One of the most important things to consider when searching for an apartment is the length of the leases available. You’ll want to find a lease length that makes sense for your needs, whether you need a short-term accommodation or want a place to call home for the long term. 

So how long are apartment leases generally, and what is the best lease length for an apartment? Let’s take a look at some of the types of leases available and how to choose the right one for you. 

How Long are Apartment Leases Usually?

The average apartment lease length is one year to 15 months from the time you move in. You and your landlord will then decide whether or not to renew the lease at the end of the year. 

However, many apartments also offer different types of short-term leases. The most common terms for a short-term lease are six months or three months. This lease length is ideal if you’re working or studying in a new area for a short period of time. 

For those looking for a longer-term approach, some apartments also offer 18-month leases or even two-year leases. This can be a good option if you don’t plan to move again for the foreseeable future and want to lock in your rental rate. 

Another popular option is a month-to-month lease. This allows tenants or landlords to cancel the lease at any point, as long as you provide the required 30- or 60-day notice to vacate. Some month-to-month leases will start as 3- or 6-month leases and then transition to a month-to-month agreement. 

What is the Best Lease Length for an Apartment?

The best apartment lease length for you will depend entirely on your unique situation. Many people prefer the consistency of a year-long lease. However, depending on how long you want to be in the apartment, you may prefer a shorter or longer lease term. Month-to-month leases can also be very convenient if you are unsure of your plans and want more flexibility for your lease. 

Which Situations are Best for Longer vs. Shorter Leases?

Longer leases are best for situations where you and any roommates know you want to stay in the apartment for a year or more. Ideally, you’re already familiar with the neighborhood and have a stable work or school situation. 

Shorter leases or month-to-month leases are better for renters who need a bit more flexibility. Maybe you’re doing an internship or summer study program, or you’re expecting major life changes like a new job or a wedding and might need to move in less than a year. 

Lease Lengths at SMC

At Southern Management, we offer a variety of leasing options for our residents. Contact us today to learn more about our apartment lease lengths — we’re excited to help you find a community that suits your needs. We have apartments available throughout the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore metropolitan areas, so be sure to check out our available apartment communities