Should I Stay or Should I Go?

in Moving on by

If your lease is approaching its end, you may be considering whether to renew or start the search for a new place. The decision to stay or go can be a difficult one, especially when you look at the terms you’re being offered.

It’s not uncommon for a lease to include a planned rent increase whenever you renew. Landlords may also take advantage of your renewal to add new costs to your rent, like increasing parking fees or utilities.

But making the choice not to renew your apartment lease can also come with some expenses: the cost of finding a new place, moving and deposits can tie up even more of your money than a rent increase might. But you may not have to choose between two expensive options right now.

Landlord Laura Milkowski, of New York City, has seen many of her fellow landlords discussing better lease terms with tenants: “When leases are up for renewals, many tenants are requesting decreaseseven if there is an increase to renew stated in the lease…. If they are good tenants, they know the landlord wants them to stay. Many landlords are not increasing the rents or decreasing them, depending on the location, supply and demand in the area.”

Before you go hunting through the classified ads, it’s worthwhile to at least sound out your landlord on the possibility of no added expenses (or even a rent decrease).

If your situation has changed from when you took the apartment originallyperhaps you changed jobs to one located further awayit may still make sense to go apartment hunting, even if your landlord agrees to leave your rent where it is.

Depending on how the rental market is doing in your area, you may find that some landlords are willing to go the extra mile to rent you an apartment, especially if you’re a reliable tenant. But don’t forget to factor inmoving expenses to the cost of that new apartment.

The decision to relocate should be based on your finances, first and foremost. Comparing your financial obligations (and how they may change at renewal time) for you current apartment, as well as the expense of a new apartment and the related moving costs, can make the decision of whether to renew your apartment lease a much simpler question.

10 Responses to “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”

  1. June 03, 2009 at 7:19 pm, Dave said:

    After 22yrs and because of death of my aunt who lived with me and financial burden I informed landlord within my 90 day notice lease I will not renew, and could I pay only June and leave July and not Sept 1st.I was told no and it’s bad time to move as many people moving out same time. I informed them another tenant of 12 yrs moved with their permission within 5 weeks of notification and they were told no problem. I explained money difficulty again and they informed me business is business, and holding me to the 3 mnths rent. At the same time I was given a letter stating sorry for my loss, and for me to go on Craigs list and try and rent apt. myself, and to check credits and contact previos landlords if I wanted to move earlier. Do I have any discrimination here I am 65.


  2. June 05, 2009 at 3:24 pm, landlord in washington said:

    No- usually your lease will say that if you try to move before a lease term is up you will still be held responsible for the remainder of your lease term. Was the other residents lease coming up that you speak of? If so, they did have every right to move out. If not, you dont have a discrimination case but a fair housing issue-or you are just misinformed. I dont agree with the way they are handling it and what they are telling you because that itself is a bad business practice. I would check your local landlord tenant laws and see what your rights are, otherwise, you would still have to be responsible for the lease term.


  3. June 05, 2009 at 7:03 pm, Ruth said:

    They are certainly compounding your emotional distress! Prospective tenants would be warned about managements fickle policies. I hope you are mentioning this in your rating! Selective application of policy is evidence of discrimination. Check your most recent lease and state law too! Ninety days seems excessive, even if you signed to it. If you still have contact with the other long term tenants who moved they may boost to your case. Try again with the management corp. though, and have your lawyer (pro bono?) send them a letter if a verbal complaint does not produce leiniency. And don’t forget to obtain new agreements in writing! Sounds like they would sell their soul to keep you in a lease. Nolo Press online is a great resource.


  4. June 21, 2009 at 8:28 pm, Joanne Moscone said:

    Just remember…FAIR HOUSING laws are FEDERAL and are the same state to state……LANDLORD/TENNANT laws will vary state to state….though there may be an area of fair vhousing discrimination there may not be any breaking of “leaseing/contract” law….IN any event MOST states are “landlord” friendly where court proceedings are involvded and without GOOD legal represenaton,,,,you have ery little chance at obtaining an outcome to your advantage on any level…financial reward..punitive or compensary and most liely weill end up on the negative side of eviction BEFORE winning or “TURNING” the case around to your benefit. The best peice of advise…..TAKE the hour and a half required to FULLY review your lease contract at the time of signing in,,,,in fact, request a VOIDED blank copie of the community leaseaddendums and community policies to fully REVIEW during the normal “72-hour” periord you have to CANCEL and receive your deposits back once approved….take the time to make sure you are fully informed of exactly what type of lease contract you are getng invovled with….IGNORANCE to the law or to what you signed IS NOT a defense….I have been in rental property management for over 25 years in many different positions, from site managers, regional supervisors, vice president of operations for a management entitity….just be aware and knowledgeable of what you are agreeing to! 9 times out of 10 you WILL be requried to fulfill your “part” of the contract to the “T”!


  5. June 22, 2009 at 4:38 am, Unhappy Tenent said:

    I am sorry for your lose. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family. I am a residence and I understand fully what you are talking about with this management. They are very unprofessional. They are wrong for adding stress to your situation. Hopefully, the owners will be made aware of their employees ill dealings. Or lose business behind all this mess. I would contact the Investors/Owners and have them assest the situation.


  6. June 23, 2009 at 4:34 pm, TomatoQueen said:

    Dave, there is a lot of incoherence and bad spelling in the above replies, and unfortunately the bottom line for you is that you have a lease, which is a contract, and unless the terms of the lease violate statutes, you are obligated to abide by the terms of the lease. A contract is a contract.

    Your situation isn’t unique, and if there is assistance available, it’ll be worth your while to do some better research. Most municipalities of any size have a landlord/tenant commission or agency or department, as well as housing departments of different kinds and responsibilities. Since you say you are 65 years of age, you are also eligible for any assistance your Area Agency on Aging can provide to you, including a referral to your local Legal Aid or Legal Assistance Society.

    The advice to try advertising a sublet of the remainder of your lease in fact is quite practical, craigslist is one place and there will be others in your area.

    Good luck to you, obviously this is a very difficult time in your life and it’s not easy to need to seek assistance. But you have a complicated situation and it’s definitely worth the effort. Best wishes.


  7. July 01, 2009 at 6:37 pm, Justicia said:


    Try to contact Housing Opportunities Made Equal (H.O.M.E), in your state!

    I don’t know if they will be able to help or not, but they do help individuals with discriminatory practices regarding, renting, housing, etc.

    Good Luck!


  8. July 02, 2009 at 9:19 am, Ray said:

    Two questions, A) Were you on the lease and B) was she on the lease; IANAL (I am not a lawyer) but I’m rather sure there is a clause for death or dismemberment of a lease holder. But the counter to that is if you are on the lease you are still responsible for the debts. Like Justicia said, talk to your local Housing Opportunities Made Equal office.



  9. July 06, 2009 at 5:56 pm, Anne said:

    i was jus wondering
    i would like to move by the end of july/ beginning of august
    my contract for $482 per month ends at july 31, so i was assuming that i’ll be free after that date and i’ll be able to move right after that date.
    but my manager then told me i’d have to give her 60 days notice before i ‘cancel’ the lease and i’d have to pay $525 for the month of august and another 7 days in sept if i were to cancel it today..
    what i meant is, am i still bound on a contract lease even after my term ends?


  10. April 25, 2011 at 9:12 pm, ANNE said:

    It always seems the landlord is the bad guy when people don’t want to live up to their obligations. I say grow up, stop being a leach and honor your commitment. If you were so wonderful I expect a landlord who is able might work with you. But why should a landlord be expected to lose money for your convenience?! Business is business – your wishful thinking sounds like a good way for someone to lose a business!


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