Airbnb vs Short Lets

There is a renewed spring in the London step this year. Airports, hotels and retail are finally seeing pre-Covid numbers return to the UK, along with an emerging unique market in the property industry – short term rentals.

With the changes in interest rates over the past few months, landlords and vendors alike have been looking for new ways to capitalise on the rental markets.

We are seeing more businesses now offer a similar service to the likes of Airbnb in London, which brings a debate of ‘what makes short lets different?’

March through to June is a very popular time for short let rentals. There is an influx of clientele, particularly from the Middle East – often double the typical numbers – who come to the UK for Ramadan.

London provides an easier climate than the scorching 40+ degrees seen in the Middle Eastern sphere, a good British Pound Sterling (GBP) ratio, and a Mayor of London who embraces culture, welcoming all with respect, wanting visitors to feel at ease, especially in the knowledge they are helping reboot the UK economy.

Over the last decade or more, the short let market has changed constantly, but with new money from all parts of the globe consistently coming back to the UK, at John D Wood & Co. we are confident in our ability to be agile and adapt to the ever-changing desires of clients – both current and potential.

Our short term offering has exploded in the rental sector – last year we received a short let enquiry every 32 minutes* and more of our clients, whether they are typically longer term landlords or even vendors, are asking us for more recommendations and options than ever before. Whilst, we may be seen as a relatively ‘new player’ gathering our market share in this arena, it’s important to highlight our experience, as well as why we are different.

John D Wood & Co. Short Let offering

Airbnb offering

Cover all aspects of the market from core to Super Prime

Core market

Ability to offer a discreet marketing campaign if needed

Focus for properties to be seen on market, with reliance on exposure

Contacts in corporate (i.e. partnerships with embassies searching for their attachés / diplomats) and overseas markets

Relying on their name and previous successes

Contacts with film industry providers looking for homes for filming/ad campaigns or VIPs accommodation

Not applicable

A home away from home service, including a welcome pack for the property and assistance to the owner making sure all required items are available and the house prepared for the tenant


Bio of the potential tenant is provided and they are pre-vetted for suitability

Booking added / number of people

Minimum stay of 31 days to avoid numerous people coming in at one set time, whilst having ability to be flexible and adapt to all stays

Daily rate bookings mostly popular for short stay holidays

We have an in-house property management team and they will meet you at the property

Airbnb host information given / limited at times

Assistance with safety and compliance

Points are added to the Airbnb host page and they are advised to include but unable to see if its monitored

Collaboration capabilities with furniture providers to stage your home for short terms rentals. Option to rent furniture so the property is turn-key ready

Take as seen –

by Airbnb host description

Housekeeping services are available before/during/after for your return or for another applicant

Same but under the Airbnb host discretion

Recommendations by our relocation agents and buying agents – for temporary ‘short let’ accommodation while they search on behalf of their clients looking to buy or rent long-term

Relying on their name and previous successes.

Agreement to keep properties on the market and allowing viewings for both sales and lettings whilst rented

Not allowed

*Source: John D Wood & Co. internal data 2023.


Sinéad Conlon MARLA
Head of Client Services, Corporate Services & Short Term rentals

Learn more about short lets

If you are considering short letting your property, or indeed wish to short let, please contact our Short Lets Department.