When is the best time to sign a lease in Orlando, Florida?

Conventional Non-Student Apartments

Signing a New Conventional Lease

4 Months Out

We recommend beginning to evaluate your Orlando apartment options approximately 4 months prior to your desired move-in date. Perhaps you've traveled to the area or have visited some great Orlando neighborhoods recently. Maybe you performed some online searches for properties that have caught your eye. This is a great time to begin to focus your search. Running some numbers and determining your budget for housing is another great step to take at this stage. Utilize our neighborhood guides to learn more about the many communities around Orlando that may fit with your budget and lifestyle. Then, it's time to get out there! It's wise to drive or walk around neighborhoods that interest you and feel out aspects of the community to may call home. Create a list of up to 10 options for further discovery in the coming months.

3 Months Out

Now that you've completed some research, you'll have a much better feel for the neighborhoods that could feel like home. This is a great time to begin touring apartment homes! Pick 3 to 5 properties that are your favorites and that check particular boxes such as amenity requirements, provide a quick commute to work, or are near favorite weekend hangout spots. Be open-minded and take your time evaluating your likes and dislikes as you tour different properties. Also, keep in mind that within reason, now is the time to consider if you have any wiggle room in your budget to better meet your housing needs.

2 Months Out

Approximately 60 days out from your move-in date, leasing offices will have a very good idea of their projected availability. This is the time to get serious about securing your housing so go ahead and apply for your lease. We do recommend seriously considering if you're comfortable signing a lease 60 days out from your move-in date since there is a chance your desired apartment community will have availability and, in that case, it's wise to go ahead and secure it by signing your lease.

30 Days Out

Don't fear! You may not have had four months to leisurely shop for an apartment, but you can still find a wonderful place to call home in a short amount of time. Just be prepared to sign up for the "fast track plan". Clear your schedule (weekends are great) and plan to research and pound the pavement looking for housing. This is the opportune time to determine if you have any absolute non-negotiable items or needs like a pet-friendly apartment or an included washer and dryer. Identify a few non-negotiables like pet-friendly policies and a washer and dryer included. Take tours, use the robust search features offered here on 407apartments.com and be ready to hit the ground running! Also, you should be ready to sign a lease now. You are easily within 30 days (or less) of your move-in date so if your desired home has availability, be ready to sign and secure your lease.

Signing a Renewal Lease for A Conventional Property

While leases are all different, you can begin to inquire about availability 90 days from your renewal date. At the 60-day mark, you should be prepared to sign a lease renewal, or you will risk losing availability. This is the perfect time to reflect on questions such as: Am I happy in my current home? Does my rent price seem fair? Is the community safe and convenient? Could I afford housing with better amenities for the same price? Let your instincts guide you in determining if a lease renewal or if shopping for a new home is the way to go.


Student Apartments

Signing a New Lease for Fall Move-In

9-12 Months Out

Approximately one year before moving in is the perfect time to consider the options that are available to you. Maybe you attended a friend's party and really loved their apartment home or have a really good idea of the amenities that you prefer. Is there an Orlando neighborhood that you frequent that you absolutely love? Make a mental note and prep for further research!

Search Student Apartments in Orlando

6-9 Months Out

This is a great time to consider your housing budget. As a matter of fact, we highly recommended determining what your budget is and designing your search around that number. This is also the opportune time to really hone your focus on location. Do you know your classes will be at UCF and you don't want to be too far from campus? Maybe you'll have a job and want to live closer to your place of employment. These factors will help you be aware of your options and help guide your search. This is also a great time to make a shortlist of your favorite top 5 apartments.

Another important consideration you'll likely want to focus on is the possibility of roommates. Talk to your friends and begin to determine if housing together is an option for you. Does your school or desired apartment complex offer roommate matching? This is also an important time to consider who might consider as roommates. Note, you'll need to be prepared to sign a lease 6-9 months out to ensure there are rooms available in the same unit for you and all of your desired roommates, for example, if you're looking to sign a lease for a three-bedroom or four-bedroom apartment.

5 Months Out

This is the perfect time to schedule property tours. Determine your top 3 options and make appointments to look around. You should also be prepared to apply to your favorite properties and even plan to sign your lease if you find a home that meets your desired criteria. Typically, floorplans will begin to sell out in April, so this is the time to secure your apartment home.

3 Months Out

Though options have thinned out, you should still call properties that are desirable to you and ask if there is still availability. Though you may not be able to secure an apartment home that was a number one favorite if your desired floorplan is available and within your price range, we recommend signing a lease! The risk for sellout is high so you'll want to secure your spot.

1 Month Out

To be completely honest, apartments in the UCF area typically sell out during the summer, so if you only have 1 month to look you're going to have to do some legwork to figure out which communities still have spots available. Rest easy, you should be able to find an option or two still available near campus. You may consider a one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment if necessary. If the leasing team says they still have a unit available, don't delay! Secure your spot, and be grateful you found a place with availability at such short notice.

For Spring Move-In

Typically, spring move-in references move-in dates beginning in January as this is when the spring semester begins. Many student apartment communities will have an idea of which residents are "no-shows" for leases in August and will have a handle on what their availability is for January. Therefore, you can feel confident in beginning your search during the month of September. Keep looking through the end of November if necessary. Spaces can open up at properties for various reasons including students backing out of their leases. Be prepared to sign your lease from September through the first week of December of the year prior.

For Summer Move-In

While leasing during the summer months isn't impossible, it can prove a bit more difficult. Leases do tend to wrap around until the end of July making summer move-ins tricky. If an apartment community does have homes available, you might find a good deal so keep your eyes peeled! It's preferable to begin your search in February or March and if you find your desired floorplan, community, and location, sign a lease!

Subletting during the summer months is also a popular option and you will often find availability to tide you over until the big move-out dates in August. Sublet research can be easily accomplished by checking out Facebook Marketplace or student groups on social media channels.

For Student Housing Renewals

While this may seem counterintuitive, we highly recommend you begin watching out for opportunities to renew your lease as early as September and October for the following August. It's often wise to jump on a renewal opportunity if you are overall happy with where you are living. Do you like the location? Do you like your roommates? Can you see yourself living in the community next year? We can confidently share that our years of experience in the apartment industry have proved that the first renewal offer will likely be your best one so don't wait. Holding out for a deeper discount often doesn't work and you'll only set yourself up for frustration.

If you need more time to consider a renewal, no problem. You'll have time around the holiday season to sign a lease. What if you're still not sure? It's ok! Your current apartment may have space come February, but you should seriously consider that you can't guarantee availability that late in the season. If you have not signed a renewal 3 months before the end of your lease, understand your chances are small that a spot will be available so you should speak with your leasing team.

Let us offer this bit of wisdom, however. If you haven't signed a renewal at this point, you might consider that you may not have been happy in your current apartment or there was some other factor holding you back from making a decision. Trust your gut and begin another easy and robust Orlando apartment search for the perfect apartment home in Orlando to find a property that better aligns with your lifestyle and budget.

These are the opinions of writers and not the opinions of 407apartments.com or any of our advertising partners.