Are you thinking of renting an apartment, but only for a few months? If so, this is certainly possible. Read on to learn more about apartment short-term leases and their pros and cons.
What is an Apartment Short-Term Lease?
An apartment short-term lease is defined as an apartment lease with a duration of anything less than 12 months. While not every apartment community offers short-term leases, when they are offered, there is usually an additional monthly fee.
What is the Typical Increase in Monthly Fees For a Short-Term Lease?
The typical increase for a short-term apartment lease varies depending on the term you seek. Expect to pay at least 30 to 50% in additional rent for a month-to-month lease term. For a nine or 10-month lease, expect a smaller premium.
Let’s take a look at an example 3-month lease. If normal rent is $1,500/month, expect to pay $450 to $750 extra per month for a short-term lease. This means your monthly rent would be $1,950 to $2,250. Again, check with your apartment community for specific details.
The key takeaway? Short-term leases come with a higher monthly rent.
What is the Most Common Lease Term For Short-Term Rentals?
The most common lease term is generally 12 months. A shorter-term lease would be 1, 3, 6, 9, 11 months, or anything in between. If it is shorter than three months, it may fall under the category of a month-to-month lease or potentially “corporate housing.”
What is the Shortest Lease Term Available?
The shortest lease term available in apartments is usually 31 days or one month. Such short-term leases are often called month-to-month leases or corporate housing.
What is Corporate Housing?
Corporate housing refers to a specific type of housing, usually 30 to 90 days where the apartment rental is not only a short-term lease, but often comes fully furnished, stocked (think linens, kitchenware), and might potentially even come with weekly housekeeping.
Due to the fully furnished and stocked nature of the rental and the fact that it is a short-term lease, corporate housing is generally very costly – even more than a typical short-term or month-to-month lease.
What are Month-to-Month Leases?
If you are looking for month-to-month leases and the best deal possible, you may want a traditional short-term lease with a month-to-month provision. This will likely not be a furnished apartment, but it will be cheaper than corporate housing.
Ask for a cost breakdown for a 3-month, 4-month, 5-month, 6-month, 9-month, etc. rental so you can make an informed decision. For example, although you may want to stay for 3 months, a 6-month lease might provide a much better deal. Figure out what works best for you.
Alternatives to Month-to-Month Apartment Leases
There are other alternatives to a month-to-month lease, for example:
- extended-stay hotel
- regular hotel
While month-to-month leases are the shortest lease type available, you will be charged a premium for the luxury of a flexible termination date.
Be sure to ask for a breakdown of increases, including options for furnished corporate housing, and then decide what works best for you.
What is the Upside of Shorter Leases?
- Flexibility – move out when your lease expires – without having to wait a year
- Trial – try out the apartment complex to see if you like it
- Fill Needs – perhaps you only need housing for a short time period while your home is being renovated or another life circumstance.
- Furnishing – there is potential for a furnished apartment which can save you the time and expense of buying your own furniture.
Bear in mind you can often get a normal 12-month lease with furnishings as well.
What is the Downside of Shorter Leases?
- Price – You will be paying more per month
- Increases – Rent can go up quickly at the expiration of each lease (i.e. potentially every month if you are on a month-to-month lease)
- Lack of Settled Feeling – When you are only in a place for the short term, it can be challenging to feel settled.
The decision on a lease duration depends on your circumstances. Do your own research and decide what is best for you and your family.
How to find Short-Term Apartment Leases
To find short-term apartment leases, check out some of these sites:
1. Apartments.com > type in zip code. Under lifestyle>select ‘short-term’
2. ApartmentGuide.com – type in your zip code. Under the ‘More’ filter, scroll and select ‘Short Term’.
3. CorporateHousing.com – owned by apartments.com company
5. Type in ‘Short Term Leases in _______’ (insert name of desired neighborhood).
*always do your own research and make the best decision for you.