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Long-Term Rentals: 7 Ways They Can Help You Weather a Recession

by Salvatore Triolo

aDoor Real Estate, Broker-Associate
Salvatore Triolo

Short-term rentals typically refer to properties that are rented for periods ranging from one evening up to one month. On the other hand, long-term rentals are usually rented for one month or longer. It's important to note that the distinction between short-term and long-term rentals is primarily based on the duration of the rental rather than the type of property.

Investors may choose to position their vacation rental as either short-term or long-term based on various factors, such as maximizing cash flow in a specific market or personal preference.

Long-term Rental Benefits

As the economy fluctuates, many people worry about how to protect themselves and their finances during a recession. In this blog, we will explore the benefits of owning long-term rentals and how they can help you weather a recession.

Reliable and Steady Income

Long-term rentals offer a consistent and reliable income stream. Unlike short-term rentals, which are subject to seasonal fluctuations and unpredictable demand, long-term rentals provide a stable monthly rental income. This steady cash flow can help cover expenses, mortgage payments, and even serve as a supplemental income during a recession. This stability is especially beneficial for property owners seeking a steady cash flow.

Tenant Retention

In a recession, people tend to seek affordable and stable housing options. Long-term rentals often attract tenants looking for extended stays and are more likely to commit to a lease agreement. Tenant retention becomes more crucial during a downturn as vacancies can impact cash flow. By maintaining long-term tenants, property owners can reduce turnover costs and ensure a consistent rental income.

Property Value Appreciation

While the real estate market may experience temporary declines during a recession, properties generally appreciate over the long term. By holding onto a long-term rental property, owners can benefit from potential property value appreciation, which can offset any short-term downturn in the market. Over time, as the economy recovers, the property's value can increase, providing owners with a valuable asset.

With longer lease terms, tenants often take better care of the property, leading to reduced maintenance and repair expenses. Regular inspections and communication with tenants can help address any issues promptly.

Diversification of Investments

During a recession, diversifying one's investment portfolio becomes essential. Owning a long-term rental property allows individuals to diversify their investments beyond traditional stocks, bonds, or savings accounts. Real estate investments, especially in rental properties, can provide a hedge against economic downturns and help spread investment risk across different asset classes.

Tax Advantages

Long-term rental property owners can benefit from various tax advantages. Expenses related to property management, maintenance, repairs, and mortgage interest payments may be tax-deductible. Additionally, property owners can depreciate the value of the property over time, reducing their taxable rental income. These tax benefits can contribute to improved cash flow and provide financial relief during a recession.

Potential for Rental Rate Adjustments

During a recession, demand for rental properties may increase as people postpone homeownership or downsize their living arrangements. This increased demand can provide an opportunity for property owners to adjust rental rates accordingly. While maintaining competitive rates, owners can still capitalize on market conditions and generate a higher rental income, helping to offset any economic challenges.

Opportunity for Long-Term Wealth Creation

Investing in long-term rental properties aligns with a wealth-building strategy. Over time, rental income, property appreciation, and mortgage principal paydown can contribute to long-term wealth creation. By weathering economic downturns and holding onto valuable properties, owners position themselves for continued financial growth and stability.

With long-term rentals, turnover costs such as cleaning, marketing, and maintenance are minimized since tenants stay for more extended periods. This can help save time and money, allowing owners to focus on other aspects of property management. Long-term vacation rentals require less marketing compared to short-term rentals. Once a tenant is secured, owners can enjoy the convenience of fewer vacancies and a reduced need for continuous advertising and guest turnover.

Long-term and short-term vacation rental properties offer unique opportunities and considerations for property owners. Whether you're looking to invest in a vacation rental or rent one for your next trip, understanding the pros and cons of each option is essential. In this blog, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of long-term and short-term vacation rental properties.

Long-term Rental Risks

Potential Income Limitations

Long-term rentals may offer lower rental rates compared to short-term rentals, limiting the potential income generated from the property. However, this can be offset by the stability and reduced expenses associated with longer-term tenancies.

Limited Flexibility

Long-term rentals require a commitment from both the tenant and the property owner. Owners may experience limited flexibility in using the property for personal use or making changes to the rental terms until the lease agreement ends.

Short-Term Vacation Rental Properties

Higher Rental Income Potential

Short-term vacation rentals generally command higher rental rates, especially in popular tourist destinations or during peak seasons. This provides an opportunity for property owners to generate substantial income in a shorter period.

Flexibility for Personal Use

Owners of short-term vacation rentals can enjoy the flexibility of using the property for personal vacations or allowing friends and family to stay. This versatility can be appealing for those seeking a vacation property that can also serve as a personal getaway.

Seasonal Adjustments

Short-term rentals allow owners to adjust rental rates based on market demand and seasonal variations. This flexibility enables property owners to maximize rental income during peak times while keeping rates competitive during slower periods.

Short-term Rental Liabilities

Higher Management Efforts

Short-term rentals require more frequent turnover and management tasks, including cleaning, guest communication, and marketing. Property owners must invest time and resources to ensure a seamless guest experience and maintain positive reviews.

Increased Expenses

Operating a short-term vacation rental often incurs higher expenses, including professional cleaning services, furnishings, utilities, and marketing costs. These additional expenses should be factored into the overall financial calculations.

Fluctuating Occupancy Rates

Short-term rentals are more susceptible to fluctuations in demand, which can result in periods of low occupancy. Property owners should be prepared for potential revenue inconsistencies, especially during off-peak seasons or unforeseen circumstances like economic downturns or pandemics.

Property Management

Ultimately, the choice between long-term and short-term vacation rental properties depends on individual goals, preferences, and market conditions. Owners seeking stability and lower management involvement may opt for long-term rentals, while those looking for higher income potential and flexibility may lean towards short-term rentals.

Before making a decision, it's crucial to conduct thorough market research, analyze financial projections, understand local regulations, and consider your personal circumstances. Consulting with real estate professionals or property management companies can provide valuable insights and guidance throughout the decision-making process.

It's important to note that investing in long-term rental properties requires thorough research, understanding market conditions, and proper property management. Engaging professional assistance from real estate agents, property managers, and financial advisors can help navigate the complexities of property ownership and maximize the benefits.

Owning property that serves as a long-term rental can provide a range of advantages during a recession. From a reliable and steady income stream to potential property appreciation and tax benefits, long-term rentals offer stability, diversification, and wealth-building opportunities. By carefully selecting properties, effectively managing rentals, and adapting to market conditions, investors can position themselves to weather economic uncertainties and achieve long-term financial success.


If you’re interested in turning your property into a long-term rental, partner with aDoor Property Management, Professionalism is important in the property management and sales business. aDoor sets high standards of operation for our staff, implement services by experts, and incorporate documents prepared by our landlord-tenant attorney and broker to protect your property value.

(Salvatore Triolo is a broker-associate at aDoor Real Estate. If you need help with selling your property, contact aDoor Real Estate. You can learn more about Salvatore Triolo here.)

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