Mark Roemer image of a person filling out a leas with keys to an apartment

Benefits of A Short-Term Lease

Mark Roemer knows that the prospect of signing a year-long lease on the dotted line and locking yourself into a twelve-month lease can be overwhelming and restricting for many apartment hunters.

But did you ever consider short-term rentals or even a month-to-month rental? Although short-term leases have drawbacks for both the renter and the landlord, flexible lease lengths have a lot of benefits.

What’s so great about a short-term lease?

Short-term leases are described as six months or less by most rental agencies and businesses. But it can really be any lease under a year whose term is customized to suit either your needs or the property owner’s needs. Generally speaking, there really are two styles of short-term rentals.

First of all, some leases are actually shorter. You will typically find short-term leases for three, six, or nine months available. But realistically, depending on the case, they may be of virtually any duration. There is a complex in Atlanta, for instance, that provides, in addition to the standard year-long, a selection of available monthly lease lengths from three to 11 months. Many short-term leases at the end of the day are similar to traditional (just shorter) 12-month leases. They carry with them the same security deposits, extension options, and full contract term compliance requirements.

The month-to-month contract is the shortest and the most open-ended option. It is the other form of short-term agreement. Month-to-month renting doesn’t mean you are expected to leave within a month or two. It is mostly made for those who honestly have no idea how long they’re going to need an apartment. Upon signing a lease with a firm expiration date or the extension date, even if you must move before the lease expires, you are legally obligated to pay the entire rental term (or pay the penalty to leave early). Leases are constructed month-to-month from the other side. Every month may be the last occupancy for both parties. So, the renter must tell the landlord at an agreed-upon period each month (usually 30 days’ notice) that they will extend another month. It is possible to cancel month-to-month leases with almost no hassle.

Is a short-term lease outstanding for you?

If your career requires a lot of extended travel, your best bet could be the short-term. Say, for instance, you work for a business that sends its workers to a job site for an extended stay while a project is finished; a short-term lease could well serve you. This way, for three or six months or however long the project is expected to complete, you will have your room for yourself.

Being a flight attendant, a person in the media or military personal makes these short-term leases the best option for you. Month-to-month is the best option for all transient workers. One characteristic of careers like these is that many workers, especially millennials, often have aspirations of traveling around the country before settling in. Besides, when a new job can fall in your lap with as little as two-week notice, it can be almost painless to end a month-to-month lease.

And short-term leases will fix your problems if you need temporary accommodations, whether scheduled to be transitional or open-ended. A three or six-month lease can be a seamless option for individuals moving to a new town who need a stopgap place to live while they do the legwork of finding long-term housing. The same goes for individuals waiting for a new house to be constructed or a closing to occur. The month-to-month lease may be a much better choice than staying in the basement of your in-laws.

Benefits of short-term leases

Short-term and month-to-month leases have many benefits. Convenience is the primary reason. If your housing needs must be flexible, then your lease should follow suit. You don’t have to sign a full contract year, and your lease can be adjusted to your timing specifications, minimizing tension and anxiety. If you need to leave early, there will be far fewer fines. Most short-term leases can typically be transferred to a long-term lease reasonably quickly if it turns out you really like your apartment (or neighbors or town).

A furnished apartment is one neglected advantage of a short-term or month-to-month agreement. It is important to note that not all short-term leases are furnished apartments, but a great deal of them are. If you’re one of those transient or regular temporary project travelers, it can be both exhausting and expensive to lug couches and beds, and televisions around from apartment to apartment. Appropriating a furnished short-term rental apartment will save a lot of money (and hassle) by not having to rent moving trucks and storage units. The apartment will come with a higher cost, but it should balance out not having to pay for the services mentioned above. 

The not-so-great

All kinds of other short-term arrangements are available, like sub-letting, corporate housing, or even holiday or seasonal rentals. There are a lot of choices if the short term is what you need.

As always, there is bad that comes with the good. The most critical drawback is that short-term leases are typically more costly. The shorter your contract period, the more likely you are to pay the higher rent. This is to make up for the difficulty of seeking a new tenant earlier for the property owner. Also, when you are locked in at a price for a shorter period of time, rent can go up a lot more frequently. In addition, there’s the consideration for the month-to-monthers that the landlord can effectively cancel the open-ended contract any month they choose, potentially leaving you in a lurch.


Renting an apartment has a lot of things to consider. I, Mark Roemer, hope that I have helped you make one consideration a little easier. Short term leases can be beneficial under the right circumstances. Contemplate all your options before you sign on the dotted line. After you sign, there might not be any turning back. Should there be a way to reverse what you did, it will likely cost your dearly.