Why are Short-Term Leases So Hard to Find?

Many renters are drawn to a short-term lease because of the flexibility it offers. You're able to move for work, family, or to a new apartment that better suits your needs without having the break a longer lease. If you're new to a city, short-term leases (especially month-to-month leases) give you the freedom to explore each neighborhood so you can find the best fit.

However, despite these advantages, there are a few cons to signing a short-term lease that affect both renters and landlords. For this reason, short-term leases are generally harder to come by. When they are available, they typically cost more than a traditional 12-month lease because short-term leases cost the apartment community time and resources.

Most communities and landlords prefer longer leases because it means they won't have to spend any time or money preparing the apartment for the next renter every few months.

Every time someone moves out, the community has to advertise that the apartment is available and sink resources into getting it ready for the new renter. Deep cleaning, painting, replacing carpeting, and making repairs all add up. Doing that several times a year each time someone with a short-term lease moves out can be a hassle.

If the community can't find someone to rent to quickly, they lose revenue each month the apartment sits empty.

In closing, short-term leases are costly and are riskier (i.e. more unstable) for apartment communities to offer, making them less common.

That's not to say that short-term leases are disadvantage-free to renters. After all, you're paying more each month. If you renew your short-term lease, you'll be paying more in the long run. When you're lease is up and you want to renew, your may see your monthly rent increase each month. Apartment communities and landlords can change the lease terms on short-term leases more frequently and raise rents just as often.

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