The topic of leases usually comes up when you’re looking for a new place, but what about when that lease period is up? 12 months can fly by pretty quickly, and it’s important to have an idea of what your options are, as well as what renewing an existing lease may or may not entail. If you’re perfectly content where you currently are, and your landlord is also happy with you as a tenant, re-upping for another year may be the obvious choice. That said, here are few important things to consider, from our apartment experts.
You aren’t guaranteed a chance to renew.
Just because you love where you are living, doesn’t mean your landlord or property manager loves having you there. Even if you are a stellar tenant, there a variety of reasons a lease may not be up for renewal. For instance, the apartment building may be up for sale or scheduled to undergo some major renovations. Or, the landlord may have another tenant lined up that he or she would prefer (which is their legal right, once the lease is up).
Before you bank on simply re-upping your lease for another year or two, make sure this is even going to be an option. Ask your landlord or property manager well in advance. That way, if their plan is different from yours, you’ll have ample time to start looking for another place and won’t be left scrambling when the lease expires.
Your terms you originally agreed upon may no longer be the same.
A lot of things go into determining the terms of a lease. For instance, cost of living and fair market value at the time a lease is signed are both taken into consideration when determining monthly rent costs. Many of these factors may change over the course of the lease, however, so it’s important to understand that what you agreed to the first time around may not be the same when you go to renew.
Your new lease may include a rental increase, a longer lease period, or other updated or new terms that weren’t in the original agreement. Be sure you are fully aware of what you are agreeing to before you sign on the dotted line. Keep in mind, also, that you may be able to negotiate some changes in terms with your landlord as well. Provided you have been an outstanding tenant, it’s typically in their best interest to work with you rather than have to find a new tenant to replace you.
You may be required to re-apply.
Just as external circumstances that impact rent costs can change a lot over the course of a lease term, the circumstances of the tenant can change as well. For instance, your income may have dropped significantly, or you may now be cohabitating with someone else. Landlords understand this, which is why they often require existing tenants to go through the application period again whenever the lease expires.
A new application provides landlords the protection of being able to run a new credit and/or background check to ensure that you are still a good investment. This isn’t something that’s always required, but it does happen, so be prepared, just in case.
Whether or not you will be able to continue to live where you are now once your lease is up will depend on a number of factors. It’s wise to be aware of the different possibilities in advance. That way you can avoid costly and frustrating surprises once the lease officially expires.
Lease renewal coming up soon? We may have a better place for you! Get in touch with us before renewing to see if a move may make more sense.