Month to month rental agreements: pros and cons


Whether you’re looking to settle down in an apartment in the outskirts of a city or are looking to live in the heart of all the action, it’s important that you understand the various parts of month to month rental agreements.

A short-term living arrangement lends itself to flexibility and convenience. Yet, there are many questions to ask when renting an apartment that may have a substantial impact on the place you ultimately choose to call home. 

With all that said, understanding the potential benefits and drawbacks of a month to month rent agreement and how it compares to more long-term rental arrangements will help you find your ideal living situation. 

What is a month to month rental agreement?

Commonly, when you enter into a traditional rental agreement, you will sign a lease for at least a year. 

A month to month rent lease agreement, on the other hand, establishes your right to occupy a specific rental unit without a set term of residency. These may include:

  • Studio or duplex apartments
  • Terraces homes
  • Detached houses

You will continue to pay your rent each month, but you can choose to leave at any time, often by providing your landlord with the minimum written notice outlined in the contract. 

The benefits of a month to month rental agreement

moving social distancing

If you’re in search of a living accommodation that provides you with financial and personal lenience, a month to month rental agreement may suit you best. Below, we’ll examine the distinct advantages of a short-term rental contract.

1. You won’t have to worry about penalties when ending a lease early

When you sign a traditional lease, its specifications may require you to reside in a particular property for at least a year. As such, you may find yourself facing fines and penalties if you attempt to break the lease early on. 

However, if you sign a month to month lease agreement, you may only need to provide your landlord with a short notice before you pack your belongings and move on to another neighborhood or city. 

2. You can more realistically choose how long you will reside in the rental property

There are a number of reasons why a potential tenant might need a flexible short-term lease option: You may be a college student who only wishes to rent for 8 or 9 months out of the year, as you’ll move back home for the summer months. 

Or perhaps you’re only in town for a short-term job assignment. While you’ll want to visit all the museums, parks, or restaurants the city has to offer,  it’s ultimately just a short stay and you’ll be in need of a short-term rental. 

With a monthly rental agreement, you can break your lease when it’s convenient for you or specify the length of your stay ahead of time.

3. You only need to provide reasonable notice, usually 30 days, before moving out of a property

When you get ready to move out of a property with a standard lease, you may have to provide proper notice – which can interfere with your plans or set you back financially. 

Suppose you’re looking to escape the cold during the winter months and travel to the sunny beaches of Los Angeles for a short stay. With a month to month lease, you’ll only need to provide notice and you can transfer to a more suitable living situation. 

4. A month to month lease can make it easier to try out different scenarios or roommates

Signing a month to month lease provides you with ample opportunities to make the most of your living situation. Say you’re living in New York but growing tired of all the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple – simply give reasonable notice to your landlord and transition to a new area that fits your desired lifestyle.

Unruly roommates can also be a cause for concern, too. If your roommate refuses to wash their dishes or fails to notify you of incoming guests, a short-term arrangement makes it simple to terminate your lease and move into a more suitable community or roommate

The drawbacks to month to month rental agreements

While there are several advantages to month to month rental agreements (especially if you’re looking for flexibility or to embrace your inner vagabond), you may find that there are some drawbacks you must take into consideration before you sign on the dotted line.

1. Your landlord has the same option you do to provide relatively little notice

Just as you can move out in just 30 days, your landlord only has to provide you with 30 days written notice before you may be forced to vacate the property. 

Some landlords will choose to exercise those rights quickly, especially if they feel that you aren’t working out as a renter. On the other hand, many landlords are pleased to have a month to month renter remain on the property for as long as possible, so you may not have to worry about having to find a new place on short notice. 

2. Your landlord can change the terms of your rental agreement at any time

A traditional lease establishes the terms of your rental for the duration of the lease, which means that the terms are unlikely to change within a year of moving in. However, rules and requirements may change month to month if you sign a short-term lease. 

These may pertain to:

  • Pets
  • Overnight visitors
  • Car park spaces

A landlord with a month to month rental agreement can also raise the rent at any point in time, rather than having to wait for the term of the lease to run out. While local laws may govern how often the landlord can raise the rent and by how much, you may find yourself paying more than anticipated for your rental property.

3. You may pay more for a short-term rental agreement than you would for a standard lease

Landlords may have more trouble generating stable rental income when they offer month to month leasing options, particularly if they have a property that is not in high demand. As a result, they may raise rent prices to accommodate for a less reliable cash flow. 

If you’re considering a month to month lease, make sure to calculate the potential cost increase into your equations. You’ll also want to consider:

  • Utility costs
  • Tenants content insurance
  • Tenancy deposits

Of course, not every short-term agreement comes at a high price. With Common, you can find affordable private rooms and community amenities with a click of a button.

Consider Common for attainable month to month rental agreements

lenox living room

Finding the perfect month to month rental property for your needs ultimately comes down to factoring in your circumstances, budget, and living preferences. For a living situation that checks all the boxes, look to Common. We offer leases as short as three months.

After signing a short-term lease with Common, you’ll have access to a private room within a larger shared suite and numerous community amenities to help you feel right at home. Contact us today to learn more about our housing options in your city and how we can help you find the ideal apartment for your needs. 

Related posts: