The rise of Airbnb and short-term room rentals has been a huge boost both for budget travellers and for home owners to raise side income from their properties. Finland is no exception. In fact, Airbnb rentals have doubled the income of some landlords and made an otherwise expensive country much more affordable to visit.
Being a landlord in Finland is hard work for not much return. Forbes estimates that landlords earn a profit of around $200 to $400 per month for each of their properties. In Finland, the maintenance costs are much higher, due to the additional charge of keeping the properties well-heated and free from snow in the winter. This is on top of being on-call 24 hours a day, fixing all maintenance problems, putting up with loud and messy tenants, and the high tenant turnover.
According to YLE, tenants in smaller Finnish towns are seeing a drop in income due to decreased numbers of tenants looking for properties. They have instead found a higher demand for short-term rentals. Making the switch has seen some landlords double their income, with fewer disturbances from difficult tenants and their empty rooms filling up.
It is not only the landlords who are benefiting from the short-term rental boom. The tenants are getting a lot from it too. Airbnbs are being used in Finland not only by tourists but by business travellers, students, road trippers, and parents of exchange students who need a cheap room for a few nights but can’t afford hotel rates.
While affordable accommodation isn’t too difficult to find in the capital city of Helsinki, in the smaller towns and villages it is almost impossible to find cheap rooms, and the few that do exist fill up fast. Larger families or groups also have trouble finding rooms to fit all of them. Airbnb fills this gap in the market and brings more tourism revenue into these small towns, which is why local tourists boards are pushing for the option to attract more visitors.
Finland is one of the more expensive countries for tourists to visit but staying in an Airbnb rental rather than a hotel room is a major cost-cutting measure. Travellers not only save money on their accommodation and car parking but also get to cook their own food, saving money on expensive restaurant meals every night. It also opens up their options for how much of Finland they can explore, seeing more of the place than they otherwise would, and getting to stay longer to really take in the entire country.