There is no clear-cut answer, however, if you're simply asking about TRENDS and an "on the average" sort of answer, I would say the short sale. Someone could be in a short sale situation not necessarily because they can't pay their bills, but because they need to move (say, a job relocation) and their house is worth less than what is owed on it. In the case of a foreclosure, most of the time this is the result of a homeowner not being able to pay their mortgage every month, no matter WHAT the reason. Again, it could be something that is beyond one's control (e.g. a single mom going through a divorce; she may have gotten the house, but she can't afford the monthly payment), but foreclosure does carry a negative connotation to it. In either case, some explanation to the landlord might be in order if asked about it.