What is the Shortest Time You Can Rent an Apartment?

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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.

Man Looking at Phone Considering Monthly Expenses | www.phillyaptrentals.com

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.

Example Furnished Corporate Apartment | www.phillyaptrentals.com

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.

Pro Tip: 

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

Hotel Checkin | www.phillyaptrentals.com

There are other alternatives to a month-to-month lease, for example:

  • extended-stay hotel
  • regular hotel
  • Airbnb
  • VRBO

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’

short term leases on apartments

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

4.     NationalCorporateHousing.com

5.     Type in ‘Short Term Leases in _______’ (insert name of desired neighborhood).

*always do your own research and make the best decision for you.


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