How to Renew Your Lease Before it Expires

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How to Renew Your Lease

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If you are renting, your lease will expire after a period of time. If you don't pay attention, you could be forced to move out of your home. If you enjoying living there, make sure to ask your landlord to renew your lease.

Keep track of time

To renew your lease, you need to know when your current one will end. You should mark the end date in your calendar so it doesn't sneak up on you.

Most leases specify when you should notify your landlord if you want to renew or terminate the lease. This is usually 30 or 60 days prior to the end of the lease period. This date should also be marked in your calendar. If no time frame is specified in the lease, contact your landlord or apartment manager 60 to 90 days before the end of the period to be safe.

Review the renewal clause

Not all leases have renewal clauses, but if yours does, it explains what your landlord expects if you want to renew. Price adjustments based on market value or a set percentage may be listed, or any additional conditions your landlord requires during renewal.

If your landlord tries to charge you higher rent than indicated in the renewal clause, you can show him that he is contractually obligated to renew your lease based on the already-negotiated terms.

Dealing with your landlord

None of this matters if your landlord doesn't want you to rent his property again. He may plan to sell or renovate, but can also deny you a new lease if he doesn't like you. Leases give you some security in your home, but once they expire, the landlord is not obligated to provide you with additional housing.

Here are some reasons why your landlord may not like you:
  • Frequent maintenance requests
  • Many noise complaints
  • Chronically late rent payments
  • Poor unit maintenance
If you and your landlord are friendly, you can renew your lease quite informally and trust that your friend will take care of you. If you feel like you may be on shaky ground with him, try inviting him over for dinner. Clean up your unit to show that you are indeed taking care of his property, and your landlord may soften his hard attitude towards you.

Renegotiate

The 60 day period before the end of the lease is a good time to talk to your landlord to renegotiate any details about your living situation. Remember what is covered in your lease's renewal clause is not negotiable. However, everything else is-- so see if you can get some new perks.
  • Ask if you can get a lower rate.
  • Ask if you can keep a pet in the unit.
  • Ask if you can change units within the apartment.
  • Ask if you can change the length of the term for the lease.
  • Ask about any other policy or rule change.

Do it in writing

When asking about renewal, you should formally ask your landlord with a letter. This will prove that you inquired in a timely matter in case your landlord later disputes that you gave him adequate notice. E-mail also works since it is time-stamped.

Phone calls or verbal renewals may work if you are very friendly with your landlord, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Telling your landlord you want to renew may indicate to him that you plan on doing it, but he may not consider it a formal decision until he sees it in writing.

With a little planning, communication and negotiating, renewing your lease can be done quite easily. Just remember that if you can't renew, it's time to find a new home.

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on October 7, 2014

TopMoving.ca - Moving Expert
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