Everything You Need to Know About Short-Term Housing Options

Jessica Johnson
Find Self-Storage

If you’re looking for short-term rentals and similar housing options, you might find that they’re harder to come by than a longer-term arrangement. But you can find apartment rentals that allow for short stays if you know where to look. 

There are also other options for temporary housing, and the choices you have can depend on where you’re located or where you’re moving to. Here are the most important things to consider when looking for short-term apartments.

Short Term Rentals

Short term rentals are your standard apartment or housing rentals that are available with different lease length agreements. Typically, most apartments will offer short term housing, but the rental rates will be a lot higher than if you were to commit to a standard 12-month lease.

Just like with a regular apartment, you’ll have to apply and submit to a credit check. Some places may even allow you to negotiate a deposit based on your rental history and credit score. The shortest lease term that most apartments will agree to is a 6-month lease, but some may agree to shorter terms. The downside of doing a shorter term lease in an apartment is a higher deposit and monthly rent.

Utilities that are usually covered, may also not be covered for temporary residents. Also keep your four-legged friends in mind. Even if you find a pet-friendly short-term apartment, you’ll probably need to pay a pet fee and extra rent for that as well.


Subletting is when you take over someone else’s apartment using a sublease. A sublease is an agreement between you and the tenant that you are moving in and agreeing to pay rent to the landlord. A tenant might want to sublease their apartment if they have to move suddenly and the landlord won’t let them break their lease. Instead of breaking their lease, they can find a new tenant to take their place (that’s you!).

The benefit to subletting is that you may not have to pay a deposit or submit to a credit check unless the tenant doing the sublease is real thorough.

Corporate Housing

Now if you are lucky to work for a big fancy corporation who wants to relocate you for a position, then this may be an option for you.  Many apartments offer corporate housing, which many times may be a part of your job package or compensation. Another great perk of corporate housing is that they come fully furnished, meaning that there is no need to go furniture shopping, which is a lot less stressful.

The only downsides to this type of temporary housing are the inability to customize the décor of the apartment and also higher costs if your company isn’t covering the expense.

Vacation Rentals

The next and more fun temporary housing option are vacation rentals! Doesn’t that sound exciting? Typically, many vacation rentals that are used for short-term vacation homes can also be used for longer stays. Some examples of companies that offer vacation rentals are Airbnb and HomeAway. These companies then guide people to properties (or private rooms within the property) that are available on a short term basis. Very similar to corporate housing, these can also be a lot cheaper if your stay is longer, and they typically come equipped with everything you need as far as furniture, housewares and linens are concerned

One pro of this type of rental is rates that are way cheaper during the offseason months. Cost could also be a con if your stay is during the busy season, or summer/holiday months.

Extended Stay Hotels

The next stop on this temporary housing choo-choo train is extended stay hotels. What are those you say? Extended stay hotels are typically designated for business travelers who need a longer than normal stay for work or a conference. These rooms are typically set up to have all the comforts of home, and also offer great rates for longer stays. Many of them feature the same layout as a typical apartment home, just a lot smaller.

The downside of using an extended stay hotel is living in a hotel room for a few weeks can get old quick, even if it has a free continental breakfast.

With Relatives

The last and least conventional form of short term housing is staying in a relative or family member’s home or guesthouse. This one depends on whether or not you happen to have family that is willing and has the space to accommodate you in the city that you are traveling to.

This would be extremely effective for those who are moving to a new city for a job and need a temporary couch to crash on until they can secure more permeant housing. It also it great for someone who does gig work and will only need a place to stay for a very short amount of time.

How to find the right short-term rental?

No matter where you’re looking for short-term housing, whether it’s in a big city or a smaller town, there are many ways to find condos and other temporary housing options that will work for your needs. The best way to locate what you’re looking for is to first reach out to the people you already know and use the information you can easily locate. For example:

  •     Ask your family and friends
  •     Explore what’s around your neighborhood
  •     Search for options online
  •     Check out corporate options
  •     Tap into your social networks
  •     Think outside the box
  •     Hire a broker to help you

When you need a short-term rental or a temporary stay option, asking around often gets you what you’re looking for. If it doesn’t, choosing to hire a professional can get you into a temporary housing arrangement you can feel good about.

What to bring to temporary housing

Short-term housing options vary, but it helps to know what to bring. Ask the person or company you’re renting from specifically what’s included so you know what you need to bring. In the best-case scenario, you’ll only need your clothes and toiletries, along with any personal or comfort items you’d like to bring along. Then everything else can be stored until you get into your permanent housing.

Where to Keep Your Stuff

A final thing that should be considered when looking for temporary housing is storage. If you are moving for a temporary, but extended amount of time, you may need to find a self-storage facility to store your furniture or extra personal items. You’ll also want to consider is the proximity of the storage facility to your temporary housing location.

This is especially important for those who may be moving from location to location in a short amount of time. Be sure to take the time to shop around and verify that you are getting the most bang for your buck. Safety is another factor that should be considered when deciding on a storage facility. Check out reviews from other customers and also seek out personal recommendations if possible.

This should go without saying, but you can’t live inside a self-storage unit for any amount of time. If you were thinking that you could just crash at a storage facility for a few days until you find a real place, think again. Not only is it illegal, but it is dangerous and uncomfortable. Don’t do it!

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on November 8, 2022 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Jessica Johnson

Jessica is a writer and actress based in New Orleans.
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About the SpareFoot Blog

The SpareFoot Blog offers tips about self-storage, information about storage auctions, advice about home organization, news about SpareFoot and much more.
Contact the editor: [email protected]

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