The lease agreement is the legal contract between tenant and landlord. There can be many variations within it as long as they comply with state and local law. One thing that landlords can control is whether it is a month-to-month or year-long lease.
There are advantages and disadvantages to choosing a month-to-month or year-long lease. Landlords should investigate both to see which one is best suited for their property and their needs.
What’s the Benefit of a Month-to-Month or Year-Long Lease?
The benefit of a month-to-month lease is that the landlord has great flexibility in controlling whether or not they want the tenants in the rental. if they wanted a change for any reason, they could just give the adequate notice required by the state. then the tenant would have to move out. It’s also easier to implement policy changes, raise the rent or enact any other updates to the lease.
Many landlords feel that a month-to-month gives them some flexibility in dealing with tenants. It is especially important in states that tend to favor tenants over landlords in disputes.
Among the benefits of a year-long lease is the security of having renters in place for the duration of the lease dates. In theory, it means no turnovers for a year. It makes tenants commit to the rental and gives landlords plenty of notice to re-rent it.
A year-long lease also means that the tenants are protected from rent increases and from being asked to vacate by the landlord for whatever reason.
What Are the Downsides of a Month-to-Month or Year-Long Lease?
The downside of a month-to-month lease is that it doesn’t represent as much permanence for landlords who are seeking long-term tenants. Tenants can give their vacate notice in as short as 30 days’ time. A month-to-month lease means less security in the minds of many landlords.
On the other hand, a year-long lease has downsides, too. If a landlord wants to get rid of a problem tenant, they often have to wait until lease renewal time to do so. Evictions are expensive and time-consuming with a one-year lease agreement.
RentPrep’s Take on a Month-to-Month or Year-Long Lease
The landlords we associate with mostly agreed that a month-to-month lease was the most flexible for landlords. In states where eviction laws are tough, landlords liked to be able to get rid of troublesome tenants on their own. They felt that good tenant would stay whether they were in a year-long lease or a month-to-month.
However, several landlords like the stability of a year-long lease, especially for college students or in heavily military communities. There’s no way to prevent tenants from breaking that lease, however.
Of course, every landlord will have different needs when it comes to choosing a month-to-month or a year-long lease.
What Other Landlords Are Saying About a Month-to-Month or Year-Long Lease
It’s interesting to see what other landlords across the country are doing when it comes to the problem of a month-to-month or year-long lease.
Here’s a screenshot of landlords discussing this question in our private Facebook group for Landlords.
You can see even more comments on that post by checking it out in the group.