As the last day of your lease approaches, tenants are faced with a question: Should I renew my lease or find another place to live?
There is a lot to consider when looking at the possibility of renewing your lease. Deciding where to live takes into account the neighborhood, rental unit and amenities, rental rate, and so much more. The decision of whether to renew your lease and stay in the same place or look for somewhere new shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Here are six benefits to renewing your lease:
You Don’t Have To Move
One of the biggest reasons to renew a lease is the fact that you simply don’t have to move. Finding a new place can be stressful, especially when you may not know a new area as well as you know the current area.
Looking at listings and visiting potential new rental units can take a lot of time and take away from other activities, including your job and social engagements. Even after you find a new place, it takes time to pack your things, arrange for movers or friends to help, and get settled in a new place.
The entire process of moving uproots nearly everything about your current life and can cause stress and chaos. There’s a reason most people saying moving is one of the most stressful things to do—renewing your lease and staying put can eliminate a lot of stress and uncertainty.
Not only is moving inconvenient, it’s also expensive. Moving to a new place can cost renters between $2,900 and $4,500, and that’s not even including the rent itself.
The cost of moving boxes and supplies, renting a truck or storage unit, paying movers, plus the extra expenses of paying a security deposit can add up quickly.
In many cases, it makes sense financially to avoid moving and just stay where you are.
Aside from the high cost of moving, there are many other ways to save money by renewing your lease.
By staying in your same rental unit, you don’t have to pay a security deposit and first and last month’s rent, which is typical for securing a new rental home or apartment. That large amount of upfront money can be a huge financial strain for many people.
If you have a pet or have changed jobs recently, you may have to fill out more paperwork or pay a larger deposit, which make the process even more expensive.
Renewing your rental also saves you the money of transferring utilities and potentially buying new furniture and other items for your new unit.
Even if you think all of your current furniture will fit in a new apartment without having to buy anything, there are always little things to purchase for a new place that can quickly make a large dent in your bank account.
Staying where you currently live allows you to build consistency in your life and enjoy all your current rental has to offer.
If you are happy where you are and can’t find anything better, take the opportunity to renew your lease and set down roots in your current rental. Moving to a new place means finding a new routine, including a new route to work, a new grocery store, a new running path, and more.
Those changes can be exhausting and bog down your mental health and energy.
Finding a new place to live comes with many risks, such as not totally knowing the neighborhood or finding the right place that fits your lifestyle right away.
You may have to deal with new roommates or neighbors, and it’s risky not knowing what you are walking into. Renewing your lease and staying in the same place provides a safe option of consistency.
If what you have is working for you now, there’s probably not a good reason to change. It’s like the old saying—if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
Build Relationship With Landlord
Many landlords only offer lease renewals to good tenants who are responsible and pay their rent on time. Renewing your rental means you get to maintain that relationship with your current landlord instead of having to learn the ropes and procedures with someone new.
You know who to call for maintenance issues and other issues that may arise. Moving to a new unit means starting over and building a relationship with your landlord from the ground up.
You also have to learn new systems and processes, even for simple things like putting utilities in your name or having minor issues fixed.
Having a good, long-term relationship with your landlord can pay off in the long run as they can potentially become a reference for a future rental or even when purchasing a home.
The landlord can potentially put in a good word for you when seeking a rental reference if you have a good, long-term relationship. Staying in the same place also helps you build credit by paying your rent on time.
When you know your landlord well, it can be easier to be in the habit of paying your rent on time.
Lock In Good Rental Rate
Renewing your lease doesn’t automatically mean your rent will stay the same. Your landlord can still raise your rate when you renew your lease, but the chances of them raising it significantly aren’t as high.
There are many reasons why apartment rent goes up every year, including increasing property value, supply and demand, and improvements to the local area. Here in the very in-demand Northern Colorado, your rent may go up every year simply because increasing numbers of people want to call it home.
Renewing your lease for another year or two can give you the opportunity to lock in a more reasonable rate. Many landlords tend to have a renewal rate and a market rate.
Renewing your lease is easy on everyone involved, so the renewal rate is almost always lower than the market rate someone would pay when moving in for the first time.
Many people also wonder, are lease rates negotiable? They may be if you are an existing tenant. Renewing your lease puts you in a better place to get the lowest possible rate than if you move to a new place.
When you move to a new place with a landlord you don’t know and try to negotiate the rental amount or the contract, the landlord can just move on to the next prospect.
As a current tenant, the landlord has more reasons to want you to stay so they don’t have to find a new renter, which gives you leverage to potentially get a great deal or take advantage of specials not available to new renters.
Potentially Upgrade Your Current Apartment
Landlords generally want their tenants to stay put and renew their leases because it saves them money. The expense of turning over a vacant unit averages around $1,750 per month.
It takes time and money to advertise the rental unit, screen and meet with potential new tenants, have the unit cleaned, and potentially miss out on getting payment if the unit sits empty for a few weeks or months.
Due to these expenses, landlords are financially incentivized to have tenants renew their leases.
You can use your lease renewal as an opportunity to ask for potential upgrades or improvements in your rental unit, such as new appliances, fresh paint, or clean carpet.
If there is something you want to change about your rental unit, this is a good time to ask. In many cases, you can get these upgrades without having to pay significantly more rent or even without having your rent raised at all.
In the long term, these upgrades could be helping your landlord by raising the value of your rental unit.
You can end up with an upgraded unit for significantly less than it would cost to find a new rental unit with the same amenities.
Talk to your landlord about when a lease renewal be signed. Most landlords will inform tenants about potential lease renewals 90 days before the end of their lease, giving them time to make a decision before signing the contract.
Each landlord can give their own timeline for when a lease renewal needs to be signed before they list the unit for new tenants.
Pay attention to deadlines and stay in communication with your landlord if you are considering signing a lease renewal.
These six considerations are the main benefits of renewing your lease. There is a lot to consider, but renewing your lease can potentially save you money and stress by building consistency in a great rental.
When you renew your lease, you can spend more time enjoying life and less time moving.