House Leasing: What You Need to Know

When you aren't quite ready to buy a home, you have a few options — you can rent an apartment, condo or home. Renting an apartment is a common choice for many people, but have you ever considered house leasing?

If you're debating an apartment vs. a house, read on. We'll walk you through the pros and cons of house leasing and answer all your questions.

What is leasing a house?

Before we look at the pros and cons of apartments vs. houses, let's quickly define house leasing. A house lease agreement is a contract between a landlord and a renter that outlines the terms and conditions required to rent the space.

A house lease agreement is usually 12-months but the length of the lease can vary. The lease legally protects both the property owner and the renter — the property owner is guaranteed monthly payments and the renter is guaranteed a place to live for the duration of the lease.

Pros and cons to apartments vs. houses

If you're in the market for a new place to rent and are deciding between an apartment or a house, here are some of the main differences between the two.


Typically, houses offer more space than an apartment. You'll likely have your own yard, garage, basement and attic, in addition to more rooms in the home and more square footage.

If you have a family or are simply looking for a place to live that provides more room, house leasing is a good option to consider. Apartments are great for singles or small families, but they usually lack the space most houses have to offer.

Proximity to other people

Apartment buildings are typically multiple stories high and have lots of units in the same building. Therefore, you live within close proximity to other people. Houses, on the other hand, are located in neighborhoods where you have more physical distance between your family and the neighbors. No one lives above, beneath or to the side of you like in an apartment setting.


Houses offer the renter more indoor and outdoor space, storage and privacy. However, they usually don't come with amenities like a community pool, gym, laundry facility or club house. If you like amenities built into your lease agreement, an apartment may be the better option. Some houses that are for lease include a pool, but they are few and far between.


Some apartments are pet-friendly, but they often come with size restrictions. Houses that are for lease, on the other hand, are usually more pet-friendly and accept any size or breed of pet. If you're a pet-owner, house leasing is a good option because you'll have a yard for your pet and more options to work with.


One of the perks of renting an apartment is access to the maintenance staff as part of your rental agreement. If you have a leak or an issues with you heater, the maintenance staff is readily available to help.

When leasing a home, you may be responsible for maintenance. The landlord may pay for it or reimburse you for the cost of fixing an issue, but it may be up to you to handle the problem yourself.

If you're someone who is handy and willing to maintain upkeep on a home, leasing a house is a great option. However, if you want maintenance taken care of, an apartment may be a better option for you.

couple looking at house

Is leasing a house a good idea?

Now that we've gone over some pros and cons of house leasing, here are a few things that'll help you determine if leasing a house is a good idea for you.

Check out the neighborhood

When people search for a home, they often scout the neighborhood first. You'll want to check out the potential neighborhood you'd be living in and assess if it's right for you. Look at things like the schools, parks, safety records and access to public transit if you commute. All of these things can help you make a decision about house leasing in a certain area.

Talk to the current renters

If you're interested in leasing a specific house, get in touch with the previous renters. This is a great way to truly learn about the home and understand the experience with the landlord. You can ask what the previous tenants liked and didn't like about the property, which can help inform your decision and answer your question, “Is house leasing a good idea?"

Meet the landlord

Once you've decided that you want to lease a house, it's time to meet the landlord. Always meet the landlord or property owner in person. If you aren't able to meet in person, be cautious as this could be a red flag or scam. Talk to the landlord, ask your questions, read through the lease together and you're setting yourself up for a healthy relationship between renter and property owner.

How much is it to lease a house?

In addition to finding the right place to live, you need to consider how much it'll cost to rent a house. Because you're getting more space and living in a home instead of an apartment, you're likely going to pay more than you would for an apartment.

The average cost of leasing a house ranges from $2,000 to $5,000, depending on how many bedrooms and the location of the home. When house leasing, you'll need to put aside money for:

  • Application fees
  • First and last month's rent
  • Security deposit
  • Pet fees (if applicable)

House leasing as your next step

House leasing is a great option for those who aren't quite ready to buy but are ready to take the next step forward from renting an apartment. Leasing a home gives you more space, privacy and a taste of what home ownership may look like.

Sage Singleton Sage Singleton is a freelance writer with a passion for literature and words. She enjoys writing articles that will inspire, educate and influence readers. She loves that words have the power to create change and make a positive impact in the world. Some of her work has been featured on LendingTree, Venture Beat, Architectural Digest, and In her free time, she loves traveling, reading and learning French.

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