The internet is a bittersweet addition to our modern lives.
Like, on one hand, we have Netflix. But on the other hand, we have Netflix. See what I mean?
But I’ve had one of those weeks that I’m actually feeling really pro-internet. Why? It’s helping me rent a house…for free.
So here’s the situation: the owner of our amazing apartment is a lovely chap who lives in London. Once a year, he returns to Australia for two to three months over summer for work. This means that come December, my partner and I need to vacate for eight weeks or so.
Yeah, sure! we said as we signed the tenancy agreement back in January, that’s totally fine! Easy! No worries! Cheerio! Toodle-oo!
But as the year rolls on, this break in our tenancy has loomed large – and I’m starting to think ‘no worries’ might have been a slight understatement.
I am a Type A Personality with a tendency to dramatise small situations; whilst my partner is a laissez-faire optimist who keeps smiling knowingly and saying that ‘it will sort itself out’.
Low and behold, we’re just two months out, and the immaculate conception solution has not yet fallen from the sky. So, I grabbed the reins and started to review our options.
We’ve got to vacate for two months. Not even quite two months. It’s a neither-here-nor-there time frame that is actually quite sticky to work with.
Over this period we have Christmas, New Year, and my father’s 70th, so we’ll be travelling a fair bit – so renting an Airbnb wasn’t a good idea, as we’ll be back and forth so much. Crashing at our parent’s respective houses wasn’t exactly a long-term solution either. So what were we meant to do for two months?
(At this point I would like to note that my partner suggested, in all seriousness, that we live either live on a boat or move to Thailand. Can you see what I’m up against?)
We couldn't find a rental property because the time was too short, and we couldn't
live my dream move into a hotel because it was too long. Again, I ask: what do you DO for two months?
Alas, my trusty frenemy, The Internet, saved the day. As it turns out, the modern world of house-hunting has changed a lot in recent years.
After doing a deep dive into alternative short-term rental options, I actually stumbled across some pretty amazing solutions. Many of which, unbelievable, are FREE.
Here are three actual-real-life options for short-term accommodation.
1) House sitting / Pet sitting
Like a giant online noticeboard, there are hundreds of websites that collate and curate local house sitting opportunities. Usually, these are people who do not want to list on AirbBnb because they have pets that need caring for, or a home they would rather rent to locals.
PROS: It's absolutely free. Sometimes, they'll even pay YOU to look after their pets.
CONS: The dates are super specific, because the owners are away on holiday and their pets need to be fed, like, every day. Oh, and most sites have a small membership fee to sign up.