So you’ve come to the end of your lease, and you’ve got your heart set on finding your new dream apartment. But it’s no easy feat to find a new rental before you’re supposed to be out of your current one. If you’re feeling a little panicked — and trust us we don’t blame you — then a month-to-month lease might be a perfect option.
WHAT IS A MONTH-TO-MONTH LEASE?
Most leases you enter into will be a fixed term lease, meaning you’ve agreed to pay rent and reside at the property for the amount of time stated in the lease, usually one or two years. When your lease expires, your landlord may offer a month-to-month option. A month-to-month lease means there’s no set agreement on how long you’ll be living in the apartment, and you can leave whenever you want (with proper notice of course).
PROS OF A MONTH-TO-MONTH LEASE
You Can Leave at Any Time
With a month-to-month lease, you’re not locked in for a year like you may have been with your fixed term lease. Most month-to-month agreements require 30 or 60 day notices before vacating the property, but make sure you check your individual lease.
You Can Look for a New Apartment
If you’ve ever shopped for a new apartment before, you know the stress of trying to time one lease ending with the start of a new one. A month-to-month situation might give you some peace of mind. No hard end date means you can shop for some new digs without being worried about having nowhere to sleep.
No Fees for Breaking the Lease
Yep, you heard that right. Unlike a traditional lease, there are typically no fees for ending your month-to-month contract since there’s no set end date. This is ideal if you’re preparing for a move or a big life event when things can change in an instant.
CONS OF A MONTH-TO-MONTH LEASE
Possible Rent Increase
While the freedom of a month-to-month contract is enticing, there’s a solid chance that your landlord will raise your rent if you move to this type of rental agreement. Because there’s no binding time period and a greater chance that you’ll move out with less notice, your landlord needs to offset these potential risks by charging more rent. Month-to-month agreements are usually temporary, so if the uptick in rent is still within your budget, it’s not the end of the world.
You’re Not the Only One Who Can Break the Lease
Unfortunately, you’re not the only one who can enjoy the flexibility a month-to-month lease affords you. Your landlord can terminate the lease as well, and with the shorter terms of notice typically associated with these contracts, you may be put in a bind with little time to find a new place to live.
Your Terms May Change
Transitioning to a month-to-month contract may seem like a win-win, but make sure you read the fine print. A new lease agreement gives your landlord the ability to add additional fees or clauses that were never in your original lease.
IS A MONTH-TO-MONTH LEASE FOR YOU?
You may be offered a month-to-month agreement once your lease is up, or maybe you’re looking for a month-to-month rental, but you’re not sure if it’s for you. How do you know if signing a month-to-month lease is in your best interest? Here a couple scenarios that make this convenient contract worth it:
- You’re in the market for a new apartment or house
- You move around a lot for work and can’t commit to a year-long lease
- You need somewhere to live for a moderate amount of time — more than a few weeks, but less than a year
- You’re new to the area and want to get a feel for what the neighborhood offers
Month-to-month leases can be a saving grace after your fixed term lease expires, or if you’re just looking for an apartment but can’t commit to a full year. If you’re in the former camp, make sure your budget can handle an increase in rent or some new lease requirements. Either way, you can delight in the freedom that a month-to-month lease gives you. Happy renting!
Author: Jacob Margle
Published August 12, 2019