Mid Term Rentals: A Guide for Renters and Landlords

What Are Mid-Term Rentals?

Mid-term rentals refer to properties rented for a period of 1 to 12 months, filling the gap between short-term vacation rentals and long-term leases. Typically lasting a few months up to a year, mid-term rentals offer more flexibility than traditional 12-month apartment leases while providing longer-term housing compared to nightly or weekly rentals.

Unlike short-term rentals aimed at vacationers or business travelers, mid-term housing caters to those needing transitional accommodation for several months. This could include people relocating for a job, students, or those renovating their primary residence. At the same time, mid-term rentals don't lock tenants into a year-long commitment like most long-term leases.

The rental period for mid-term housing can vary, but most landlords and property managers define it as a minimum of 30 days up to a maximum of 12 months. This in-between timeframe distinguishes mid-term rentals from short vacation stays and open-ended, indefinite leases. It provides a middle ground for those needing temporary housing for an extended yet predefined stretch of time.

Who Uses Mid-Term Rentals?

Mid-term rentals are commonly used by a variety of renters who need temporary housing for periods longer than a typical vacation, but shorter than a traditional long-term lease. Some of the most common renters of mid-term housing include:


College students often seek mid-term rentals for summer internships or short academic programs that last a semester or two. These flexible rental periods allow them to secure housing matching their needs without being locked into a full year lease.

Relocating Employees/Workers

People moving for a new job frequently utilize mid-term rentals as temporary accommodation while they get settled and search for more permanent housing. This is especially common for corporate relocations, giving employees a transition period.

Corporate Housing

Many companies rent mid-term housing for staff traveling on longer work assignments, training programs, or corporate relocations. This provides their employees with a residential experience rather than extended hotel stays.

Temporary Assignments/Contracts

Contractors, freelancers, or employees with temporary roles in a new city leverage mid-term rentals to have a home base for the duration of their assignment without a long-term commitment.

Home Renovations

Homeowners sometimes rent mid-term housing to have a place to live while major renovations are completed on their primary residence.

Mid-term rentals offer the flexibility and amenities of a residential property, while still being a short-term living situation. This makes them an ideal solution over crash pads, hotels, or vacation rentals for people in transitional life circumstances.

Where to Find Mid-Term Rental Listings

There are a variety of ways to find mid-term rental listings depending on your location and preferences. Popular rental platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, and Furnished Finder have sections dedicated to mid-term stays. Many real estate companies also handle mid-term corporate housing rentals. 

If you'd prefer to work directly with landlords, check sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and local classifieds. Be diligent about verifying listings when going this route. Attending in-person open houses can also uncover mid-term options.

When searching, use filters for your desired rental period, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, and must-have amenities. Having a broad search area will return more results. You can narrow it down later based on your priorities like commute time, neighborhood preferences, parking needs, etc. 

Don't forget to leverage your personal network as well. Friends, colleagues, and local community groups may have great insider mid-term rental leads. With some diligent searching across multiple platforms, you'll be able to find and compare a variety of mid-term rental options.

What to Look for in a Mid-Term Rental

When searching for a mid-term rental, there are several key factors to consider to ensure you find a comfortable and convenient living situation. Amenities offered can greatly impact your experience, so look for properties with desirable features like a gym, pool, laundry facilities, and parking. Many mid-term rentals come fully furnished, which can be a major perk for a temporary stay. However, some renters may prefer an unfurnished unit to avoid someone else's style and furniture. 

Pet policies are another important consideration, especially for those with furry companions. Some landlords allow pets with an additional fee or rent premium, while others have a strict no-pet policy. It's best to verify the pet rules upfront.

The neighborhood and surrounding area should also factor into your search. Evaluate things like proximity to work, nearby amenities like restaurants and shopping, safety, and transportation options. A quick feel of the neighborhood can reveal if it's a good fit for your lifestyle during the mid-term rental period.

Mid-Term Rental Costs and Fees

Mid-term rental rates tend to be higher than long-term leases but lower than nightly vacation rental rates. Expect to pay 10-30% above the monthly rate for an annual lease. However, the total costs can still be lower than paying nightly rates at a hotel for an extended stay.

Upfront costs like security deposits, cleaning fees, and rental application fees can add up. A typical security deposit is one month's rent. Cleaning fees for a mid-term stay range from $100-$300 depending on the size of the rental. Application fees from $30-$100 per person are also common.

The tradeoff is that many mid-term rentals come fully furnished and have utilities included in the monthly rate. This eliminates moving costs and utility setup fees. Overall, mid-term rentals provide more flexibility than annual leases but at a higher price point than locking into a 12+ month lease. Travelers and those needing temporary housing often find the costs worthwhile.

Benefits of Mid-Term Rentals

Mid-term rentals offer several key advantages over traditional short-term and long-term housing options. One of the biggest benefits is flexibility. With lease terms ranging from 1-12 months, mid-term rentals allow you to avoid being locked into a year-long (or longer) commitment before deciding if an area is the right fit. They provide a happy medium for those wanting more than a vacation rental but less than a multi-year lease.

