(Closed) Renewing lease… month-to-month vs. year lease

posted 4 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
930 posts
Busy bee

If rent is the same I would absolutely go month to month. It allows you flexibility if you decide you want to move. If you go with a years lease and you want to leave you may have to pay termination fees.

Post # 3
5107 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

herecomesthebride625:  Like PP said, month to month is better if the price is the same. More flexibility when you want to move. 

Post # 4
1200 posts
Bumble bee

Is there a guarantee that the place would be available the next month? For example, if it’s a house, would the landlord potentially be looking to sell it in the month to month scenario? If not, and you know the place is always going to be available, then month to month seems like an obvious choice. 

Post # 6
1200 posts
Bumble bee

herecomesthebride625:  one other thing to keep in mind is that they might both be the same price now, but in a month-to-month they could raise your rent each month to keep up with the local market, whereas a year-long lease locks you into that price for the year. 

Post # 7
606 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

In one of my old apartments, I lived month to month for 2.5 years after the first was up. It was nice not to “feel” locked in, even though I didn’t have plans to move at the time. 

Post # 9
555 posts
Busy bee

Wow that is unusual. We are doing the month to month right now because we got a house but needed a month longer to close and it costs us 600$ more per month to do month by month! I would def. prefer month by month anyway, so I would chose that!

Post # 10
58 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

can you get them to specify that they won’t raise the rent for x# of months? I rented one apartment for a year and when it was up, we signed another lease that was month to month- it stated that either party only had to give 30 days notice to move out and they said in that they would not raise the rent for a period of 12 months. Maybe it wasn’t a traditional way of doing month to month?

Post # 11
2600 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

For the tenant, I think it’s really six of one, half a dozen of the other. To the landlord, month-to-month offers a *few* benefits, although they’re really benefits that make sense for the landlord and aren’t necessarily to your detriment as the tenant. 

Month-to-month gives you flexibility–you can leave after 30 days notice. But it also means the landlord has the same flexibility and doesn’t have to re-up you either. The landlord can also raise the rent in a month-to-month. Conversely, a yearlong lease gives you security and locks in your rent for the terms of the lease. For the landlord, a yearlong lease may also appeal because you are more likely to get responsible tenants. 

The big reason why some landlords actually prefer month-to-month is because there are fewer legal constraints and contractual obligations. Different leases will say different things, but in general a M2M basically empowers the landlord to give you 30 days notice and then just not renew. For whatever reason they want. A lease, however, ensures contractual terms that both parties have to abide by, including reasons for eviction. Another scenario is if you run out of money and can no longer pay your rent on a year-long lease, I, as the landlord, cannot simply throw you out onto the street; I have to begin a very long, arduous process of evicting you–and you have the right to fight that eviction in Court (and live in the apartment during that Court procedure). For me, the landlord, that could be months and months of lost rent. Now, if you no longer pay your rent on a M2M, then I simply inform you that this next month is your last and then I’ll just not renew the lease and then I technically DO have the authority to change the locks and kick you out because we’re no longer under agreement after that month and the property returns to my full rights of ownership. So that’s why there is some appeal to the landlord for a M2M, but like I said, they’re not necessarily to your detriment as the tenant. 

PS–you can insert clauses of all kinds into rental agreements, and perhaps a rent-lock is one to consider for M2M. However, I’ll also point out that most landlords are not actually that hot to raise rents (unless you live in like a quickly gentrifying neighborhood or something) because they’d rather keep you as a tenant. If I rent a place for $1K and then decide I want to raise it to $1100/mo and my tenant tells me they can’t afford it and moves out, then I will lose $1K in rent immediately for one month of vacancy. Conversely, making that extra $1K would take me 10 months after raising the rent. 

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by  BothCoasts.
Post # 12
603 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013 - Outdoor

We had the same situation and opted to go month-to-month after our 1 year lease was up. Local ordinances prohibited rent from going up more than once a year anyway, and also mandated that the month-to-month rent couldn’t be higher than what was offered as a lease renewal. So they did raise our rent the full % allowed, but we knew it wouldn’t go up any more until the next year either way. Our apartment manager never mentioned this, but a fellow tenant told us that if we signed a new lease that the management company would pay to clean our carpets. So there might be some other benefits to a lease that might not be advertised, but that will vary. Anyway for us we moved after about 8 months so it was great to be able to give 30 days notice, especially because our new rental was ready right away- we ended up having to pay for about 2 extra weeks rent on the old apartment because we were completely out before our notice was up, but that was our choice. Way better than having to pay a penalty to break the lease. Anyway, definitely look into what your local laws are- as PP have said, in some places the landlord is allowed to raise the rent anytime on a month-to-month or charge more than what a lease would be. 

Post # 13
2494 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

We could choose month to month or sign an 11-month lease like we’ve been doing. The month to month was significantly more expensive. We chose to sign an 11-month lease because we didn’t know how long it would take us to buy a house, and all we needed was 60 days notice (no penalty to break the lease), which wasn’t that big of a deal to us. We just bought a house and we have 3 weeks to move, paint, and clean the house before we have to be out of out apartment.

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