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Should You Sign a 6-Month or 1-Year Lease?

You’ve finally been approved for that apartment you’ve had your eye on and you’re already making plans to move in. Then your landlord tells you that you can choose either a six month or one year least. What should you do?

The answer to that question lies mostly in what you feel is best for you at that particular stage of your life. At first blush, it might seem to be the smartest move if you go with the six month lease but you might want to dial down the excitement for a moment and consider both options before signing on the dotted line.

There are pluses and minuses to both, which you should seriously consider. So, go that time honored route of grabbing a pencil and paper and writing down the pros and cons of each. Here’s a little information that might be helpful:

Six-Month Lease Considerations:


  • Given the choice, most individuals will choose a six-month lease.
  • In general, six month gives the renter plenty of time to figure out how much they like the apartment and if they want to stay.
  • Six-month also allows you the flexibility to move if you find yourself getting antsy. This way, should you be someone who likes to move around and you opt to leave, you wouldn’t have to break the lease and possibly pay a penalty.
  • Six-month seems a pretty safe way to go AND if you decide to stay – and your landlord has been happy with you – you should be able to simply renew your lease.


One-Year Lease Considerations:


  • If you know you have no intention of leaving anytime in the near future, signing a one-year lease might be the best option for someone who likes to plan ahead.
  • If things don’t work out you’re out of luck if you want to move before a year because you would have to break the lease and likely pay a penalty.
  • With a one-year lease, your landlord won’t be able to raise the rent until the end of your term. That means you know you’ll be paying the same amount for one-year and had you signed a six-month contract, your rent could be raised after six-months.


As stated previously, if you’re given the choice you should take it seriously and try to determine where you see yourself in a year. If you might be changing jobs, which could result in moving, a six-month least might be the best route to take. On the other hand, if you know you’re staying put – and you’d like to make sure your rent doesn’t increase for at least 12 months – the one-year lease is likely the best way to go.

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