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 decreases―even 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 originally―perhaps you changed jobs to one located further away―it 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.