The Southern Maryland rental market can be very intimidating. There are many sites you can search through, you may need to look up legal jargon, and some landlords can be misleading. It’s a rigorous process!
Before you even begin searching, though, there are some decisions you need to make. Deciding these things early on can help alleviate some of the potential stress of a rental search.
One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is the type of lease you want. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of a month-to-month lease. How do your own needs stack up against this list?
A month-to-month lease is very flexible. Obviously, investing in a mortgage can lock you down for a long period of time. If your future is up in the air – even for the next several months — a month-to-month lease may be ideal to you.
Don’t forget: Even with a month-to-month lease, you need to give your landlord at least 30 days’ notice before you move out.
A month-to-month lease can cost you more. A landlord’s goal is to have their property rented out as much as possible, and finding someone to replace you can be a challenging process. To make up for the possible gap between you and the next tenant, you may pay more.
A 12-month lease will be cheaper and will allow you to lock in a rental rate. But, if you need to move out before your lease is up, you’ll need to find someone to take your place. For many landlords, this is the only way you’ll be allowed to break your lease.
Pro: TYPICALLY you can switch to a long-term lease
Want to stay for longer? In most cases, the landlord will be open to letting you become a long-term tenant – especially if you’ve been a good tenant. Talk with your landlord about it before making a final decision.
Con: Non fixed rent
When you sign a Southern Maryland lease, your rent is locked in for the length of the lease. When you’re paying the rent on a month-to-month basis, the landlord is allowed to raise your rent for any reason.
In many cases, you’ll find it’s not too hard to find an apartment that was actually designed or renovated specifically for a short-term renter. For example, rentals near hot spots will typically accommodate short-term renters. You may also find that some cities have caps in place to prevent your landlord from raising your rent too high.
Con: Cost of Moving
It’s expensive to move! If you bounce from short-term lease to short-term lease, you’ll spend money that could have been used on a down payment. And you’ll not only have moving costs – some apartment complexes charge a move-in fee.
Con: More Searching
Most landlords want tenants to sign a long-term lease, so it might take you longer to find what you’re looking for. Finding the right landlord who won’t raise your rent and will be OK with a short-term lease is rare, but not impossible.
Deciding between a month-to-month rental and a 12-month lease can seem like a difficult task. What you gain in flexibility you may pay for in higher rent and moving costs. If you opt for a 12-month lease but need to leave early, talk to your landlord about your options if you need to break the lease. A longer lease can lock in your rental rate but cost you flexibility.
The bottom line is to be open and honest with your landlord about your intentions and how long you plan to stay in the rental.
Waldorf MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309
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