There are a lot of benefits to living in an apartment rental. Among them is the ability to encounter all different types of leases and the freedom this gives you, the lessee, to determine which fits best in your particular circumstances. You may be thinking to yourself, “Different apartment lease options? I’ve only ever come across the typical 12-month lease!” Well, believe it or not, there are quite a few other options. Let’s take a closer look at what they are.
What is an Apartment Lease?
It’s important, before we dive into the different types of leases that might be offered in an apartment rental situation, to first get a basic understanding of what the term “lease” actually means. A lease refers to any contract signed between a landlord or Management Company (lessor) and a tenant (lessee) which clearly outlines the guidelines and stipulations of the living arrangement. This includes, but is not limited to, the length of time the tenant may inhabit the space, the cost they will accrue for the duration of their stay there, and the rules and regulations that must be adhered to while living there.
Fixed Term Lease
The most commonly known type of apartment lease is a fixed term, or standard lease. A fixed-term lease typically spans over the course of 6-12 months and has a specified start and end date. Rental payments on a fixed lease are usually due on the same day of each month for the duration of the lease. The benefits of this type of lease include the security of guaranteed housing (unless, of course, it is determined that you are in breach of the lease terms and are, therefore, asked to vacate) and the stability of having set terms (the landlord may not, for example, raise your rental price for the length of the lease or randomly implement new rules and regulations). The downfall is that you, as a renter, are committed to your unit for the full time period outlined in the lease, leaving little wiggle room should you want to end the lease early.
An apartment rental offering a short-term lease option is ideal for those who have been temporarily relocated to an area, are actively searching for a home to buy or undergoing a renovation, or who are unsure where they would like to settle in a given area. These leases typically run 6 months or less and are paid on either a weekly or monthly basis. Because of the uncertain nature behind needing a lease like this, the terms are often quite flexible and allow for quick move-in and outs. The downside is that, due to the flexibility offered, landlords will often charge higher rents because they are running the risk of having the space vacant sooner than expected. A landlord can usually also terminate the contract on their end with very little notice, leaving the tenant a short amount of time to relocate.
An apartment rental lease offered on a month-to-month basis (also known as a periodic lease) is another great option for tenants who are uncertain how long they may remain in any given area. Because the rental “contract” is essentially renewed on a monthly basis, however, the tenant assumes a much higher risk. While both parties have the ability to terminate the lease with very little notice (typically 15-30 days), the landlord may also choose to arbitrarily up the rent or change the terms of the agreement on any given month.
A less common lease type is the proprietary lease, commonly seen in condominium and apartment co-op situations. In this structure, the lessee opts to buy stock in a community or building, essentially becoming part-owner of the property. This affords them the right to live within a designated unit within the building. A board is assigned to act as the landlord and the shareholder becomes the tenant. This type of lease is typically terminated when the tenant chooses to sell his/her shares in the property (as outlined in the rules and regulations put forth by the board).
A subletting apartment rental agreement can only occur when an existing tenant is given permission by their landlord to transfer all or part of their residential lease to a third party. Sometimes, the landlord will require that they are part of the vetting process to ensure they are allowing a quality tenant to take over, while other times they may prefer not to be involved. This type of situation is ideal if unexpected circumstances arise, causing the original tenant to not be able to follow through with their original lease.
Looking for Apartment Lease Options in Hattiesburg?
It may take some time and thought to determine which type of lease agreement works best for your situation, but the team at Hattiesburg Apartments is ready to help you figure it out! Contact one of our team members today to begin your search! We know you’ll be happy that you did!