Can You Lease Two Apartments at the Same Time?

Can You Lease Two Apartments at the Same Time

When it comes time to move or to begin a new lease, a common question is “can you lease two apartments at the same time?”

In most cases, there are no restrictions against renting two (or more) apartments at the same time. As long as you can meet all of the obligations under your lease, and continue paying your rent for all apartments, then there shouldn’t be any issues.

I’ve personally rented 5 different apartments over the past 6 years, and I have had my name on two active leases at the same time. There are a few reasons you may want to rent two apartments at once, and there are some things you should consider before doing it. We’ll dig into more detail below:

Note: I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. This is simply insight from my personal experience and research. If in doubt, consult a lawyer before making important legal decisions.

Can You Rent Two Apartments at Once?

Can You Rent Two Apartments at Once?

Whether you can rent two or more apartments at the same time, is primarily dependent on whether you can pay rent and meet all other lease obligations on all of your apartments at the same time.

For many people, the cost of rent alone would prevent them from having two or more leases in their name at the same time. But, it might be possible (and even advantageous) for other folks.

Here are a couple of common examples where you might rent two apartments at the same time.


1. Your Leases Overlap When Moving

This is a scenario I’ve dealt with myself. Sometimes, you may find the perfect apartment for you, but the lease overlaps with your current lease by 15 days, 1 month, etc.

This is probably the most common reason to have multiple leases at the same time.

It can make it easier to move, because you don’t have to deal with a 1-day turnaround and/or moving stuff in and out of storage. However, it is also a high price to pay for a little added convenience.

For example, if you rent a 1-bedroom apartment, you might pay $1600/month in rent (varies dramatically based on location). If you overlap for just 1 month, that’s gonna cost you $1600 + utilities.

2. You Travel Frequently

If you travel frequently for work, school, etc. Then you might be inclined to have an apartment at home, and an apartment at work/school.

For example, I’ve worked in both Minneapolis and Austin for about a year (each), while living in a different state. I stayed in a hotel the whole time, but that really starts to get old after awhile.

So, I could easily imagine a consultant, contractor, or other types of professionals, renting an apartment in their home city and their work city.

3. Congrats, You’re Wealthy

I confess, I’m not in this group myself, but I know some folks who are. If you are doing well financially, you might decide to rent multiple apartments out of convenience, or for sport and leisure.

For example, it’s not uncommon for people who can afford it, to own or rent summer homes. Or even homes on each coast in the US (e.g. New York and Los Angeles).

So that’s a few examples of when/why you might rent two or more apartments at once. Now let’s cover a couple of exceptions where you might not be able to rent multiple apartments:

Possible Exceptions

1. The Landlord Sees You as a Financial Risk

Just because you can theoretically rent two or more apartments at once, doesn’t mean a given landlord will see you as a financially stable tenant.

If your finances are stretched thin because of your existing lease, or if you have bad credit and a history of missing payments, a landlord may refuse to rent their apartment to you.

2. Government Subsidized Housing

If your first or second lease is rent controlled, or connected to a government assisted housing program, then you may have restrictions or legal issues that make it difficult (or impossible) for you to rent a second apartment.

I’ve not dealt with this situation myself, but I could imagine this getting complicated. If you have this type of situation, you may need to consult a lawyer to understand your options.

There could be other exceptions, but I think this captures the highlights. As I mentioned, one of the most common reasons for having two leases at once is overlap in the leases when you’re moving. Let’s cover a couple of ways to avoid that double payment next.

How To Avoid Double Rent When Moving

How to Avoid Double Rent When Moving

If you’re moving and you want to avoid paying double rent, there are a couple of ways you can do it. You can negotiate with your current landlord, negotiate with your new landlord, or you can temporarily move your belongings into storage.

Each of these have some nuance to them, and we’ll cover those in more detail below. But first, let’s highlight the two main reasons you might be considering double rent in the first place:

  1. One day gap between new lease and old lease
  2. You found a place you like, but the new lease overlaps

It’s typical for leases to begin on the first day of the month, and end on the last day of the month. This seems very logical, until of course, when it’s time to move and you don’t know what to do with all your stuff for the one day between your old lease and your new lease.

For example, say your current lease expires on July 31, and your new lease begins on August 1, what do you do with your stuff for the night of July 31?!

Another common situation, is to find an apartment that you really like, but the new lease overlaps with your old lease. For example, imagine your lease expires on July 31, but you find a place you love where the lease begins on July 1. What do you do?

Here are the 3 main methods you can use to work through these issues:

1. Negotiate with Your Current Landlord

If your current landlord doesn’t have a new tenant lined-up, or if the tenant isn’t moving in until later, then they may be open to allowing you to stay one extra day until you move.

This is up to the discretion of your landlord, and if they have a new tenant moving in, their won’t be anything they can do. However, if the unit is going to be empty, many landlords will be open to letting you stay an extra day.

They may just expect you to pay for an extra day’s worth of rent, which is pretty reasonable in my opinion.

2. Negotiate with Your New Landlord

Another option is to try negotiating with your new landlord. It’s a similar situation, but in reverse. If the unit is empty, then your landlord will likely be willing to let you move in a day early.

This will not always be possible, and your landlord probably will expect you to pay an extra day of rent if it is possible. However, it’s definitely worth a try, considering it could save a lot of money for you.

Also, if the move-in date of the new lease is set for later than you want, then you may be able to talk the landlord into changing it to your desired move-in date.

For example, if you want to move in on August 1, but the move-in date for the new lease is July 1, your landlord might be willing to go with your move-in date or meet you halfway (e.g. July 15th).

This is up to the discretion of your landlord. If you have great credit, or if the landlord has been having trouble renting their place, they may be happy to negotiate with you. However, if they have a really nice unit that typically rents out quickly, then they will be less willing to negotiate.

3. Put Your Stuff in Storage for a Day

Finally, if option 1 and 2 don’t work out for you, you could always put your stuff into storage to fill the gap.

Sure, this is a hassle, but it could be worth it if it will save you a lot of money. There are a lot of self-storage units that you can rent for pretty cheap, or if you have a friend/neighbor with a big garage, that might also be an option.

If it’s just a one-day gap, then some folks will even just leave all their stuff in a U-Haul overnight, and then move it in the next day.

Alright, there you have it. Those are the main ways you can work around paying double rent. I hope you’ve found this article helpful. And if you have, I’d encourage you to check out our other “renting tips” articles, like how to buy groceries without a car, or other tips on our blog.

Related Questions

Can You Rent an Apartment and Own a House?

There are generally no restrictions to prevent you from owning a house and renting an apartment at the same time, as long as you can meet all of the financial and legal obligations on the lease and mortgage (if applicable). There could be exceptions to this, such as bad credit or other financial issues.

Can I Have a Treadmill in an Apartment?

A majority of the time, you can have a treadmill in your apartment.  But, there are many variables to consider such as space, time of use, noise, etc. And as always, it’s best to check the specifics of your lease agreement with your landlord before taking action. 

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