What Are My Options When My Lease Expires?

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When your lease expires next month, what options do you have as a tenant? Knowing your rights when your lease expires is important.

To Stay or Not to Stay

When a lease expires, the tenant is free to pack up and leave with no punishment. However, if the tenant is happy with the apartment and wants to stay, there are three options. One option is to continue renting the apartment, only now as a month to month basis. This option is good if you don’t want to stay for another six months or a year. This will allow time to search for another apartment while just having a one month commitment. Another option is to sign another lease. If happy with the apartment, and have no plans for moving, signing another lease will ensure the rental price won’t increase. The third option would be to find another apartment and move out.

Finding out What the Landlord’s Plan Is

Talking to your landlord at the end of the lease will inform you of his intentions. The landlord may want to increase the monthly rent charge. He may want to keep you as a tenant, and this is where price negotiations come into play. A good tenant is sometimes hard to find so, if he wants to keep you, he may not rise the price, and might even reduce it. Signing another lease will ensure the price of rent can not be increased during the length of the lease, so always bargain for that.

Making the Final Decision

While taking some time to decide about everything, be sure to explore other options. If you sign another lease, there is no turning back without any early termination fees outlined in the lease. If you like the apartment you are renting and the environment of the complex works for you, that would make the decision to renew easier. However, if the landlord failed to maintain situations to your satisfaction, then searching for a new rental might be the way to go. If you want to stay, without signing a lease, trying out a month to month rental would leave you free to move after giving a thirty day notice.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each of the options listed, and each individual situation will be different. In the end, the best thing to do is to look at both the positives and negatives of each to learn which way to go once the lease is up.

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