5 Reasons a Month-to-Month Lease Agreement Is a Bad IdeaJuly 26th, 2010 by Staff Writer
A month to month lease agreement has many benefits but it also has several drawbacks. While you may enjoy the freedom a month-to-month lease provides, you should also be aware of the problems such a lease can create.
1. Higher Cost
Because there is always the possibility of a month-to-month lease ending in the next 30 days, most landlords charge more rent for these types of leases. Increases from $100.00 to $500.00 or more are not uncommon. The freedom to move whenever you want, therefore, comes at a cost. Added together, this increase can become quite significant. Signing a lease for a term, even if it is a short term, will save you money.
2. Transitory Neighbors
If you are on a month-to-month lease, most likely your neighbors are renting on the same type of contract. This means that your neighbors can change every month, requiring you to deal with moving company’s and new neighbors on a regular basis. The stability and safety of having a steady circle of neighbors and knowing who those neighbors are should not be ignored. If you have a problem, are in danger or in other situations your neighbors may be the ones you turn to for help.
3. Lack of Upkeep
Landlords that regularly rent on a month-to-month basis may not invest as much time, money or energy into maintaining the property. A property that is regularly vacated and leased more than a few times a year will inevitably incur damage faster than an apartment rented at most once or twice a year. Because of the recurrence of damage, your landlord may not take care of the property as needed. Potentially, also, your landlord could ignore your service requests.
4. The Possibility of the Landlord Ending the Lease
Renting month-to-month could negatively impact your ability to lease for a regular lease term, typically a year, in the future. If you desire to stay in your current apartment for the long-term, your landlord is under no obligation to accept your request or offer you a lease, meaning that you could be required to move out at any time regardless of your wish to do so. Despite your feelings about being free to move whenever you wish, moving is stressful and costly. Being forced to move by your landlord when you do not desire to do so might be something you wish to avoid.
5. Difficulty Leasing In The Future
Additionally, a new apartment complex could dislike the fact that you do not have a rental history consisting of a longer lease term than month-to-month. Possibly, the apartment complex will be afraid that you will terminate the lease early and vacate the property despite agreeing to a year lease. A new apartment complex could respond to this either by requiring that you sign a very long lease term, such as over a year, charge you higher rent or only be willing to rent to you on a month-to-month basis. In this last instance, you face the same possibility of being forced to vacate the premises on the landlord’s request.