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Short Term vs. Long Term - What Makes Sense for Your San Diego Rental?

San Diego is a unique rental market. While long term leases are typically the best option for investors, this is a tourist-friendly area with a lot of people who come and go for a period of days, weeks, or months. Short term rentals can be a benefit when you’re trying to reach vacationers or business travelers.

Today we’re looking at some of the pros and cons to help you decide whether you should rent your San Diego investment property out for the short or long term.

Short Term Leases: Pros and Cons


One of the benefits to renting your property out with a short term lease is that it gives you more flexibility if you’re renting out your own home. If you’re leaving the area temporarily and you hope to move back into the home one day, short term leases will allow you to get the home back when you’re ready.

Another benefit is you can typically charge more for the property if it’s rented for a shorter term. A lot of landlords do really well renting their property out as Airbnb homes, and they generate some great cash flow. The rate that they are charging is much higher than what you can charge for a standard 12-month lease.

However, one drawback to renting your property out for a short term is that it requires more work from you. You must be responsive to your frequently changing renters, and you’ll have to locate new tenants and move them in every few days, weeks, or months. You’ll need to handle the rental agreements and make sure the property is in good condition during each turnover. If you cannot commit to the intense ongoing maintenance and care of your property, a short term lease might not be best.

You also have the potential for more vacancies. Even in San Diego, the property won’t always be occupied, so you’ll need to constantly look for tenants. When you take all that vacancy you’re incurring over the long haul, it will add up to a lot of money that you would have saved had you locked someone in for a 12-month term.


Long Term Lease Agreements: Pros and Cons


Long Term Lease Agreements: Pros and ConsOne of the benefits to renting a property for the standard 12-month term is that these are the homes a majority of the tenant pool is seeking. They want that stable property that they know will be their home for at least a year. You’ll usually find tenants who are hoping to stay for longer than 12 months.

With our long term leases, our average tenant stays in place for two years or more, especially if you’re providing a good experience and maintaining the home. Long term tenants add some stability to your investment. You build a relationship with your tenant and you have a good idea of who is in your property. There’s less uncertainty, and usually less risk.

On the downside, you might not get those super-high nightly rents that you can charge when a tenant is looking to stay somewhere for one or two days. You also have to respect the length of the lease period, and it will be difficult and expensive to move the tenant out through no fault of their own.

This really depends on whether you want to earn as much as possible and you don’t mind the constant turnover, or if you’re looking for predictable and stable income with one tenant.

We can help you make this decision, and we can also help you manage your San Diego rental property. Contact us at Walters Home Management for more information.