CategoriesRental Property

7 Key Things Tenants Should Consider Before Lease Renewal

lease renewal

Despite not many people doing it, one in four people who negotiate their lease renewal finds success. Negotiating your lease renewal can help you secure more favorable terms. That way, you can confidently sign the renewal and remain in your rental home. 

Whether you decide to negotiate or not, you should still review the lease renewal. It is a legally binding document that will impact your near future. So, before signing, you need to evaluate the lease and your current situation. 

Consider these seven things when deciding if signing a lease renewal is right for you. 

1. Budget 

Your landlord may notify you that your lease renewal brings a rental rate adjustment or changing fees. When this happens, you must evaluate your budget to determine if you can afford the changing cost. 

First, consider if the rental home is worth the additional costs. For example, you may have to pay a new maintenance fee, which brings several desirable new amenities. Second, consider if you can even afford the additional costs. 

Market Conditions 

Even if you can afford the new rental rate, consider if you even want to pay it. Before signing, you need to check the current rental market conditions. Tenant demand and rental property supply fluctuate, and with those changing volumes, market rates also change. 

You may find that your rental is a great deal compared to the market. In contrast, you may find that your rental is now priced significantly over the market rates. 

Can You Negotiate?

You may be able to negotiate with your landlord when renewing your lease. We started this blog post by saying that people rarely attempt negotiation. But a quarter of the people who do are successful. 

There is no harm in attempting to negotiate with your landlord if it means staying in a rental home you like. 

2. Features and Amenities 

Responsible landlords understand that they must continually update and upgrade their rental homes. That way, they have a desirable property that stays competitive in the rental market. As a tenant, you will often see these upgrades and additions happen around tenant lease renewal. 

If the landlord upgrades the rental or adds amenities, this can add value that makes renewal worthwhile. To confirm, look at available rentals on the market. Look at comparable properties that offer similar amenities. 

This can give you an idea of their value. These changes can make a monthly rental increase justifiable. If you want a particular upgrade or amenity, ask the landlord about it. 

You may find the landlord is willing to make the changes or additions you requested as a condition of the lease renewal. 

3. Space Needs 

Evaluate the amount of space your current rental has and the price you pay for it. You may have outgrown the available space and need something larger.

Perhaps you now work from home or run a small business from home. Moving from a one-bedroom to a two-bedroom house can give you the dedicated space to separate work and home. 

Another possibility is that you want to live with a friend or roommate. You may need a larger space to accommodate the additional person. 

In contrast, you may rent a large home you no longer need or can afford. You may want to forgo lease renewal and downsize to a smaller rental in this situation. 

4. Pets 

If you want to get a pet, you may want to consider your rental lease first. Many landlords do not allow pets. Those that do may change a pet security deposit or monthly pet rent. 

When asked, 86% of cat and dog owners affirm their pets impact their mental health. But this won’t matter if you are stressed about being able to afford the additional costs. 

Another option is not to renew your lease and find another rental with more favorable pet lease terms. However, before you decide not to renew, speak with your landlord. You already have a history with them, and they may be willing to waive or reduce the pet fees. 

5. Lease Changes 

Look at the changes the landlord wants to make to your lease. This is not a big deal if you are okay with the changes. However, you may not want to renew the lease if you are not. 

If you do not have experience reading legal documents or contracts, you may want a lawyer to read the lease. They can review your old lease and explain the potential impact of term changes. 

6. Your Life Plans 

Take a look at your personal and professional life. What are your current and future plans for both? Does your current rental align with those needs and goals? 

If it does not, renewing your lease does not make sense. Perhaps you have plans to move in with a partner or get married. You may need a slightly larger place that can accommodate another person. 

Or you could have plans to expand your family with children. Now you need additional bedrooms. 

In contrast, your life plans could include advancing your career. This could take you across town, the state, or the country. You may not want to renew a long lease and instead ask for a lease extension.

7. Landlord Experience

Reflect on your landlord experience. Evaluate how responsive they were to inquiries and maintenance requests.

Consider the features and amenities they offered that made leasing easier. You may want to renew the lease simply because the landlord provides a pleasant renting experience. Moving into a new rental means getting to know a new landlord who may not offer the same hassle-free experience. 

If your current landlord has an online tenant portal, this is a nice feature. You can enjoy the ease of online rental payments and maintenance requests. 

Consider Your Lease Renewal

One of the most valuable tenant tips is considering your options before signing a lease renewal. Typically, leases are a minimum length of one year. A lot can happen over a year. 

This list can help you evaluate critical factors impacting whether you should renew your lease. Renewal must suit your budget, personal life plans, and career.  

Find a home that better fits your life needs and budget by looking for a new rental property