When you’re booking accommodation, do you want to stay with a host or a landlord?

If you offer accommodation to others at your property, do you consider yourself a landlord or a host?

What’s the difference? Let’s see what the dictionary has to say. First, what is the definition of a host?

a person who receives or entertains other people as guests

Now, let’s see the definition of a landlord:

a person who rents land, a building, or an apartment to a tenant

There will be times when you are looking for a landlord and other times when you’d rather stay with a host. But I imagine that for most people, a host would be much more suitable when they are looking for somewhere to stay for a vacation or for a few days on a business trip.

In other words, remembering those definitions, sometimes you want to be treated as a ‘guest’ and other times as a ‘tenant’. But I think that most of us would rather be a ‘guest’. The relationship is so much friendlier and somehow less formal.

Both landlords and hosts are offering a business relationship. When you stay at a hotel you are a guest and the innkeepers are your hosts. You are paying for the hospitality services they provide. And quite often, when staying with a host, your accommodation is inclusive – in that you don’t have to pay any additional money for usages such as electricity, water and so on.

With a landlord, the arrangement is more formalised. The chances are then when you rent from a landlord on a longer-term basis, it’s you who will be responsible for your utilities. But that is only one difference.

The main difference is service – and its quality.

Many people have made the switch for one state (that of being a landlord) to the other. They have tried to become hosts. This is because many landlords – people who have previously rented out their properties to long-term tenants – have been lead to believe that they can cash in by appealing to short-term visitors.

After all, short-term tenants will pay much more than a long-term renter will. And it’s easy to advertise online. It must make sense, yes?

Actually, no.

People who are renting a place on a short-term basis, for a few days or even a couple of weeks, are on vacation. Even if that’s not the ‘real’ reason for their trip they are away from home and ready to enjoy their stay. And they want to enjoy an element of real life.

In other words, they are looking for hospitality.

And of course, what these landlords are doing is taking properties away from the market that needs them – that of people looking for homes rather than vacation accommodation.

But not for long.

Landlords soon realise that catering for short-term rental guests, people who are away from home with a view to enjoying themselves, isn’t the easy money they thought it would be. Also, in today’s review-culture, short-term accommodation provided by a landlord rather than a host isn’t attracting good reviews.

Landlords and hosts are two very different things. If you’re looking for short-term accommodation, choose a host. 🙂




JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.


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