Short lets or long lets? The pros and cons

Short lets or long lets? The pros and cons

You know that soon you’ll need to dive into the sea that is real estate in Malta. Another thing is sure: you don’t want to buy. But you don’t know whether to go for a long let or a short let, or whether focus on value or spend a little more on luxury.  Key the words ‘Malta property’ in your browser and a wealth of properties come up in a market thriving with activity. And when there is so much to choose from, it’s not easy to decide. While, of course, we can’t make decisions for you, we do have a few ideas to help you think about it.

Short lets

Short lets are great if you know from the start that you won’t be living in the rented property for too long; a short let is for anything between a few weeks and a few months, generally around six months. Whatever the reason for your move - a definite work contract in Malta, studying at University, or even because you need a place to stay in while works are underway in your own home – there are many times when it just makes perfect sense to rent somewhere for a short time.


Opens a world of opportunities

One very important advantage of short lets is opportunities. If you’re moving to Malta and don’t know it very well, you might opt to choose to stay somewhere popular with newcomers, somewhere you’ve read about on travel websites. A short let gives you the peace of mind to move in, get acquainted with the area while giving you the possibility to decide whether it really is the right location for you. After all, there’s nothing better than living in Malta itself to start getting to know it well. 


Another thing to keep in mind is flexibility. With a short let, contrary to a long let, there is no binding contract, giving you the possibility to move out quickly if you need to. Therefore, if a new property comes up that you absolutely adore, you have the flexibility to leave at the end of the paid-up period without breaking any contracts. 

Making financial sense

Probably, a key deciding factor will be cost, since it will be a significant portion of your monthly expenditure. However, before rushing into concluding that a property you’ve just seen might be too expensive for you, sit down and crunch some numbers. Things to consider are: 

  • Confirm whether services, like water and electricity, are included in the rental fee. Don’t forget cooling and heating. Does the air conditioner work with a coin meter? If it does, you need to factor that in.
  • Check whether the property comes equipped with all the basic things, like furniture, bath and bed linen, crockery, and cutlery. If it lacks some items, how much money do you need to spend? Calculate and spread that amount over the number of weeks or months you’re planning to stay in the place. A slightly more expensive let could mean there is nothing else you need to buy and you might find that it works out pretty much the same, or cheaper.

If you’re opting for a short let because of major works being done to your home, consider spending a bit more on a larger property that fits in any furniture and personal belongings that need to be moved out of your home. If it doesn’t, it means that you’ll need to rent storage space for bulky items, plus transportation costs.  

Long lets

If you’re in for the long haul, it’s a no-brainer that you will need to rent long-term. A long let doesn’t mean a short let made longer (although that may or may not be possible,) it also means ‘stability’ and ‘peace of mind’.


Keeping your options open, especially when it comes to where to live next, is exciting. There comes a point, though, when you’ll want more stability.  Staying in a property with a long-term rent means that you can plan ahead – maybe that trip in a few months’ time, or that you can finally fill in that form with a local address.

More importantly, it means that you’ll know where you stand financially. Because long-lets are bound by a contract, you know how much rent you will be paying for the duration of the contract, which is a huge advantage for you as a tenant. Long let contracts mean you have a guaranteed place to live since the owner cannot find another tenant for higher rent before the agreed period is over. Conversely, it means that there are conditions to satisfy if, for any reason, you decide to terminate the contract. Discuss these conditions with your agent prior to signing. 

Long-term financial planning 

Another obvious gain from a long let is a financial one. It goes without saying, that long-lets have a lower monthly rent than short-lets.  You can also plan any future large purchases knowing that the rate is guaranteed.

Make it personal

Apart from stability, a long let offers a sense of personal space. Because you will be remaining in the property for a long time, you will be better inclined to decorate it your way with plants and by hanging up pictures or new curtains. Check with the owner whether it is OK for them, to drill in the walls. It is also one way of showing them that you are a respectable and trustworthy tenant.


While on the theme of trust, if you are in a short-term let and are happy, and have a good relationship with the owner, you could consider extending it to a long let. While some might be reluctant, preferring to rent for short periods only, try proposing it to the owner and see if they are interested. They might change their mind knowing that the tenant is trustworthy. And knowing that there is mutual trust, the owner could be willing to compromise on other terms in your new rental contract, like redecoration or a shorter notice period. 

Make sure you have the right agent

Whether it’s the excitement of letting life take you where it will or the comfort of knowing where you’ll be living in a year’s time, why don’t you speak to one of our consultants today? Over the past decade, QuickLets has established itself as the leading letting agency in Malta with a large team that is dedicated to being approachable and professional. You can also discover thousands of long and short let properties at 

Conway Wigg
Written By

Conway Wigg