a Month to Month Lease – Is it a Good Idea?

Landords are investors so a one year lease generally makes them more money.  A one year lease agreement is also pretty standard throughout the country.  However, tenants should always prefer a lease that will end around the time they anticipate they will move to another apartment, rental home or to buy a house.  

Once the lease is over, typically the lease will revert to a month to month lease agreement which means either party may give a mere 30 day notice to vacate thus terminating the agreement.

Here’s the problem with month to month leases.  Imagine if you are the tenant and you have a project at work due in 2 to 3 weeks that will cause you to devote all your time until it’s done.   Suddenly, you get a notice from your landlord telling you that you have 30 days to vacate the property because the landlord has decided to sell or rent it to someone else.  Now what?

Landlords are investors looking for cashflow and appreciation which means everyday their property goes vacant they are losing money.  This is why they are always looking for new tenants or to sell.  Most leases allow the landlord to market the rental home or apartment for sale or rent at least 30 days prior to the lease expiration. 

Because of this, it is in everyone’s best interest to renegotiate a new lease or be prepared to moved well in advance. 
Also, a month to month lease allows the landlord to increase the rent to market rates or even above in order to get you to sign a new lease or get out.

The next time your lease is within 60 days or so from its end, consider your future plans and get with your landlord or real estate agent fast to discuss them before it’s too late.