Portrait of a handsome young man smiling and leaning on a chair while standing in his modern loft apartmentWill you only be in town for the summer?
Do you have a serious case of wanderlust?
Are you searching for a new job but unsure where it might be?
Is the thought of signing a long-term contract enough to get you pulling out the Pepto?

If so, you may want to think about renting with a month-to-month lease. If you’re not ready or able to commit to a fixed-term lease, the flexibility might be exactly what you need. Read on to learn more about why you may (or may not) want to think about a different form of leasing.

Pros of Month-to-Month Leasing

There are a few reasons you may want to look into a month-to-month lease. Here are a few of the pros:

  • The lease offers increased flexibility. Sometimes you just don’t know if you want to live in an apartment or city long term. You could have job or financial constraints, or you could just need somewhere to live while you search for a better place. It happens. When that’s the case, you probably don’t want to deal with the hassle of breaking a lease and finding someone new to occupy your apartment. Since most month-to-month leases only require 30 days of notice before leaving, you could be saving significant time and effort.
  • You can avoid the cost of a broken lease. Not only is breaking a lease the opposite of fun, it can also get expensive! While every contract is different, it’s safe to expect a few charges, from forfeiting your deposit to paying replacement fees.

Here’s an example:
Maddie signs a one-year lease before starting grad school. When she decides to switch programs after a few months, she needs to move and break her lease nine months early (uh oh!). If it takes three months for her landlord to find a new tenant, Maddie could be paying those three months rent even when she’s not living in the apartment.

  • If you change your mind, it’s easier to switch leases. Once you sign a fixed-term lease, there’s very little chance you’ll be able to renegotiate to a month-to-month lease, while the opposite is usually quite simple. Since recommitting to a longer rental period usually means saving the landlord time, money, and hassle, most are happy to do it.
  • It simplifies things. There’s no better incentive to simplify your life and pack light than knowing you’re going to be doing it all again in just a few months. We know grandma meant well when she made you that macrame birdhouse, but will it really fit in your new apartment? This is your chance to live the simple life. And if you’re looking to simplify things even further? Certain furniture companies such as CORT offer monthly rentals, saving you the cost and hassle of lugging your bed, sofa, and side tables across town or across the country.

Cons to Month-to-Month Leasing

While taking on a more manageable month-to-month lease has its perks, it’s important to know all the facts before making your decision. Here are a few potential cons to short-term leasing:

  • You’ll probably pay more. Since month-to-month leases lack the security of fixed-term leases for landlords, most list them at a premium. For instance, landlord Elizabeth Colegrove says she charges $300 more for her month-to-month units.
  • You could get kicked out, short notice. In short-term leasing situations, you’re not the only one with flexibility. Whether they want to refurbish the unit or they found a more long term tenant, landlords can terminate month-to-month leases too. On the bright side, they typically have to give you the same notice you’d give them, but always check your lease to be sure.
  • All that apartment hunting could affect your credit score. Here’s a little personal finance 101: every time someone pulls your credit score, it drops…just a teeny tiny bit. When every new landlord has to do a search, the teeny tiny bits can add up. If you have some pre-existing credit issues or are new to the whole credit game (starting out is hard, we know), you many want to consider a more stable lease to start building those digits.
  • Apartments can be harder to find. In booming real estate climates, landlords have little incentive to fill units on a month-to-month basis. After all, why worry about constant tenant searching when it’s so easy to fill a more long-term lease? Other times, month-to-month apartments may be easier to find, but it’s still a hassle. If you’re ready to start searching, try our handy dandy short term lease search on ApartmentSearch.com.

If you move whenever your next adventure calls, don’t make things hard on yourself. Month-to-month leasing can offer the flexibility and freedom you’ve been looking for in your living situation. Now that you know your leasing options, you’re ready to go. And if you rent furniture, even better. All you need to do now is throw your clothes in a suitcase and hit the road!