Considering a month to month lease? Here are the Pros and Cons. The rental market can prove to be a very intimidating environment. There are a number of sites to search through, legal jargon to research, and even misleading landlords to deal with. Obviously it can be a very rigorous process. However, there are certain decisions to make before you even consider entering the search phase of your rental hunt. Making these decisions early on will help elevate some of the potential stress of the entire process.
Month to Month Lease? Pros and Cons
So let’s go over some of the advantages and disadvantages of specifically a month to month lease. The type of lease you decide on will impact a number of things as you move along. So consider your own needs first and compare them with the following pros and cons.
For some, flexibility is a very important rent versus own consideration. Obviously investing in a mortgage can lock you down for a longer period of time. If your future is somewhat up in the air, even within the next 6-12 months than a month to month lease might be ideal for you.
It’s important to note that you’ll need to give your landlord at least a 30-day notice before you’re ready to move on from your rental.
While you dig the added flexibility of a month to month lease you’ll often be charged a premium. The landlord’s goal is to have his/her rental leased as much as possible and finding someone to replace you can prove to be a challenging process for the landlord. To compensate for the possible time gap between your departure and another renter’s arrival you might have to pay more.
A 12-month lease will certainly be cheaper and allow you to lock in a rental rate. However, if you do need to leave before that 12 month period is up you’ll need to find someone to take your place. In most cases, this is the only way you’ll be allowed to terminate the agreement early.
Pro: TYPICALLY you can switch to a long-term lease
In most cases, a Landlord will be open to the idea of you becoming a longterm tenant. As long as you we’re a good tenant that is. Discuss this possibility with the landlord first however before making your final decision.
Con: Nonfixed rent
On a month to month rent basis the landlord is legally allowed to hike your rent for any reason. One of the best benefits of a 12-month lease is a locked-in rent rate. So be leery of this possibility. Our best advice, again, discuss this possible outcome with the landlord in advance.
In most cases, it isn’t all that difficult to find a rental that was actually designed or renovated specifically for a short term renter. Places near hotspots in town for example typically accommodate such a thing. Also, you should find there are some caps in place in most cities preventing landlords from hiking your rent too high. Again though, only a longer-term lease will let you establish a fixed rate.
Con: Cost of Moving
Flexibility is great and all, but, remember if you bounce around from short term lease to short term lease, you’ll use up money that could have been used on a mortgage down payment. Also, there are some rentals, especially apartment complexes, that charge a move-in fee.
Con: More Searching
In most cases, landlords will want a longer-term commitment so you might have to do more searching than you would like to. Finding the right landlord who won’t hike your rent and will be perfectly fine with your short term lease is somewhat of a rarity but it certainly can be done.
Choosing between a short term lease and a 12-month lease can certainly seem like a difficult task. Flexibility is certainly a desirable quality, especially if you are at an early stage in your life. It’s important to note however again that you can in most cases opt-out of your 12-year lease if you have another renter lined up to take your place. So talk to your landlord and see if they’re comfortable with you locking in a 12-month rate as well as with the possibility of you leaving as long as you have a replacement.
Bottom line, just be open and honest with your landlord about your intentions and you should be able to find a set up that works out well for both of you.
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