Should You Offer Short-Term Leases for Residential Rental Properties?

Should You Offer Short-Term Leases for Residential Rental Properties?

The standard one-year lease is by far the most-used occupancy contract offered by landlords for residential properties, and it’s common to see one-year, two-year, five-year, and even longer leases on commercial properties. Lessor/lessee contracts lasting less than one year—often for six months or one month (including month-to-month), or even for just a week—are considered short-term leases.

Obviously, there aren’t many occasions when short-term commercial property leases make sense for owners or tenants (although situations like political campaigns needing office space and trending concepts like pop-up restaurants are examples of when it would). But should you offer short-term leases for residential rental properties?

As with any investment consideration, the prospect has its pros and cons, and ultimately there’s no single right answer; you need to decide what’s best for you, your situation, and your investment goals. Below are some key things to think about when debating whether or not to offer tenants short-term leases for residential rental properties.

Pros of Short-Term Leases for Residential Rental Properties

  • Charge higher rent in exchange for lease flexibility
  • Short-term leases afford more opportunities to raise rental rates and adjust terms (e.g., deposit requirements, pet policies, move-out inspection processes, etc.)
  • Access different demographics of renters and be more competitive in a crowded rental market
  • A short-term lease can function like a trial period with a new tenant
  • Possibly avoid eviction hassles if the lease ends soon enough
  • Plan leases to end at high-demand times of year
  • Retain good tenants longer who might not want to re-sign for a full year
  • Have more opportunities to make upgrades and improvements without working around an occupant
  • Profit as a vacation rental or home for extended-stay business travelers, which can command higher rates than tenant rent if you’re in the right location

Cons of Short-Term Leases for Residential Investment Properties

  • Homes or units are likely to be unoccupied more of the time, losing income
  • A higher move-in/move-out rate increases the need for maintenance and repairs
  • You may lose good tenants more quickly and/or more often
  • More tenants over time means more opportunities for negative experiences (e.g., non-payment, late payments, excessive damage, complaints from neighbors, etc.)
  • Short-term leases may attract tenants with job insecurity or other potential issues that may not be evident in the vetting process
  • Check local and state tax filing requirements; you may be subject to additional licensing requirements, local and state taxes for leases that run less than six months

Need help with real estate investing?

Our finance, mortgage, and tax experts specialize in helping real estate investors, including foreign investors in US properties. Let's talk about how we can help you succeed!


We're a well-established tax and accounting, mortgage, and financial advisory firm operating since 2000. We serve our clients from three Central Florida locations. Our expertise extends to both domestic and international concerns when it comes to investing and doing business in Florida and beyond.

Blog Categories

Sign up now!

Subscribe to our monthly digital magazine for the latest content delivered straight to your inbox.

  • Please Choose
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Telephone +1 (863) 968-1010
Facsimile +1 (863) 968-1020
Auburndale Office
Harding Bell International, Inc.
113 Pontotoc Plaza
Auburndale, FL 33823-3439
Kissimmee Office
Harding Bell International, Inc.
8687 West Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, Ste 206
Kissimmee, FL 34747
Lakeland Office
Harding Bell International, Inc.
114 Palmola Street
Lakeland, FL 33803
Lake Wales Office
Harding Bell International, Inc.
29 State Road 60 West
Lake Wales, FL 33853
Longwood Office
Harding Bell International, Inc.
710 Miami Springs Dr Ste 100
Longwood, FL 32779

Orlando Web Design by CREATE180 Design