Read Your Lease…
Lease agreements these days are pretty standard and usually do not contain tons of jargon or legal-mumbo jumbo. So don’t fear this document! Grab a cup of coffee and familiarize yourself with your lease agreement. Important things to look for are; the “deadline to notify your apartment manager of your decision to renew,” how you “need to notify” your landlord (is it in writing or via email)? And “the lease termination date.” Make note of these important dates and mark them on your calendar.
Set a Reminder
Sometimes the biggest problem when renewing your lease is forgetting to notify your landlord of your decision. Waiting till the last minute can cause you to make a mistake and can also create tons of stress. So first things first, set a reminder on your phone, one that will remind you to discuss your renewal with a leasing agent or your landlord by a certain date. This will ensure that you won’t lose the apartment you currently live-in due to a missed deadline. Plus, renewing your lease early gives you peace of mind knowing that you’re covered for the next year or two.
Renewing Your Lease Saves You Money
It’s true! Add up your moving costs versus your renewal expenses and you’ll find (unless there is something truly objectionable about the apartment you live in) it makes fiscal sense to renew your lease and stay put! Calculate things like; renting a truck, purchasing moving supplies, bribing friends to help you move, purchasing food and drink for moving day and, be sure to factor in the security deposit and first month’s rent for your new apartment.
Know What Your Apartment Is Worth
This does not mean that you need to know what the apartment is worth in square footage, or how the building was constructed and so on (let’s not get that technical). But what it does mean is finding out what the other apartments in your immediate area are renting for. If you’re renting an apartment in NYC or the 5 boroughs learn terms like “market rent”, “rent concessions”, “net rent”, “OP” etc. Find out what the rules are regarding price increases during renewal. This will give you a seat at the table when renegotiating your renewal.
Your Stress is less!
Let’s be honest, moving is hard work! What with transferring your cable agreement, turning on the electricity in your new place, getting to the post office to forward your mail and so on. Plus the physical labor you’ll expend packing and the actual moving day itself. All of this adds up to headaches (and backaches). Be sure to factor these “personal” costs into your budget when deciding if renewing your lease is worth the price.
Sure you’ve made friends at your new apartment complex but more importantly we’re referring to the relationships you’ve built with the property manager, the maintenance team and the landlord. Face it, you’re a model tenant, you always pay your rent on time and you never cause any trouble in your complex–it’s about time that hard work paid off. Landlords appreciate tenants who have a solid track record, something they can reference as renewal time approaches.
…Then Read It Again!
Now that you have successfully renewed your lease terms it’s time to read your lease again! You may think by now that you’re a pro when it comes to leasing and renewing, but knowing your lease top to bottom can help you stay ahead of the curve. Re-read your lease agreement, look for any loopholes or items you do not understand. It is always better to ask questions before you sign your renewal.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully renewed your lease; you’re all set for the next year (or two)! You’ve saved money and more importantly you can get on with the important things in life…enjoying your family and friends.