Many home rentals are only contracted for one year. Though the lease may be extended at that time, a year might not offer you the stability that you're looking for in rental housing. Finding a realtor willing to rent a home for longer than a year may be difficult, but with good references and searching skills it can be done. You can rent a home with a long-term lease and know that you have a secure place to live at a set price.
Gather references from your prior landlords for the past three years. Try to obtain references that highlight your timely payments, courteous behavior and helpful attitude.
Visit a local realtor's office. Local realtors may be able to work with you on the lease terms. Using online sites or housing conglomerates reduces your chances of negotiating a long-term lease.
Ask to view properties that meet your price and housing needs. Go with an agent to see the properties. If you find one you like, inquire about negotiating a lease.
Explain that you want a long-term lease, not a standard year-long lease. Present your references from your prior landlords. Emphasize that you are a reliable tenant, and point out that such a stable arrangement can be mutually beneficial to both you and the realtor. You may have to negotiate the terms of the lease a bit to get the realtor to agree.
Meet with other local realtors if the first one you talk to doesn't meet your needs. Though most properties are expected to rent for a year at a time, it's likely that someone will be willing to negotiate and offer you a longer lease. Determine whether the lease becomes automatic after its term has passed, or if you will have to resign to continue living in the property.