A short-term lease typically lasts less than six months and can be renewed weekly or monthly. Some tenants find that a short-term lease gives them more flexibility as to where they live and when they move, while others avoid these leases to have more certainty in their rental agreements. Here are the pros and cons of a short-term tenant lease to help you determine if this is the right type of lease for you.
Benefits of a short-term lease for tenants
A short-term lease is best for tenants who do not plan to live in a specific unit for more than six months or who need a temporary place to live during a life transition or life situation. Here are some advantages of choosing a short-term rental:
- Flexible moving date: A short-term lease only lasts a short time, such as a week or a month (the most common option). This means that you can decide to end your lease and move out when it’s convenient for you, as long as you give notice within the timeframe specified in the rental agreement. Having this ability is great for life transitions, like moving into a house or moving to a new location.
- Easy transition from a long-term lease: If you have a long term lease on a property and want to continue living there a little longer after the lease ends, you may be able to convert to a short term lease after your long term lease ends. . Some landlords offer this option to keep excellent tenants while they search for new long-term tenants.
- No financial penalty for breach of lease early: Since a short-term lease has such a flexible moving date, you won’t have to pay a fee to break the lease after, say, two months of living there. However, it is important that you always adhere to the terms of the short-term lease to ensure that you do not incur costs for breaking other rules.
- Good for those who travel and move a lot: Maybe you have a job where you travel to a specific location for weeks at a time and maintain a permanent home elsewhere. Or maybe you are a nomad who lives in one place for a few months and travels elsewhere. Either way, if you’re moving from city to city and staying for several weeks at a time, you might consider signing a short-term lease.
Disadvantages of a short-term lease for tenants
A short-term lease may be a less than ideal option for tenants who plan to stay in one location for at least six months or more and prefer more certainty in their rental agreements. Consider these drawbacks to renting with a short-term lease:
- Rent increased: Short-term leases can be financially unstable for landlords. They may require tenants to pay more per week or per month to offset potential losses when renting short-term accommodation. This fact means that choosing a short term lease may be more costly for you in the long term.
- Modification of the rental contract conditions: Since a short-term lease renews weekly or monthly, the tenant or landlord can suggest changes to the terms of the next lease, such as changes in rental costs. This means that a landlord can also increase the rent for the unit weekly or monthly, as long as they follow the rent control regulations in that city or state.
- Short notice of lease termination: Just as you can end your short-term lease when it’s convenient for you, so can your landlord. They too must give you advance notice within the timeframe provided in the agreement, but you may be forced to move when it is not convenient for you.
- Limited rental options: Due to the potential financial risks associated with short-term leases, some landlords may not even offer this option, which could reduce the number of units available.
While a short term lease may be the best option for you right now, you may want a long term lease in the future or vice versa. Understanding the pros and cons of short-term leases can prepare you to decide between a short-term and a long-term lease where applicable.