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How to Renew Your Lease in 7 Simple Steps

March 21, 2019

Finding a perfect apartment is not easy and requires significant amounts of time and effort. Once you’ve found your dream rental that has just the right amount of sunshine, is located in a great neighborhood, and boasts all the amenities you’ve been looking for, you better do everything in your power to keep it! To make sure that your home stays with you, remember to renew your lease before the end of your tenancy. To help you secure your apartment, we outlined some steps you need to follow for a successful lease renewal.

Step 1. Know when your lease ends.

This might sound obvious, but life happens and you can forget the termination date stated in your lease agreement. To avoid this from happening, mark that date on your calendar and set a reminder on your phone or computer.

Step 2. Carefully read your rental agreement and renewing rights.

Most leases will outline terms, conditions, and timeframes for a lease renewal process. Many agreements require you to notify a landlord or property manager about your decision to renew or terminate your lease 30 or 60 days before the end of the lease term.

Step 3. Negotiate with your landlord.

Your landlord or property manager might not want to disclose it, but they are normally interested in you renewing the lease. It helps them avoid costs associated with cleaning and repairs, finding a new tenant, background checks and possible loss of rental income in between tenants. Apart from that, finding good tenants requires significant time investment and commitment.

So if you’ve been a good, trustworthy tenant and paid rent on time, you might have leverage when negotiating lease terms and, possibly, rent. You can also try switching from an annual lease to a month to month agreement. Your landlord may want to raise the rent, so make sure to read your lease clauses regarding rent increases and check your local legislation.

Step 4. Make a decision wether you want to renew your lease.

Once you’ve talked to your landlord, compare their terms with industry standards. If they decide to increase your rent, check market rental rates for similar apartments in your area and factor in potential moving costs to make an informed decision on whether to renew your lease or move out.

Step 5. Write a lease renewal letter.

If you decided to stay with your landlord, you will have to write a letter to renew your lease. The letter should contain any terms or arrangements you negotiated with your landlord or property manager. If they agreed to change your refrigerator or allow you to get a pet, make sure to mention it in your lease renewal letter.

Step 6. Carefully study your new lease.

Read the new lease carefully to make sure that your new rental agreement is updated with all agreed-upon terms and conditions. Always read the fine print.

Step 7. Sigh the new lease and mark its termination date on your calendar.

If you are comfortable with all terms outlined in the new agreement, go ahead and sign it.

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Sania is a content manager and contributing author at Apartment List. Sania previously worked in marketing at Habitat for Humanity and Samsung Electronics. Read More
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