Choosing a Long-Term vs. Short-Term Rental Lease Agreement: A Guide

December 2, 2023 0 comment

The decision between a long-term and short-term rental lease agreement can have lasting implications for landlords. Both types have their merits and limitations, and the ideal choice often depends on the landlord’s objectives, market conditions, and property type. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate this decision:

1. Understanding the Basics:
    • Long-Term Lease: Typically 6 months to several years, with one year being the most common duration.
    • Short-Term Lease: Often termed as vacation or holiday rentals, these agreements usually range from a few days to a few months.
2. Pros & Cons:
  • Long-Term Lease Agreement:
    • Stable Income: A guaranteed monthly income for the duration of the lease.
    • Reduced Turnover: Fewer instances of searching for tenants and preparing the property for new occupants.
    • Lower Marketing Costs: With tenants staying longer, you’ll spend less on advertising and tenant acquisition.
    • Locked-In Rates: If the market rate for rentals increases, you might be charging below the current rate until the lease ends.
    • Less Flexibility: Changes, upgrades, or selling the property can be more challenging with a tenant in place.
Short-Term Lease Agreement:
    • Higher Income Potential: You can often charge a higher nightly/weekly rate compared to the monthly rate of a long-term rental.
    • Flexibility: Easier to make changes or updates to the property between tenants.
    • Market Adaptability: Can adjust prices based on seasons or events.
    • Increased Turnover: Frequent tenant changes mean more time and money spent on cleaning, maintenance, and marketing.
    • Unpredictable Vacancies: Risk of the property sitting vacant without bookings.
    • Administrative Burden: Constant need to manage bookings, check-ins, and check-outs.

    3. Consider Market Factors:

    • Tourist Locations: Properties in tourist-heavy areas may benefit from short-term rentals due to constant demand.
    • Urban Areas: Cities with a high transient population, such as students or temporary workers, might have a demand for both.

4. Maintenance and Upkeep:

    • Long-Term: Generally, less wear and tear as tenants tend to care for a place they’re staying in longer.
    • Short-Term: Frequent turnovers can mean more cleaning and maintenance, but costs can often be offset by the higher rental income.
5. Legal and Regulatory Aspects:
    • Many cities have regulations governing short-term rentals. Ensure you’re aware of local laws and any licensing or tax obligations specific to short-term renting.

6. Financial Considerations:

    • Cash Flow: Determine if you need consistent monthly income (long-term) or if you can manage variable but potentially higher earnings (short-term).
    • Tax Implications: Some expenses are deductible, but tax implications can vary between the two types of rentals. Consult with a tax professional.


    Whether you opt for a long-term or short-term rental lease agreement depends on your financial goals, the amount of time you can dedicate to property management, and the specific attributes of your property and its location.

    Looking for Expert Property Management Advice? At, we help landlords navigate crucial decisions to maximize their investments. Reach out today to benefit from our deep expertise and insights into the property management landscape!

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