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When is the Best Time to Rent an Apartment?

By: Sania Tran
January 9, 2020

Did you know you could save tons of money on rent just by searching in the right month?

Just like a job search, apartment prices have seasonality and patterns that fluctuate over the year. If you're on the hunt for the best deal possible, it's crucial to be strategic and timely with your search.

So, when is the best time to rent an apartment? Here's everything you need to know, backed by research.

The Best Time to Rent an Apartment is During Winter

If you thought that moving in winter is a pain, you're not alone. Most people don't like relocating in winter. This is especially true in cities like Boston, Chicago or New York, where snowstorms and icy roads can cause delays and affect moving plans.

Since the majority of renters find moving in winter dreadful, it's the best time to score a deal on an apartment. The demand for apartments is typically at its lowest in December and January.

Property managers still need to have their units filled to keep the vacancy rates low. Therefore, winter months give renters the most leverage when negotiating rent prices and scoring deals.

Apartment Availability is at its Peak in Summer

On the flip side, you'll be hard-pressed to find an apartment in the trendiest location with top-of-the-line amenities in the winter. The moving season starts in March and peaks in August. As leases come to an end and people move, a wider selection of apartments hit the market.

Whether you are looking for a cozy studio in a trendy district or a spacious two-bedroom apartment in a good school district, you are more likely to find one during these months. However, as it's peak moving season, prices will be higher.

Be Prepared for Higher Competition in Peak Season

Despite having more options in the summer, you have to be alert and fast with your applications. Demand for apartments increases drastically because it's the time of the year when people make major life changes.

Former high schoolers look for apartments in college towns. College grads relocate to major cities in search of job opportunities. Families try to move before the beginning of the school year. It's a cutthroat time for the apartment market.

During this time, landlords receive more leads than any other time of year. Therefore, renters must be extra alert and proactive about contacting properties. Be prepared to strike fast on an apartment, as there could be plenty of suitors interested in the same unit.

Remember, since demand is so high at this time, rent prices will be their highest during these popular summer months.

Start Your Apartment Search Early

Apartment searches pick up in December and January and slowly increase until their peak in July. The more people are out there searching for a new apartment, the more competition you have. Even if you are planning to move in the summer, you want to begin your apartment hunt when the rental market is slow. The earlier you start the choosier you can be.

Should You Break your Lease Early for a Great Deal?

The best time to rent is in the winter, but your lease is up in the summer. You might be weighing the pros and cons of breaking a lease early to score an awesome deal. This should not be the case unless you have a valid excuse.

Breaking a lease early can result in you losing your security deposit and burning bridges with your landlord. This is not a good idea, as you often need to provide rental references for future applications.

Carefully read your lease terms before making any moves. If after all the considerations you decide to move out early, write a notice to vacate to your landlord and suggest helping them to find potential tenants to avoid penalties.

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