The Short-Term Rental Market is Hurting

As the early numbers start to come out, the evidence is clear that the short-term rental market is feeling the sting of the pandemic. The numbers are showing that the money for short-term rentals has all but stopped flowing in most parts of the country. This has to do with the shelter in place orders that have been enacted across almost the entire United States.

Short-term rentals are usually rented out by individuals and families who are going on vacation. Typically, this is a hot time for renting out houses because many families are going on Spring Break to places such as the beach and the mountains. Unfortunately, this simply isn’t happening this year. Domestic travel has been all but banned due to the spread of the coronavirus. While much of the attention has been focused on how the airline industry has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, those who make their livings off of short-term rentals are getting hurt as well.

In addition to vacations, short-term rentals are also used by people who come to town for events such as concerts and sports. It is not unusual for people to have trouble finding a hotel room for these events, particularly one that is affordable. This has led to a rise in the popularity of these short-term rentals for these major events. Because these events typically take place with tens of thousands of people present, it is easy to see why they have been canceled as well. This has led to a glut of people canceling their short-term rentals, leaving these properties vacant for extended periods of time.

Cleary the short-term rental market is getting hit from both sides. While a lot of attention has been paid to landlords trying to forgive or postpone rent payments during the pandemic, the reality is that landlords are suffering as well. When rent payments stop flowing, landlords have trouble paying their bills as well. Keep in mind that landlords are responsible for paying their mortgages, home insurance bills, and utility bills for the property. Furthermore, with tax season present, real estate taxes are due during this time as well. For this reason, it is important for everyone to think about how the short-term rental market is going to be impacted by the pandemic.

With this in mind, what can landlords and property owners do to try to ease the burden? The most important option involves mortgage payments. If money is tight, it is a good idea to speak to the lender (such as the bank and credit union) to see if there is any way to push back the mortgage payments during the pandemic. This could remove a significant amount of the financial stress associated with the lack of income.


Alex is the co-author of 100 Greatest Plays, 100 Greatest Cricketers, 100 Greatest Films and 100 Greatest Moments. He has written for a wide variety of publications including The Observer, The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail, The Guardian and The Telegraph.

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