Apartment Searching

Tips on how to find short term rentals


Wondering how to find temporary housing and short term rentals? Learn all the tricks and tips 

Sometimes, people need to find somewhere to live for just a few weeks or months. This may be true for you if you’re going to be temporarily living somewhere for work or play. You might even want to find a vacation rental for an extended getaway, or want to test living on your own before moving out of your parent’s house. If you can relate to one of these situations, short term housing could be perfect for you. However, you might not know how to find short term rentals (STR).

Many people aren’t familiar with the best way to find a short term apartment lease, so we’ve created a guide to help. Read on to learn about the different types of short term rentals and how to find the best one for you.

Why do people stay in short term rentals?

The short term rental market has grown over the last decade, and it’s not just because people are looking for a short term apartment lease or vacation rental. Often, professionals who travel for work may need to find an STR for corporate housing. They might not be in an area long enough to justify a long term rental. However, paying for a hotel room for a few weeks or months may not make sense. This is a situation where a short term rental is a great option.

Another reason why someone might opt for a shorter lease may have something to do with housing options. For instance, a homeowner sold their primary residence and hasn’t purchased a new home yet. When it comes to occupancy within a short rental period, a temporary dwelling unit is often a solution. The real estate market has been on fire lately, and houses in many U.S. cities are often selling within just a few hours of being listed. This situation makes it easy to sell a home but difficult to buy one. As a result, a person might need a temporary place to live while they look for a new home after selling their own.

Finding a short term apartment rental can be a renter’s dream! Some people may opt for a short term rental if they’ll be living in the city for a few weeks or months to study, visit family or simply explore the area. Basically, a property with a short term lease is a great option for someone who will be staying somewhere too long to crash on a friend’s couch or stay at a hotel but not long enough for a one-year apartment lease. Regardless, it is always good to know how to get out of a lease in case something happens.

How do I find a temporary place to live?

As soon as you know you want to find a short term rental property, you’ll want to start looking online and picking the brains of everyone you know in the area. Doing your research early is a great way to see what’s available in the area where you want to temporarily settle. Additionally, it gives you plenty of time to do everything that’s involved in the rental process, including negotiating the price with the host and checking references.

Airbnb and Vrbo are some great places to start your search for a short term rental property. Both sites allow you to search by destination and other specific criteria, such as the number of bedrooms and access to amenities like a pool or a gym. This makes it easy to find the perfect temporary housing for you. These options also make short term rent payments easier and eliminate the need to furnish the short term rental unit. 

In most cities, people who earn rental income from their properties on sites like Airbnb and Vrbo will need to apply for a special business license. They may also need to be in a certain zoning district, pay special taxes and meet specific short term lease ordinances.

Craigslist is another place to check for a short term rental unit. However, keep in mind that the listings on this site can be hit or miss. This means you’ll want to do your due diligence to make sure that a listing from a short term rental owner or landlord is trustworthy. Typically, you should only explore postings that provide as much information about the property as possible. This means you should seek out listings with pictures and details about the property and the neighborhood.

Common offers a number of short term rentals and apartments with convenient amenities. Our spaces make city living a dream, offering fully-furnished rooms and apartments at an attainable price. Our homes take the stress out of moving so you can focus on life in your new city.

Other resources for temporary rental accommodations

In addition to searching for a short term rental apartment or home online, you should reach out to your parents, friends, family, and colleagues for recommendations. You can even ask your social media networks on sites like Facebook. Word of mouth can be a powerful tool to help you find a vacation rental property or a place to live. And because you’re asking people you know and trust, you’re more likely to get good recommendations that are tailored to you and your needs.

Another way on how to find short term lease apartments

Look for a sublet. It’s renting an apartment from an existing tenant who has leased the space from a landlord or property management company for a more extended period. As a subletter, you would rent the unit from the original leaseholder, who remains on the lease agreement, but you would pay rent directly to them instead of the landlord.

Finally, if you’re moving due to work, you should ask your employer about corporate housing. You may find that your job will provide housing for you. If not, your point person may be able to recommend good options for corporate rentals in the area where you’ll be living.

How do you know if you’ve found a legitimate short term rental?

When it comes to searching for short term lease apartments, there are a few things to know to stay protected as a tenant. As mentioned above, many cities and municipalities have guidelines that govern short term rental properties. They also require a property owner to have an STR permit or short term rental license when they make money off a dwelling or a rental unit. Requiring a short term rental permit is a way that local governments protect renters.

You can also take steps to protect yourself as someone renting with a shorter lease term. As you explore rental housing, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Only consider listings with pictures of the inside and outside of the property.

You likely wouldn’t buy a house without seeing pictures of it, and you also probably wouldn’t go out with someone from a dating site who didn’t provide photos on their profile. Follow the same standards when looking for a short term vacation rental. Plus, it helps you see the apartment features and possibly even the community. 

  • Reach out to the owner to ask questions.

Another tip when looking at short term lease apartments or vacation rentals? Ask questions. Too many people are afraid that they’ll annoy the landlord by asking a lot of questions. Most property owners will appreciate that you want to know more about a property before renting it. This helps ensure it’s a good fit for both of you. If you encounter someone who is reluctant to answer your questions, you should be reluctant to rent from them.

  • Do a little research.

If you have the address of the property, a quick Google search can teach you about both the property owner and the property itself. You’ll also want to see if you can find online reviews that can give you an idea of how other people liked the rental and working with the landlord.

  • Keep your money safe.

Before you send any payment, be sure to get your rental contract signed in writing. This not only protects you but it helps you avoid working with a sketchy landlord or property owner. Also, when it comes time to send money, opt to use a secure payment system. Airbnb and Vrbo both offer these options. If such an option isn’t available, use a credit card for payment rather than a check or cash transfer. 

Most importantly, as you navigate how to live on your own, you’ll want to listen to your gut. This is true from the moment you first decide to rent the property until the time you move out. If something feels too good to be true, it probably is. And if something seems off to you, listen to your instinct. Most of the time, it’s going to be right.

Do you need to furnish a short term rental?

Even though you’ll only be staying in your short term rental for a few weeks or months, you do want it to feel like home. While you won’t have the option of repainting or making big cosmetic changes, you can add little touches to make it feel like your own. However, ask your landlord before hanging anything on the walls. 

Some short term vacation rentals will come in the form of a fully furnished apartment. That way you don’t have to ask the question: how much does it cost to furnish an apartment? This means your short term living space will come with everything from furniture and cooking essentials to bedding and towels. As a result, you probably won’t have to buy a thing.

On the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find unfurnished short term lease options. If you rent one of these properties, you’ll need to set aside money to buy furniture and other items. If you already have these things, you’ll still need to budget the cost of moving them to your short term rental.

international student

A coliving space with flexible lease terms may be perfect for you

Whether you’re looking for month to month rental agreements trying out different rentals, or just exploring the city, a short lease term might be the perfect option for you. But searching for that short term apartment rental can feel like a headache. 

If you’re looking for a short term rental, renting one of our furnished, coliving spaces with flexible lease terms can be a great option. We offer coliving spaces in popular cities around the United States with lease terms as low as 3 months. You can enjoy city living for an attainable price by renting a private room in a beautiful, fully-furnished shared suite. Best of all, each space comes equipped with everything you need for your everyday life. It’s the perfect way to avoid the stress and cost of furnishing and decorating your temporary living space. Explore our coliving spaces today!


  1. https://www.moneyunder30.com/how-to-find-short-term-rentals
  2. https://www.brickunderground.com/blog/2015/07/how_to_vet_a_summer_vacation_rental


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