Serviced Apartments VS Renting: Which Is The Better Short-Term Accommodation Choice?

Written by on 19th September 2017
Category: Business Travel

Why rent a flat when you can stay in a serviced apartment? Why, indeed. With the rate at which the global cost of living is rising, it’s no surprise that people are forgoing traditional forms of temporary housing in favour of other short-term accommodation options.

A 2015 report revealed it’s cheaper to stay in a five star hotel than rent a studio flat in London. In one example, a hotel in The City was found to be more than £200 cheaper than equivalent furnished studios, and offer greater amenities along with savings on Wi-Fi and council tax. But, as great as hotels are, serviced apartments are a far better short-term option.

In this blog post, we explore the pros and cons of renting vs. staying in a serviced apartment.


With private renting, landlords have the freedom to increase your rent at will. While a fixed-term tenancy may protect you against any unwanted inflation, a landlord can, at the end of that contract, raise your rent as they see fit. This means that, a year down the line, you could actually be worse off, financially, than you were to begin with.

By comparison, the cost of staying in a serviced apartment reduces, long-term. From the 29th day onwards, your VAT contribution drops for 20% to 4%, allowing you to make a valued saving in the process. For example, if a serviced apartment is £150 per night, after 28 days, that price falls to roughly £110 per night.


Renting gives you the flexibility to relocate comfortably, without fear of being tied to a mortgage. This is ideal for those who are constantly on the move, due to work or family commitments. Moving out is also easy, seeing as the responsibility of finding someone to replace you sits with the landlord. On the other hand, it’s difficult to rent short-term. You usually have to commit to six months or a year at least.

Serviced apartments offer much greater freedom. As most apartments come fully furnished, there’s no need for you to purchase furniture, nor remove it when you leave. This way you save on removal costs. There’s also no deposit, as is the case with a fixed tenancy. Better still, there’s less paperwork and no notice period. Guests also benefit from access to maintenance and support services at no extra cost.

Location choices

Generally speaking, the smaller your rent budget, the less likely you are to live centrally. Affluent areas pack a hefty price tag, which only increases with the size of a property and its proximity to shops, schools and public transport.

With serviced apartments, however, you can stay where you want for excellent prices – especially in London. Affordable apartments can be found in Belgravia, Knightsbridge, Oxford Street, and other such exclusive districts. Serviced apartments are readily available, but with more and more people squeezing onto the property ladder, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to rent comfortably.


Most renters look for similar characteristics in a new home including good quality appliances, space and transport links. Tenants with cars also seek available parking nearby – even if it is difficult to come by. Finding a property which meets this criteria isn’t always straightforward.

By comparison, the things we call luxuries in a rented flat are often standard features in a serviced apartment. Free Wi-Fi is another given, along with complimentary tea and coffee. For a good price, you can also have access to spa and leisure facilities like a swimming pool or Jacuzzi.

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