Renewing Your Apartment Lease

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Leasing an apartment can be a daunting task.  In many markets the available inventory is limited, rental rates are rising, and the competition for quality housing is through the roof.  These struggles make it more attractive for many renters to renew their current lease than survey the marketplace searching for the next best thing.  Besides, at this point in your lease you’ve likely become quite fond of your rowdy upstairs neighbor and the barking dog across the hall.  In addition to those clear-cut selling points, and the very real supply and demand trends playing out in the rental marketplace, renewing an apartment lease can provide many benefits to renters.  
Renewing your lease provides you the opportunity to improve your living situation. The plus side for your landlord? Business for another year. Choosing to stay with your current setup means saving money, the chance to negotiate new lease terms, and building a stronger landlord-tenant relationship. Instead of dealing with the headache that comes with moving to a new place, contemplate the upsides of a much easier alternative.

Reasons to Renew

The most positive aspect of renewing your lease is saving money. Even if there is a slight increase in rent with renewal, odds are it will equate to less than the cost of moving altogether. Then comes the aspect of comfort – your space is decorated to your liking, you’ve formed relationships with other tenants and your landlord, and the surrounding area feels like home. If you have received a rent renewal notice from your landlord, you’ve established yourself as a reliable tenant, and your landlord wants you to stick around. You now have the upper hand to negotiate rent terms, which can come with unit upgrades, lower fees, and additional perks that make staying put worthwhile. 

Opportunity to Negotiate

For once you may hold all the chips…or at least many of them.  Use this time to explore the opportunities that being a current tenant affords. When it comes to maintaining your current rental costs, you may be able to curb a monthly increase by opting for a long-term renewal, like 13 months instead of the standard 12 months. You can also offer alternatives that are beneficial to the landlord, like paying for the first few months up front at a reduced rate or asking about a rent credit for any referrals you provide. If you can negotiate your renewal terms, make sure to get the final agreement in writing. Even if your conversations are over the phone, confirm the details with a document signed by both parties to ensure your concessions are granted.

Relationship

Your past relationship with your landlord is a testament to your future success as a reliable tenant. Landlords are much more willing to provide renewals to tenants that pay rent on time, have few complaints, and are courteous to other renters as well as the spaces they occupy. Positive relationships between tenants can also reduce the risk of turnover within the building. Long-term residents offer a sense of community and camaraderie, making the complex more attractive to new renters. Have conversations with others in your building that chose to renew their leases in the past. What have been their experiences as long-term tenants?

Moving

When weighing the pros and cons of moving vs renewing your lease, there are a few considerations you’ll want to keep in mind. While moving to a fresh space can be exciting, the logistics are often overlooked. Moving can become a pricey decision when factoring in application fees, moving services, boxes, the security deposit, first month’s rent, and the impact of the current market on rental rates. Not to mention, moving is stressful and takes an immense amount of time and effort. However, these points can be negated if a new living situation will greatly improve your well-being in the long run. A few weeks of chaos can be worth the serenity of living in a place that better suites your needs. If moving is a serious possibility, create a checklist of what needs to be done and the associated costs that come with getting settled into a new space

Renewal vs. Extension

If you’re happy with your current living situation but are wary to renew your lease for another full-term, ask your landlord about extending your lease. Lease extensions can range from short-term contracts to month-to-month agreements, giving you the flexibility to search for other options without the stress of an impending lease-end. If shorter lease terms come with higher rent costs, leverage your positive relationship and clean track record with your landlord. Remember, they appreciate model tenants, and keeping your business makes your landlord’s life easier!
At the end of the day, only you can decide what is best when it comes to your living situation. Just remember, the end of a lease does not mean you have to move yet again. Talk to your landlord and consider if renewing your lease may be the right option for you.

Contact Ciminelli

If you have any real estate questions, contact Ciminelli. We are an industry leader in all facets of real estate. Our team is also here to help you with any other residential real estate services you may need, whether you are an owner or renter.


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