Is a Short-Term Lease for You?

DbkingSome apartment complexes offer renters choices when it comes to their lease – there are three, six, nine, and twelve-month leases available, and they can even come furnished. While these short-term rentals might cost a little bit more in rent than your standard year-long lease, depending on your situation, it might be the perfect solution.


Short-term leases are flexible.

Moving from across the country for a three-month internship? Short-term rentals are great for those who are uncertain about their future. If you’re not able to commit to a full year because of your job, school, or other personal situation, short term leases offer flexibility and don’t tie you down. Utilities, cable, and internet are most likely included. A more affordable option than a hotel, apartments can come furnished down to the dishes depending on what kind of rental you’re looking for.


Buy more time to find a great apartment.

It’s common for people who move to a new area to rent an apartment for a month to buy more time to do their research and find a place they would like to live in the long-term. That's what this San Francisco renter did when he moved cross-country for a new job. You can use the time to get familiar with the neighborhood, attend showings, and get an idea of what your budget can get you in your area. Once the month is up, some leases allow you to stay on a month-to-month basis, so you can transition into a long-term lease at your own pace.


Research your options.

Besides securing a temporary place to live with a short-term lease, your other options include subletting, corporate housing, or even a vacation rental. You can often find great deals in subletting situation, where another renter is looking for someone to take on their rent responsibilities while they’re out of town. With a corporate rental, you’ll pay around 20 percent less than you would at a hotel, with some added benefits like laundry services, cleaning, and access to amenities such as a fitness room. If you look for a vacation rental, be aware of the state or city’s laws when it comes to short-term rentals – in many places, temporary rentals of 30 days or less are illegal.  


A short-term lease can cost more.

It’s more work for a landlord or property management to work with frequent turnovers, which can result in more expensive rent, as well as rent increases when you renew. However, if you sign a longer lease and end up paying a large fee for breaking it, a short-term lease may still make more sense. Ask your landlord if they offer shorter leases at a discount – some complexes do offer nine-month leases at a discount. Do your math before making your decision so you know what you best option is. 


Image by dbking via Flickr.