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International Temporary Housing: Critical Considerations

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When you hear the words “temporary housing”, they can bring up different ideas and images based upon where you live and travel. There are some distinctions between US temporary housing and international temporary housing that business travelers should be aware of. To help you navigate your options, here are a few facts that can better your understanding of international housing options.

Serviced Apartments: What is it?

Also referred to as Serviced Apartments or “Aparthotels”, this type of temporary housing is defined as an alternative form of accommodations for short and long-term leisure or business travelers. Serviced apartments usually feature a secured entry, 24-hour reception, front-desk attendants and parking facilities, these types of lodgings are most commonly located in the main areas of the city, such as the downtown area or central-business district.

Providing a hotel-like environment, accommodations can range from basic to deluxe, with room sizes that vary from studio/efficiency rooms to as large as two or three-bedroom apartment with separate living areas. Most serviced apartments offer a small kitchenettes and limited appliances are typically customary. Weekly maid service and linen change are common. High-end serviced apartments may also include luxury features and may be associated with a hotel, where guests may have access to the hotel amenities such as spa or room-service.

Rental Terms and Securing the Accommodations for Aparthotels:

A Reservation Confirmation stating the terms agreed upon is typically all that is required to secure accommodations at many aparthotels. All fees, deposits, taxes, tariffs and option to extend and necessary notice details should be included.

Key Points Business Travelers should be aware of:

  • Serviced Apartments are not individual residences as in the US and are run similarly to hotels. However, unlike hotels, many Serviced Apartments do require some type of background checks.
  • All reservations and original stated departure date are considered firm. The guest must request an extension of stay beyond the original move-out date provided if needed. Shorter stays are also available; however, rates will be higher and VAT taxes (Value Added Taxes) will apply. Most temporary housing companies will request an Option to Extend (OTE) beyond the initial reservation at the time of booking. It is recommended to request an extension as early into your stay as possible as they are not guaranteed.
  • Reservations can be canceled but are subject to cancellation and “no-show” fees as agreed upon in the Reservation Confirmation.
  • Initial rates quoted can change before final booking. Rates are subject to change based on currency fluctuations and occupancy, just like a hotel.
  • Guests can check in at the service desk or concierge services desk and they are customarily on-site 24 hours per day.

Hopefully, this list of key considerations assists in your understanding in international temporary housing. Much like temporary and corporate housing options in the US, Serviced Apartments or Aparthotels are great options for long-term or extended business travel. But unlike traditional temporary housing in the US, Serviced Apartments and Aparthotels may also offer additional flexibility for short-term stays.

Long Term Projects in North America? Read our blog regarding domestic temporary housing.