term rentals in cities all around the world, as travelers want a cheaper and more local experience — which is something short-term rentals can provide.

Airbnb is mainly used for short-term rentals, with a high demographic of young travelers and business travelers looking for a place to stay for a week or less. It is much more expensive to rent long term through Airbnb, so generally speaking, Airbnb is regarded as a short-term rental platform.


Exacerbating The Long-Term Rental Market 

Cities all around the world have been clamping down on the short-term rental industry, including the likes of New York, Toronto, Paris, and London. Since the arrival of vacation rental platforms such as Airbnb, cities that are popular tourist destinations have found it increasingly difficult to control rent prices for locals. This is because if you’re a landlord, you can make a lot more money by renting short-term than you can do by renting long-term — and many are jumping on the Airbnb bandwagon to do so. As a result, cities around the world have been imposing their own rules and regulations to help clamp down on the effects of the booming short-term rental industry.


New York City Case Study

To take New York as an example, a short-term rental is defined as anything less than 30 days.

There’s a really high demand for short-term rentals in NYC, as tourists want to stay in authentic New York apartments and get a glimpse of what life could be like as a local. Hotels in New York City are notoriously expensive — and staying in an Airbnb can be significantly cheaper. As a result of the demand, the rental industry has been aggravated and laws have been put in place to help protect local residents.

New York imposes a strict 30-day rule, whereby city laws dictate that it is illegal to rent an apartment, condo, or a co-op for a period of fewer than 30 days. The only exception is if the owner is also present during the short-term rental period. This law is a regulation imposed on apartments, condos, and co-ops that are in buildings with three or more residential units, which is known as ‘multiple dwelling’ in state law. What this means is that New Yorkers can be present in their apartment during ‘short-term’ stays (anything less than 30 days), but the downside is that the tenant, or owner, has to be present during the guests’ stay.


Singapore Case Study

Singapore has even stricter laws on Airbnb and the short-term rental industry. In Singapore, short-term rentals are illegal. Airbnb and other home rental platforms have been pushing to change the regulations for years, however, they have been unsuccessful. In Singapore, there’s a minimum stay of three months. It’s strictly enforced, and very hard to find short-term rentals through legal channels.


Taxing Short-Term Rentals

As there are rules and regulations surrounding short-term rentals, it’s normal for the homeowner or tenant listing the property to have to pay tax on Airbnb and short-term rentals.


Why Are Short-Term Rentals So Popular?


One of the best things about staying in an Airbnb or vacation rental is they offer a lot more privacy than a hotel. By staying in an Airbnb, guests don’t have to stick to the strict rules of a hotel. Guests can come and go as they please, they don’t have to greet hotel staff or make small talk, and they can have the full privacy of their own space.

Airbnb rentals have private common areas, such as lounges, patios, terraces, kitchens, and gardens, which mean you can really spread out and feel like you’re staying in your very own ‘home from home’. You’ll have total privacy and if want to stay up late making memories with friends or family members, you can do so without being interrupted by hotel staff and asked to leave the lobby area or to keep the noise down. Many travelers feel this kind of private experience makes some of the best, lasting memories. 

‘Home From Home’

There’s nothing quite like feeling you’re at home, even when you’re thousands of miles away. While hotels, apart-studios, and hostels often look sleek and well-designed, they can feel clinical or sterile and lack that something special you find in a private home rental. 

Feel Like a Local

One of the best things about staying in a short-term rental is that guests can see the destination through the eyes of a local. They can also stay in more local neighborhoods, get to know the nearby shops and cafes, and get a feel for what it would be like to live there. This is one of the reasons many travelers opt to stay in an Airbnb. From staying in a charming Parisian flat, through to a cozy cabin in Canada, short-term rentals are a much more special experience than being in a hotel.

Enjoy the Whole Space of a Rental

Vacation rentals generally offer much more space than a hotel and are much more economical. If you’re going on vacation with your family, you can make significant savings by staying in a short-term rental. 

Putting your home on the short-term rental market? See what your local competition is doing with AllTheRooms. Download your free sample report today!