The typical apartment lease is 12 months, but what if your life prevents you from committing to a home for a full year? Maybe you have work commitments that might require you to switch locations on short notice. Or perhaps you simply don’t want to commit to an apartment for the full 12 months. A year is a long time, and you want to be sure of a place before making that big commitment. Renting an apartment on a shorter lease may be best for you.
The main reason a renter looks for a shorter term lease: the flexibility. Whether you’re paying month-to-month or on a quick 3-month lease, the flexibility is a huge benefit. Not sure about a new job, or a new city? You won’t be tied down for a full year, which could be a big deal depending on your situation.
Lack of Stability
Yes you have all of the flexibility, but your landlord also wants stability. Put yourself in your landlord’s shoes: would you rather have a tenant on a year long lease, or on a month-to-month lease? Landlord’s want to have their units filled. Your landlord might be actively looking to replace your unit with a tenant who commits longer term. If you aren’t comfortable with being moved out of your apartment on short notice, a short-term lease isn’t for you.
Since short-term leases aren’t preferred by landlords, the rent prices will be higher. How much of a price hike varies apartment to apartment, but it’s usually a pretty significant increase. You might be able to afford a much nicer place if you opt for a traditional 12 month lease.
In for the Long Haul
Once you’ve signed the twelve month lease, you’re committed to stick to it. If you’re reading this article, you likely aren’t too jazzed about the idea of a long-term lease. There’s very little opportunity of breaking a lease early without facing some sort of consequences.
Compared to a short-term lease, a 12-month lease will be given to you at a much lower monthly rate. As mentioned before, the lower cost and longer lease may enable you to live in a nice apartment or a nicer part of town.
Easier to Find
Finding a month-to-month lease is not easy. Most landlords want no part of them, so it will be slim pickens out there. You’ll have no problems finding a long-term lease. If you need to find an apartment in a short timeframe, you will have plenty of options for long-term leases. For short-term leases, you might be in for a stressful apartment search.
At the end of the day, whether you opt for a short or long-term lease is going to depend on your personal situation. A month-to-month lease might be the only reasonable option for you, so you’ll have to deal with the cons of them. It pretty much all comes down to whether or not you’re willing to pay the price for flexibility.