Flatio Review: A Promising Airbnb Alternative for Mid-term Rentals

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Written by: | Last updated on April 1, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes
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Flatio is an Airbnb-style platform that focuses on monthly and medium-term rentals, with a minimum stay of five nights. It’s particularly popular with digital nomads and remote workers who are looking for a more affordable alternative to Airbnb and Booking.com.

Flatio offers rentals throughout Europe, including Barcelona, Madrid, and Berlin, as well as Portugal. In Portugal, the majority of Flatio’s listings are in Lisbon, but you will also find rentals in Porto, the Algarve, Madeira, and the Azores. 

Flatio is perfect if you’re looking for an Airbnb alternative, whether that’s for cheaper rentals or simply just to get more options if all the Airbnbs are booked up. It doesn’t have as many listings as Airbnb, but it is another good site to use and increase your options. 

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Has many listings that aren’t on Airbnb or other rental sites. 
  • No Deposits are required for stays under 6 months.
  • Some landlords are open to providing a 1-year rental with a contract registered at Finanças. 
  • The lease agreement is signed online.
  • Utilities and Wi-Fi are included in the rent, as with Airbnb. 
  • Virtual tours available for some accommodations.
  • Flatio will provide (or cover) backup accommodation for up to 7 nights if there’s a problem with the accommodation. 
  • Many properties list their internet upload and download speeds, which is helpful for digital nomads. 

Cons:

  • Booking attracts a service fee which fluctuates based on the rental duration and amount.
  • Flatio’s operations are mostly limited to Europe, making it less suitable for those seeking accommodations elsewhere.
  • Shortest stay offered is 5 days. 
  • Listings don’t have as many reviews as on Airbnb. 
  • The service fee is quite high and the pricing doesn’t initially include this. 

Costs

Because Flatio doesn’t have as many listings as Airbnb, you may actually find cheaper properties on Airbnb as opposed to Flatio.

We searched for properties in Lisbon for less than €1,200 per month and while Flatio didn’t show any results, Airbnb brought up around 10 results. Admittedly, some of these were caravans and campervans but it did also list one or two small apartments in Lisbon City Centre. 

Unlike Airbnb, Flatio doesn’t charge cleaning fees, which is nice as this can often drastically increase the cost of an Airbnb. It does, however, charge a service fee like Airbnb. On Flatio the service fee varies depending on the length of the stay and other factors, but you should expect it to be around 18% versus around 10% on Airbnb. 

Most properties had a cancellation policy of either seven days or 14 days, which is more flexible than on most Airbnb listings. 

How reliable is Flatio?

Like Airbnb or any other property marketplace, the challenge is always finding a reliable landlord. For this reason, it’s a good idea to focus on properties that have multiple reviews from previous guests.

Conclusion

Flatio probably won’t replace Airbnb anytime soon but it does provide a nice alternative to it. Properties didn’t seem significantly cheaper than Airbnb, despite more of a focus on mid-term rentals, and having fewer reviews made it harder to judge a property. The service fee also increases the cost. 

However, Flatio does have a good inventory across Portugal and so it could be a good alternative to Airbnb, both for medium and longer term rentals. And for those looking to connect with landlords to get an official rental contract that’s valid for a residency visas, Flatio provides a great platform for doing that. 

Written by

James Cave is the founder of Portugalist and the author of the bestselling book, Moving to Portugal Made Simple. He has visited just about every part of Portugal, including Madeira and all nine islands of the Azores, and lived in several parts of Portugal including Lisbon, the Algarve, and Northern Portugal.