Short-Term vs. Long-Term Rentals in New York. What’s The Best Option For You?

Lease term is arguably the most common concern for people hunting for an apartment in NYC. The two popular lease terms are short-term and long-term, and each has its pros and cons. Your decision on which term to choose may be tied to the existing lease term or may stem from a personal decision.

Depending on where you stand, one lease term may be beneficial over the other. Let’s explore the benefits and downsides of long-term and short-term rentals when looking for a new apartment in NYC.

Short-Term Rentals

A short-term rental duration should typically last between a day and a month. It can also mean a lease lasting less than twelve months and one that is renewed monthly.

New York City regulations limit its definition of the short-term rental to an apartment in which the host shares the space with guests. Let’s have a look at the sides of the coin if you’re considering getting a short-term rental.

When is a Short-term Rental Ideal in NYC?

A short-term rental is ideal if you are a new visitor to New York and are looking to explore the city. This is because it gives you the freedom to switch places at a moment’s notice.

Besides the freedom, you are also exempt from worrying about the apartment’s safety standard and compliance status. This is because New York State law places the burden of compliance to safety standards on the owner of the building for short-term rentals.

Also, a short-term rental is a perfect choice if you prefer to live in an uncongested environment. New York City state regulations bar property owners from advertising Class A multiple dwellings for short-term rentals.

Any building with more than three permanent residential units is listed as a Class A dwelling. Not only are short-term rental units fewer, but hosts are only allowed to have a maximum of two tenants for each household.

As a plus, you are assured of a speedy resolution to any arising matter since the host is present during your stay.

Why it Might Not Be The Best Option

For starters, short-term rentals can be considerably expensive. The reason for this is the high risk it poses to the landlord or lessor. For example, landlords usually charge more for short-term rentals to protect themselves from spontaneous loss of income.

Unlike long-term rentals where tenants are required to give notice several months before leaving, a short-term rental can be terminated in a moment.

Even though the New York City State laws cap the amount of rent charged for short-term leases in rent-stabilized buildings, they remain comparatively high.

Long-Term Rentals

The definition of a long-term rent in NYC is a bit of a gray area since regulations regarding long-term leases are ambiguous. Regulations on the establishment of Airbnb define a long-term rental as a lease that lasts for more than 30 consecutive days.

For most people that have lived in NYC, a lease that lasts more than twelve months is considered a long-term rental in NYC.

What Makes a Long-Term Rental Ideal?

If you are conscious about your spending and want to save every coin, then a long-term rental should be at the top of your list. Landlords love having long-term tenants and as such offer lower rates and discounts.

Besides the affordability, long-term rentals allow you to customize your space to your liking. Your agreement should dictate the extent of customization allowed, however, it’s not uncommon to find rentals that allow tenants to even resize interior spaces.

Having a long-term rental is beneficial to your credit score as well. Moving too often negatively affects your credit score and limits your chances of finding suitable accommodation. A long-term rental helps you build trust with your landlord and creates a positive reference.

Why Long-term Rental Might Not Be Suitable For You

Despite the lower rent rates associated with long-term rentals, the burden of maintenance is usually left to the tenant. This could considerably drive up your cost of living when you have to carry out numerous maintenance. In addition, you might be required to cater to the cost of furnishing.

No matter how many times you change the layout in your living room, or change the color of curtains and rugs, living in the same place for a long time gets boring.


All said, nothing really sets short-term rental and long-term rental apart. It largely depends on the individual’s needs and capabilities.

It would be pointless to get a long-term rental when your stay in NYC is short. The contrary is also true. The best option for you should be dictated by your needs and budget.

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