$200 more for a month-to-month lease is not ridiculously high. I've seen people pay 2x as much for a month-to-month. A lease protects the landlord, to a degree, so you'll pay less rent when the landlord is protected by a lease.
A month-to-month renter makes landlords nervous and stressed out. They charge you for the headache you're causing them. So convenience on your part = inconvenience to the landlord. You have to pay extra for that luxury.... more