What to Expect from a Short-Term Lease

short term lease blog

When a student, businessperson or a member of the armed forces stays for several months in a city, a short-term lease is a viable housing option. Rather than staying in a hotel, a house or apartment can be rented for a short period of time.

Short-Term Housing Offers Flexibility

A short-term lease is generally on a month-month agreement and works best when it is under six months.  It offers someone a huge amount of flexibility, because the tenant does not have to sign a one- or two-year lease. The lease is generally renewed at the beginning of the month, and the tenant can leave at anytime.

There are benefits and drawbacks to a short-term lease. One of the key positive parts of a short-term lease is that you are not locked in. You can pay rent on a monthly basis but are not locked into a specific time period. It’s also easy to rent and move into a short-term lease. Often, you don’t have the huge hassle of a credit and background check like a long-term rental. You can quickly sign a lease and be living in the apartment or house within a matter of hours.

Location, location, location

Another benefit of a short-term lease is that it might be closer to work, and you don’t have a long of a commute. Short-term lease properties are often located in the core of a city, because there is greater demand. You might be just a few blocks from a worksite.

Short-term lease apartments are often located in larger complexes. Generally, a small percentage of the units are reserved for short-term leases. They can, however, be located in small buildings when rents are increasing quickly, and the property owner does not want to lock-in a long-term lease.


It can be a challenge to find a short-term lease, especially when demand for rental properties is high. Landlords generally want the stability of a long-term lease. They know that rent is guaranteed for the next 6 to 12 months. With a short-term lease, tenants might only stay a month or two. Then, the landlord has to clean, advertise and find another renter. Short-term leases require a lot of work, and the landlord is losing money when the unit is not rented. Due to the increased risk, landlords generally charge a higher rate than a long-term lease. That is the trade off of a short-term lease. You pay more for the greater flexibility and the increased risk that the landlord is taking.

The deposit is usually the same as a 12-month lease. You pay one or two months rent as the security deposit, and the landlord must return the deposit when the tenant leaves minus any excess damage.

Rents can change quickly

Besides being higher, rent can change quickly from a short term-lease. A long-term lease protects the renter against a sudden increase in rent, but for a short-term lease, the landlord can raise the rent at the end of the monthly lease. And since short-term leases are often in high-demand areas, rent can increase quickly. So, if you are staying in a city for more than four to six months, it makes more sense to get a long-term lease.

Furnished and unfurnished

A short-term rental can be furnished or unfurnished. It depends on the individual desires and marketing of the property owner. If the property owner has designed the space as a short-term rent, it is more likely to be furnished. On the other hand, the landlord could be looking to quickly rent to unit, and it might not be furnished. You will need to talk with the property owner and discuss the specific details of the unit.

Interested in a short-term lease or a corporate apartment? TurnKey offers options that fit your time away from home. Learn more or contact us today.