Military Members Looking for a Short Term Rental

Military Member Looking for a Short-Term Rental? Where to Begin 

By Dawn Smith
                                                                                                                              Photo credit: Gajus/Dollar Photo Club
When people typically think about someone who leases a room or an apartment within a house, the image of a young college kid who needs cheap rent pops into mind. What about a short-term furnished rental apartment? We often think of global executives living out of the country temporarily.  
Although these groups of people do often fit the temporary rental scenario, a growing number of military renters are looking for the same accommodations. Whether it’s economic, logistical, or a combination of reasons, military members occupy short-term rentals on a regular basis and housing options near installations are popping up all over. 
Reasons Military Rent Rooms
  • The militaryspouse says, "No, I am NOT going there." Let’s be honest, some assignment destinations are worse than others. If the kids are set up at school, the spouse’s perfect job is happening, and the dog has neighborhood friends, then it may be easiest for the person with PCS orders to head out alone. This is usually the case with a short-term (6 to 12 months) duty station or school and especially if they are headed right back to base they departed. A drastic lifestyle change for the entire family sometimes isn’t worth the chaos and anxiety a short-term or even long-term separation can induce.
  • Extenuating circumstances such as house that is unable to sell or local family with medical problems that need attention are also other reasons a military member becomes a geo-bachelor/bachelorette renter. Another example: after waiting 18 months for a home to become available on base only to give it up sooner than later is a huge negative for some military families.
Types of Rental Properties
  • Room or Apartment within a House. A home with a room for rentor an actual apartment style space is a typical option for short-term rental agreements. Usually, renters adhere to lease terms that are fairly simple without worry from yard maintenance or other upkeep such as gutter cleaning. Homeowners who are renting space are usually looking for the clean, mature, and quiet type. As long as there are clear rules about shared kitchens, bathrooms, and communal living spaces, these arrangements work well, especially for the workaholic renter, which many military members seem to be.
  • Private Company Housing. There is a trend happening on military bases recently. The private housing companies that build and operate standard base housing for full families are expanding their presence and business models to include apartment style living with short-term leases at the heart of the sale.
  • For example, Corvias Military Living built two new complexes, one on Fort Meade and one at Fort Bragg. The apartments are located on bases, taking away the commute. As a bonus, the rent includes most utilities. Fort Meade’s Reece Crossing even has furnished rentals.  
  • The option for single or roommate living is available at competitive prices. Because the renters are predominately military, lease terms are usually 6, 9, or 12 months with flexibility to extend after the term is up. It’s also not coincidental that both of these bases have heavy rotations of military students filing through various schools on post.
Roommate or No Roommate?
In many "geobachelor" situations, the renter is often concerned about saving money because they are probably paying for not only the household they left behind but adding the temporary home payment to the budget. This leads to the decision as to whether or not to bunk up with another person for the time stationed there.  
This is really a personal choice that has so many factors to consider beyond economic savings.  Review these situations before signing up to share a room or apartment.
  • Will the physical space accommodate two people and the military gear you’ll both need?
  • How would you feel about a stranger as a roommate?
  • Your stage in life makes a difference. A 35-year-old dad might not hit it off with an 18-year-old right out of basic training.
  • Can you trust the other person enough if you have to travel or deploy?
An honest and thorough conversation between roommates is important to meet expectations of the living arrangements. Pets, overnight guests, and visitors are just a few topics that can become tense issues later if not discussed. The landlord should also be aware of any roommate arrangements. Terms are exceptionally important to negotiate, particularly if one roommate is leaving earlier than the other.
A twist on living with a roommate is living and/or renting from family members. Regardless of paying rent or staying in someone else’s property for free, the potential for hurt feelings or disagreements is likely high.
Family members may feel it is their right to know your comings and goings, and you might feel obligated to divulge the information reluctantly because of the personal relationship. Frank discussions and transparent expectations from all involved must be established before the move-in day to avoid long lasting familial damage.
MilitaryByOwner Rental Searches

Room and home apartment searches are available through MilitaryByOwner. The process is easy and quick. To begin:
  1. Choose the appropriate state and base location needed.
  2. The MBO app will have a "Property Type" designation. Select "Room for Rent."
  3. On the website, "Property Type" and "Room for Rent" are both available to choose from the Advanced Search options that appear after choosing the appropriate state and base.
There are many reasons military members choose to rent short-term accommodations for their next assignment. Luckily, there are more options than ever to make the most of a temporary separation.