Short term rentals can sometimes be the best option for a tenant. By renting short term, a tenant moving to a new, unknown city or neighborhood can test out the area to see whether he likes the area or would rather live somewhere else. However, short term rentals can often have many drawbacks as well.
Pro: A Fully Furnished Apartment
Often, an apartment available to rent with a short term lease comes fully furnished. These apartments are intended to assist individuals who will only be staying for a few months until they return home and who do not want to move an entire household for the short stay. A furnished apartment contains everything from sofa, chairs, tables and beds to towels, linens, dishes, glasses and televisions. In effect, these apartments are akin to hotel rooms designed for a stay lasting longer than overnight or a few days. A tenant that will be in the area for a short period of time may appreciate living in a fully furnished apartment.
Pro: Little Commitment
The length of a short term lease varies depending on the landlord, but typically such leases can run anywhere from three to nine months in duration. A year lease is the standard for leases. Because at the most a tenant will reside in the building for nine months there is very little commitment to the building, landlord or area. Should he not like the neighborhood, neighbors or the landlord, he can move again in a very short time and pay no additional penalty for breaking a lease. This minimal commitment is ideal for someone unfamiliar with the town and uncertain where to live.
Pro: Utilities Might Be Included
Because an apartment is usually designated as short term by the landlord, often the landlord will maintain accounts in his name for utilities and include their estimated cost in the monthly rent. If the landlord underestimates the tenant’s usage of the utilities, this could actually result in significant savings. Prior to viewing any short term apartment, inquire into whether the rent includes utilities.
Con: Slightly Higher Rents
Because an apartment subject to a short term lease has more and faster turnaround in occupants, a landlord must invest more time and energy into the residence. To pay for cleaning, listings, furnishings and any other costs associated with a short term lease landlords often charge more in rent. While not exorbitant in cost, short term apartments typically cost anywhere from $200.00 to $500.00 more per month. Tenants on a tight budget may not be able to afford this cost increase.
Con: Moving, Once Again
It may be possible for a tenant to extend the length of a lease should he decide to remain in the building, a landlord might refuse to permit this. Despite a desire to stay put, a tenant may find himself needing to move once again very soon after his previous move. Moving is always stressful, and needing to move twice in a short period of time can be exhausting. High stress individuals should not rent short term unless it is absolutely necessary.
Con: Credit Crunch
Typically, each time a landlord runs a check on an applicant, he runs the prospective tenant’s credit report. In general, multiple credit checks do not look good to the reporting agencies and may result in lowering the applicant’s credit score. Additionally, moving multiple times in one year does not look good to lenders or other landlords because it could indicate that you failed to pay bills or have an unstable income. If you must sign a short term lease, do so for the longest time possible to reduce the number of credit reports run on your behalf.