Chances are, when you move into your new apartment, you’ll be signing a one-year lease with your landlord. The long-term housing stability that a one-year lease offers is ideal for most people – moving is a chore, and years can pass in your life without major income or location changes. Leases shorter than a year are thus hard to come by, but they’re not impossible to find.
People may be surprised to learn that there’s always a demand for short-term housing. Those who relocate for internships or other temporary work, who need to stay elsewhere while their home is renovated, or who travel to one destination for extended periods often look for rentals that span at most three or four months. However, landlord preferences for year-long leases make short-term rentals far less abundant than long-term ones. Here’s how to rife through the haystack of year-long terms and find that needle of a perfect short-term rental.
1. Before anything, know what you need
If you’re relocating for three months, don’t gamble on a two-month rental in hopes you can magically extend for a third month. Know what you need before you so much as open your laptop to visit your favorite housing search engine. Needs you should consider ahead of time include, but are certainly not limited to, neighborhood choices in your temporary city, maximum rent you can afford, furnishings you will or won’t bring with you, and desired apartment size.
2. Start your hunt with short-term rental companies
Some housing searching engines are designed with short-term rentals in mind, even if not in name. Any search engine on which people rent out rooms or whole homes to travelers qualifies as a short-term rental company, even if the search engine is branded as a vacation rental website. These short-term rental avenues offer the additional benefit of connecting you directly with homeowners or the people currently occupying your short-term rental, whereas traditional housing search engines may connect you with real estate agents who are certainly much more interested in longer-term leases.
3. Expand your search to traditional housing search engines
Although the overwhelming majority of listings on traditional housing search engines will be for long-term rentals, careful sleuthing on these websites often turns up no shortage of short-term rentals. Tenants who need to leave town for a while or who are breaking their lease early may be desperate to find someone who will cover their share of rent or utilities in a shared home that’s perfect for your needs.
4. Ask people you know in the area
Let’s say you need to relocate to a big city for the summer for the opportunity of a lifetime. In a city so big, people know people. Mention your search for a short-term rental to anyone at your internship with whom you’ve already spoken. They or people they might know could be looking to temporarily fill an open room. Also, you never know if people where you permanently live have connections where you’re headed! It never hurts to ask for help.
5. If need be, turn to extended-stay hotels
If all your other options are exhausted, extended-stay hotels will get the job done, as their name perfectly attests. The only catch: As with most hotels, these options tend to be more expensive than traditional rentals. Save this for the last resort (yes, an even bigger last resort than living on someone’s couch for the summer).
What tips do you have for finding short-term rentals? Sound off in the comments!