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I love using AirBnb to rent a house from a real person, but often come across properties which are listed on AirBnb by a professional rental agency. In this case you're charged whatever fee the agency is charging the owner, plus AirBnb's fee.

enter image description here

Within Australia it's often possible to find the identical house on a rival site such as Stayz.com for the same price, minus the AirBnb fee.

Is there a reputable alternative to AirBnb for short-term house rental in London, UK?

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My searching lead me to Plum Guide, which looks like a slightly more up-market and curated version of AirBnb, aimed specifically at London.

It gets some snarky reviews on Trip Advisor (for what that's worth) but they're mostly complaints about how pretentious the company is, rather than the quality of the houses.

The company's service fee is bundled into the overall price so it's hard to gauge whether it's comparable to AirBnb's booking fee, but I booked a similar house with the total price being a few hundred dollars less than the price in the AirBnb screenshot above.

Edit: I can report that the property we chose is nice, although the Plum Guide hasn't gone to any greater effort than other booking sites I've previously used. The company seems a bit amateurish and doesn't hold up to their own rather lofty ambitions.

  • What makes you believe this website charges less than what Airbnb does? – JonathanReez Oct 3 '17 at 4:52
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    in the third paragraph I said that it's hard to tell, but that I found a similar house for less than the AirBnb price. Also, the question is "what are some alternatives", and this is an alternative. Wanting to avoid paying the fee was simply my motivation – Stephen Lead Oct 3 '17 at 5:01
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HomeAway.com is VERY similar to AirBNB. In fact, it looks like they bought the map-based search code from the same place.

However, they have MANY listings that claim to be free or a dollar a night with humongous security deposits. Makes me suspicious of the honesty.

Since posting the above, I also discovered "AllTheRooms.com" which aggregates listings from AirBNB and several other sites. Unlike AirBNB, it allows you to sort by price. Otherwise, the interface is similar.

  • We've rented property in London, in Paris and in central Florida using HomeAway.com, and all were good. I suspect focusing on realistic-looking rentals will make sense. – Jim MacKenzie Dec 7 '17 at 22:27
  • either HomeAway or AirBnb have been quite shameless in 'taking inspiration' from the other's interface ;) – Stephen Lead Dec 7 '17 at 22:47
  • But when the first seven look shady, and you report them, and HomeAway responds with excuses.... I think I'll stick with AirBNB. But one thing I've noticed lately with AirBNB is that when I put restrictions on my search, they assume I didn't really mean it. Price limit—they show things higher. Click on a good price on the map, and the listing has a different price and/or says those dates aren't available. Refresh the map page and it still shows that listing. – WGroleau Dec 8 '17 at 1:25

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