Another perk is the ability to "test drive" different neighborhoods and locations. Mid-term housing gives you an extended period to explore an area, try out your commute, and get a feel for the vibe before deciding to settle down long-term or move on. Many renters use mid-term stays to help ease job relocations too.

Furnishing is also a major convenience factor with mid-term rentals. The majority come fully equipped and furnished, so you can pack light and avoid the headache of moving large furniture. Simply bring your suitcase and move right into a comfortable, turnkey living situation. This makes mid-term rentals ideal for transitions like corporate housing, temporary job assignments, sabbaticals, etc.

Overall, mid-term rentals are an excellent option for anyone valuing flexibility, convenience, and the ability to experience an area before fully committing long-term. The extended rental period provides a welcome middle ground.

Downsides of Mid-Term Rentals

While mid-term rentals offer flexibility and convenience, they also come with some potential downsides. One major drawback is the lack of stability compared to long-term leases. Since mid-term rentals are temporary by nature, you may need to move more frequently. This can be stressful and disruptive, especially if you have to uproot every few months.

Additionally, mid-term rentals often come at a premium price compared to annual leases. Landlords capitalize on the flexibility by charging higher monthly rates. The shorter commitment also means you miss out on potential rent discounts for longer lease terms.

Another hassle is the move-in and move-out process itself. Each time you relocate to a new mid-term rental, you'll need to go through the motions of shifting all your belongings, setting up utilities, and getting acclimated to the new space. This recurring logistical overhead can be mentally and physically draining over time.

Finding Deals on Mid-Term Rentals

While mid-term rentals are generally more expensive per month than long-term leases, there are ways to find good deals if you're flexible on timing and location. Booking during the off-peak season can lead to significant discounts, as landlords prefer to have units occupied rather than sitting vacant. Prices may drop 10-30% or more in many markets.

Timing is key - popular destinations will see lower prices in late fall, winter (excluding holiday periods), and early spring. Researching typical seasonality patterns for an area can reveal the cheapest months. Being open to different neighborhoods or more affordable cities can also uncover steeper discounts.

It's always worth inquiring about any wiggle room on pricing, especially if committing to a longer rental period. Many landlords would rather negotiate than have a vacancy. Offering to pay a lump sum upfront may motivate them to reduce the monthly rate as well. Don't be afraid to make the first offer and negotiate respectfully.

Bundles that include utilities or services can drive down the overall costs too. And leveraging connections or alumni networks could yield insider rental opportunities not publicly advertised. With some flexibility and negotiating skills, mid-term renters can often secure below market prices.

The Mid-Term Rental Lease

A mid-term rental lease is a legally binding contract between you and the landlord or property owner. It outlines the rental terms, policies, and expectations for both parties during the rental period of 1-12 months. Here are some key things to understand about mid-term rental leases:

Term Length and Renewal Options:

The lease will specify the exact rental term, whether it's 3 months, 6 months, etc. It should also indicate if there is an option to extend or renew the lease after the initial term expires and any associated fees.

Rental Rate and Payment Schedule:

The monthly rental rate will be stated, as well as the payment due dates and acceptable payment methods. Some leases may offer a discounted rate for longer terms.

Security Deposit:

Most mid-term leases require paying a security deposit upfront, usually equal to one month's rent. The lease will outline how it can be used and the conditions for receiving a full refund after moving out.


The lease should clarify which utilities are included in the rent and which need to be activated and paid for separately by the tenant. Common utilities covered are WiFi, cable, water, and trash.

Occupancy Limits:

There will be a maximum number of occupants allowed to prevent overcrowding. Any long-term guests may require approval.

Rental Rules and Restrictions: 

Important rules about noise, pets, smoking, parties, decorating, and other regulations will be spelled out. Violating them can be grounds for penalties or termination.

Early Termination:

Find out the penalties or fees for ending the lease early before the term is up. Some landlords may have a zero-tolerance policy.

Repairs and Maintenance:

The process and responsibilities for requesting repairs and property upkeep during the rental period should be defined.

Be sure to thoroughly read through the lease before signing and get any clarification needed from the landlord or property manager. A clear understanding of the terms can prevent issues down the road.

Tips for a Great Mid-Term Stay

To make the most of your mid-term rental experience, it's important to be a respectful tenant, protect yourself with rental insurance, explore your temporary neighborhood, and maintain clear communication with your landlord.

As a tenant, treat the rental property as if it were your own home. Be considerate of neighbors, follow all rules and policies, and leave the space in good condition. It's also wise to get rental insurance to cover your belongings and potential liabilities. Many landlords require this anyway.

Don't just hole up inside the rental - get out and experience the local area! Discover fun activities, great restaurants, parks, and entertainment unique to that neighborhood. Immersing yourself can make a short-term stay feel more fulfilling.

Finally, open communication with your landlord is crucial. Clarify all policies, rules, and expectations upfront. If any issues arise, notify them promptly. Being a respectful, responsible tenant can lead to a positive rental experience and references for future housing.

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