A month-to-month lease is exactly what it sounds like – generally a 1 (one) month lease that extends or automatically renews on a monthly basis unless and until either party provides notice of non-renewal.
What notice period is given for a month-to-month lease?
For month-to-month leases, both parties are usually expected to give at least 30 days’ written notice (or a full month ahead), unless the lease agreement has another timeline (which must be followed). In some cases, local or state ordinances may also dictate how much notice must be given when it comes to month-to-month leases.
Who is a month-to-month lease good for?
A month-to-month lease can be good for people who either due to life circumstances or the unknown, cannot commit or do not wish to have a lease for a longer duration. Of course, keep in mind there is a rent premium for month-to-month leases (i.e. it will cost more)
Also: If you know you will only be around for less than 30 days, it may be more worth checking into a hotel where there is no lease.
Is a month-to-month lease more expensive?
Yes, a month-to-month lease is almost always more expensive. This is because the landlord needs to charge a premium in case the tenant leaves suddenly and the landlord needs to bear the cost of re-rental, painting, preparation for the next tenant, etcetera. If you know you will stay long-term, then a one-year lease is almost always cheaper.
What are the benefits of a month-to-month lease?
- Greater flexibility – you can change your plans quickly without having to worry about hefty lease breakage charges.
- Upgrade or downgrade on demand – if you are not happy with a particular apartment, you can easily upgrade or downgrade without having to worry about breaking a lease.
- Great for new cities – if you are transitioning to a new city and unfamiliar with areas, this is a great way to try out the area without making any commitments.
What’s the difference between a lease and a month-to-month agreement?
A month-to-month lease is still generally a lease, just with a shorter term. It might also have other provisions specific to one-month rentals.
What are the cons of a month-to-month lease?
- Premium in rent – As mentioned above, since you are not committing for a long term and in exchange for the flexibility, month-to-month leases usually command a premium in rent
- Fluctuations – Since there are no long-term contracts, in theory, your rent could increase every month (provided notice is given).
- Unfurnished – Since most month-to-month apartments come unfurnished, you will have to bear the cost of furnishing them, even if you are only there for a short while.
If you expect to be in a particular city for a while, it may be better to consider a 4 or 6-month lease that offers the balance of cost and flexibility without locking you in for the long term.