What is a Short-Term Lease?


When it comes to renting an apartment, house or other property, both long and short term leases have benefits for tenants. When choosing the length of your lease, you’ll want a length that meets your logistical needs. If you need a flexible moving date or just a temporary home, you may find that a short term lease is in your best interest. Given the current environment, short term leases have gained in popularity and many traditional leases are being adjusted to give tenants more flexibility.

What is a short term lease?

Typically, a standard lease lasts for one year, although it is possible to find leases that last from a week to several years. Leases lasting less than six months generally fall under short-term leases. You can renew a short-term lease on a weekly or monthly basis, with monthly leases being the most common. Depending on the owner’s willingness to negotiate, you may also be able to specify your own lease term.

You will likely find more short-term rentals in areas of high demand. Areas with a low number of rental properties available are also more likely to offer short-term leases. With the pandemic changing the mindsets and ideas of tenants about what “home” looks like, short term rentals have become more popular for renters and landlords.

Advantages and disadvantages of a short-term lease

The flexibility offered by short-term leases makes this lease term work in many different circumstances. You can benefit from a short-term lease if you are:

  • Looking for a job in a new area and needing temporary accommodation
  • Moving for a temporary work assignment
  • Take an extended vacation
  • Moving to a new area and needing time to find a house, apartment or property that meets your long-term needs
  • In a situation where you will have to move at any time

That said, it’s important to note that while short-term leases are often perfect for meeting your temporary housing needs, the flexibility of a shorter contract comes at a cost. You may find that landlords charge more for a short term lease, so if you plan to stay longer than six months, you could end up spending more money than you would for a longer lease.

With shorter leases, landlords also have more options to change the terms of the contract regarding the security deposit, pet policy, move inspection requirements, and the price of rent. This means that the shorter your lease, the more often your rent could go up. Be sure to review the terms of your contract each time you renew your lease. While landlords are generally required to give notice of rent adjustments, the laws governing the length of notice vary depending on the state and city in which the property resides.

Find a short term lease

While some landlords don’t advertise short-term leases, you will find that some of them are open to negotiation. If you find a property that really interests you, don’t be afraid to ask for the lease term you want. In today’s rental environment, it is not out of the question for a landlord to change the lease term if it suits you better.

Use Zumper’s search filters to find apartments available for short-term rental. Simply choose the type of accommodation you are looking for (apartment, condo, house, bedroom or other), then select “Short term” under Lease term. You will immediately find a number of options that meet your needs. You can also refine your search with additional filters including price range, number of bedrooms or bathrooms you want, pet-friendly properties, and other qualifications such as move-in deals, accommodation student, senior life, etc.

Finding a rental agreement that’s right for your situation is easy once you know what you’re looking for. Use Zumper to find apartments, condos or other properties for short term rent in just a few clicks.

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