New landlords may be at a crossroads over picking a month-to-month lease or a fixed lease agreement. This article provides both the upside and downside of a month-to-month lease on your Sarasota property.

What Is a Month-to-Month Lease?

A landlord and tenant may agree to a month-to-month lease that automatically renews each month. If one of the parties to the contract notifies the other in 30 days, the monthly renewal can end.

A month-to-month lease can be categorized into two with one as an extension of a past leasing agreement. For example, you have a traditional lease but it ended and now both the parties to the contract agreed to continue on a month-to-month lease arrangement.

The renters may be relocating and are still in the process of finding a new residence so a month-to-month lease would fit them. On the other hand, the month-to-month lease could be a set arrangement from the beginning.

As a landlord, it’s best to be informed about the advantages and disadvantages that come with a month-to-month lease before deciding to implement this setup with your tenant.

Below are the pros and cons that a month-to-month lease carries:

Pros of a Month-to-Month Lease

Flexibility

Your renter may only need to stay for a few months in your area for work training so a month-to-month lease would be more fitting for them. As a landlord, you can still generate income even without the full commitment of a year-long tenancy.

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Shorter notice for end of tenancy

Compared with a traditional lease, a month-to-month lease provides you with a shorter notification period. If there are new situations that occur, such as finding a buyer for your rental property, you will still have to honor the end date stated on the lease.

Unlike a month-to-month lease, landlords can simply notify the renter to leave the rental in 30 days. Landlords have greater control when it comes to the occupancy of their rental property.

If they’re waiting for a qualified buyer, increasing their rates, or adopting a new policy, then it will be easy to adjust since the tenancy can be ended within 30 days when they give notice.

New landlords can also opt for a month-to-month lease arrangement while polishing their tenant screening process and property policies. It will help them tweak their lease agreement and screening procedure, ensuring they can find the right resident and create a solid future fixed lease contract.

Adjustable rental pricing

Another advantage of a month-to-month lease is that landlords can quickly pivot for rate adjustment. If the rental demand is high for certain seasons, then they can freely increase the rental price without any issues.

This leads to more income profits, instead of losing the opportunity to generate more income as the lease is tied for a year and the rental rate is fixed.

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Penalties for breaking the lease can be avoided

The landlord and renter can breach the lease agreement and this can lead to paying fines. However, with a month-to-month lease, both parties accept that the lease can end anytime when either of them issues a notice to the other.

Easier time of changing rental policies

When a month-to-month lease ends, a landlord can proceed to include new policies or change existing ones without dealing with heavy reactions from the renters.

Unlike a long-term lease where policies are fixed and can only be changed once the rental period is over, a landlord choosing a month-to-month lease will have an easier time and can avoid tenant conflict.

Cons of a Month-to-Month Lease

Though a month-to-month lease provides plenty of advantages, there are still a lot of disadvantages, such as:

Dealing with uncertainty

The flexibility of a month-to-month lease provides freedom to the landlords, but it also provides the same to the renters. They can move out anytime as long as they issue a 30-day notice. To earn a consistent income, it’s best to have a long-term renter who will pay the rent monthly.

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Short notice period

The flip side of the shorter notice period presented by a month-to-month lease is you are bound to encounter rental vacancies. You will need to attract new renters within a month. This can be stressful for some landlords.

Unpredictable income

If you have a vacation home and offer a month-to-month lease, you may be earning an optimal income during a peak season. But what happens during a low season when vacancies abound?

Adopting a month-to-month lease arrangement means coming to terms with inconsistent income. Some months you may earn high, while for other months your income is lower.

Signing a Month-to-Month Lease

Although a month-to-month lease sounds temporary, you still need to prepare a written lease to lower your exposure to legal risks. The holding-over clause lets you continue the month-to-month term arrangement without the necessity of signing a lease every 30 days. This clause also protects you from overstaying renters.

What Is the 30 Days’ Notice for a Month-to-Month Lease?

Generally, the minimal period required for either a landlord or tenant to send a notice is thirty days under a month-to-month lease. However, both can still notify the other ahead of the 30 days.

Outside of the tenancy end, the 30-day notice can also be given when the landlord changes the rental rates and property policies. Make sure to note rental price increases in writing to prevent disputes.

Bottom Line

Learning the advantages and disadvantages of a month-to-month lease helps landlords make the right decision. You can ask yourself what your main priority is. Is it flexibility or stable earnings?

If managing vacancies in between tenancy is stressful for you, then perhaps choosing a fixed-term traditional lease is a better option. If you’re seeking a trusted property management company to take care of your rental that follows a month-to-month lease, contact Stringer Management today!