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How to Choose the Length of a Lease

When putting a property up for rent, it is hard to know exactly how long a lease should be. If the lease period is too short, such as with a month-to-month contract, a landlord may have to deal with high turnover and the associated time and financial costs. On the other hand, some tenants shy away from long-term, 12 month leases because they do not want to be committed to a particular property. What is the best way for a landlord to determine a lease period?

A landlord will want to look at where their property is located and who their target demographic is. If you are renting in a:

  • College Town – A large segment of the population will likely be transient, making a six-month lease a desirable option. This type of lease offers flexibility for the student renter as it falls in line with changing academic schedules, while providing more security than a month-to-month lease. However, if you feel uneasy about finding renters every six months, a 12 month lease is still an option. You’ll need to decide if you’re willing to take the risk of turnover to appeal to more renters or if you’d rather have the security of a longer lease term. Are you a landlord that is tired of dealing with college turnover? Learn more about San Diego property management services and let a professional take care of marketing and rental responsibilities for you!
  • High Demand District – If you are fortunate enough to own a property where demand is higher than available real estate, a month-to-month lease may be a good idea. If your property is properly priced, well maintained and in a high-demand district, you have a better chance at getting tenants quickly. A month-to-month lease will allow you to appeal to more tenants, helping you to find someone who is reliable and respectful, and if they give their 30 days, you can hopefully fill the vacancy before any financial issues arise.
  • Residential Area – Year-long leases may be more appropriate as individuals looking to rent are likely connected to the area because of a job, a particular school, etc. Generally, renters will be new families who are not ready to purchase a home, but are still looking to raise children in a stable and community-oriented environment. In San Diego, there are many military families who are new to the area and are looking for a safe, friendly residential area to help make the transition to a new city easier. If you are a landlord and need help renting your home, click here to learn about professional residential management from Harland Property Management in San Diego.

The length of your lease will depend on what you as a landlord are most comfortable with, as well as the time you have to devote to managing your property. If you are overwhelmed by your responsibilities as a landlord, contact Harland Property Management at 858-367-0343 today, and don’t forget to check out what our clients are saying about us!