Most renters sign leases that last a year or two. Depending on the property and the landlord, there could be a shorter term lease that works for you. A month-to-month lease is more desirable to some tenants. If you are considering a month-to-month lease, here is what you need to know.
Why Is a Month-to-Month Lease a Good Idea?
A month-to-month lease can equal freedom to some tenants. Instead of being tied to a year-long lease, you can move within the one month term of your lease. If you are unsure whether or not you will be staying in a particular location too long, this can be ideal.
Signing a month-to-month lease could also mean you do not have to worry about paying any penalties if you decide to move. With a year-long lease, you could face an early termination fee, relisting fee, and lose your deposit. As long as you meet the terms of your month-to-month lease, you should not have to worry about any of those fees.
If you decide you want a more long-term arrangement at a later date, you can usually ask your landlord to change your agreement to a one-year term. It is important to note that some special circumstances could prevent this from happening. For instance, if the landlord has plans to sell the property soon, he or she might be reluctant to allow you to convert the lease to a year.
If you are worried about finding a landlord who would be willing to take on a month-to-month lease, you should not be. Some landlords see the lease as an advantage to them. If tenants have issues with making their rent, the landlord only misses out on one month's worth of rent instead of several months.
What Are the Drawbacks?
Before signing a month-to-month lease, you have to also consider the risks that sometimes come with a shorter lease. For instance, the shorter lease can sometimes be more expensive than the longer lease. Your rent more than likely will not be fixed. Since you only have a monthly agreement, the landlord could decide to raise your rent at anytime.
Another problem you could run into with a month-to-month is that your selection of places to stay might be limited. Landlords typically want a longer commitment from tenants. However, you might be able to convince the owner to opt for the month-to-month option.
Talk to your real estate agent about other benefits of month-to-month leases and to get help with finding apartments in your area.