When you rent an apartment with an annual lease, you have to make a decision every year. You usually have three options: renew your lease for another term, switch to a month-to-month lease, or move. There are several factors to consider before deciding whether or not to renew your lease.
If it’s time to renew your lease, you’ve been there for at least a year. You probably know what you like and don’t like about the apartment and the general location of the unit as well as what you would change there if you could. You can use this information to help you determine whether to renew your lease. There can be many reasons to stay, and just as many reasons to decide to move elsewhere. In a single year, many important life changes can occur that impact our daily life.
Reasons to renew a lease
Some reasons for renewing your lease may include that you like the apartment and that it suits your current lifestyle. Another factor for staying may be that you have a good relationship with your landlord or the manager of your apartment. If the management takes care of the maintenance and repairs of your unit, it makes for a pleasant living environment. Also, if your unit is part of an apartment group, you can have friends and a sense of community in the complex, making it more difficult to leave.
Reasons for not renewing a lease
There may also be factors that make you want to find another apartment. Landlords can use a new lease as a time to raise the rent, and if you’re already stretching your budget to make ends meet, a rent increase can be a deal breaker. You may have noisy or obnoxious neighbors. The neighborhood might not be the one you like now that you’ve been living there for a while. The location may not be convenient for your work or other recreational activities.
If your lifestyle has changed during the year, your current apartment may not be your best choice anymore. For example, you might want to have a roommate and a bigger apartment, or maybe your roommate has moved, so you need a smaller place. Maybe you’ve changed jobs or some other lifestyle change, like starting a new relationship, so that the place that was once ideal has become unsuitable.
Benefits of renewing a lease
When considering the downsides of staying where you are, it’s also important to consider the benefits of renewing your current lease:
- It’s easier: Renewing a lease eliminates the burden of looking for new accommodation and going through the intensive moving process, which can be long and expensive.
- It is less expensive: Even if your rent goes up slightly, it is cheaper to pay a little more each month than to pay a deposit for a new apartment on top of the moving costs.
- It’s comfortable: You’ve been living there for quite some time now, so you’ve established a habitat and a routine. You are comfortable and don’t have to deal with the uncertainty of where you will live or whether or not you will like your new home. In addition, you already know the owner, location and conditions of the rental property.
- It builds your relationship with your landlord: If your landlord offers a lease renewal, they want you to stay. Renewing your lease is based on the relationship you have with your landlord. Being a reliable tenant increases your chances of having a great referral when it’s time to move on.
- It establishes a rental history: It also indicates stability if you have lived in the same location for two or more years, which may look good for credit, employment, or other apartment applications.
Alternative to renewing an annual lease
If you want to move but aren’t quite ready, there may be an alternative to renewing your lease for an entire year. Many landlords allow a short-term month-to-month lease if you are planning to move out but are not quite ready yet. This gives you more time to search for alternative accommodation, and it also gives your landlord a warning that you may be moving soon. Typically, when you accept a month-to-month lease, it is with the intention of not leasing it for another full year.
How to renew a lease
Since it’s usually the easiest option for a landlord to keep tenants reliable for as long as possible, they’re usually open to renewing a lease. If you are a reliable tenant who respects the rental property and consistently pays rent on time, you are probably a great candidate to renew your lease.
You will likely receive a notification from your landlord by email, letter, or in person when it is time to renew your lease. Typically, you will receive this amount 60 to 90 days before your lease expires. If you haven’t heard from the property manager, contact them to discuss the lease renewal.
Here are some questions to consider when renewing your lease:
- Will the rent stay the same?
- Does your home need maintenance or repairs that you need to organize with your landlord?
- Are there any changes between your current lease and the new lease?
Read the new rental agreement carefully, noting the deadline for your response. It is important to let your landlord know your intentions regarding the lease, because if you miss the deadline, they can rent your apartment even if you intended to stay. As soon as you have made your decision, sign and return the new lease to your landlord.