Before you renew your lease, know all your options!

Blog Author Avatar
Lacy H.
Apr 22, 2020

Even while the world seems to be at a bit of a standstill, the progress of your lease term is not. *deep sigh* Apartment leases will still be up when they’re up and if you’re thinking “I’ll just renew and pay what I’m paying now,” that’s not always how it works out. Don’t worry, though! Renewing and moving are both very viable options right now, even with active shelter in place orders, and you have more leverage than you may think! 

Before you renew, know. Know the process; know your options; know what pricing looks like in the market right now, and know how to take advantage of the opportunity your lease-end presents!

renewing an apartment lease

First things first, don’t make assumptions.

As our agents help clients navigate the area around lease renewal, they’re finding that it’s not as cut-and-dry as renters assume. Here are the types of things our clients have questions about when it comes to renewing their current lease:

-Do I get a “special” similar to the one I got when I moved in if I renew?

More often than not, this is not the case. In fact, it’s the opposite most times – renters can expect a slight rent increase with each term renewal. Special and concessions are oftentimes offered to cut new renters a break and give them a little more “bang for their buck,” if you will. If you’re not satisfied with your property’s renewal rate, you’ve got options and we’ll get to those soon.

-Can I get a different lease term than the one I initially signed if I renew?

That’s up to the discretion of your property. How pricing typically works is dependent upon demand within the market and occupancy within a property. Don’t make the assumption that a longer lease term will automatically get you a lower rate because again, rent rates and associate specials aren’t necessarily dependent upon that factor alone.

-Do I have to pay to renew my lease?

Typically, no. Although, our agents have seen cases where properties charge a fee to renew a lease, on top of an increase in rent. Just make sure you double-check!

-Can’t I just renew for the same rate I pay now?

Sometimes you can! Again, that’s up to the discretion of the property, but you do have some leverage, which leads us to our next section…

So, you’ve received your renewal notice – Is it what you expected?

If you’re less than 60 days out from the end of your lease term and your property hasn’t reached out to you yet about renewing, definitely contact them. Upon receiving a proposal to renew, make sure it’s what you expected. Maybe you initially signed a 15-month lease and you don’t want to renew at that same term length, or maybe rent has increased or you recently became a new pet parent, and the pet fees and deposit isn’t what you anticipated. A lease renewal is essentially an opportunity for you to take a step back and look at all your options.

Before you decide to renew your lease, it’s definitely smart to link up with one of our free agents so you can make the most informed decision possible. Knowing what’s available in the market (our expertise) can give you clarification on if renewing is the best option. The numbers might say a property in your favorite neighborhood is a viable option, or they might say that according to comparable rates at surrounding properties you need to chat with your current property about the renewal rate they are offering you to stay. Either way, you have leverage and you don’t have to do it alone! 

Once you’re connected with one of our agents, you can expect they’re going to ask you all the pertinent questions associated with helping you achieve your apartment goals, scour the market and create a list unique to what you want. Once you’ve worked together to narrow down the list to top contenders based on price, location, and desired finishes, they’ll send you all the virtual assets you need to tour. With the availability of virtual touring being almost immediate, the process moves quickly and you can feel confident in taking your next steps, whether it’s to move or renew, in days! As a trusted resource, your agent will walk you through everything, so there’s no need to feel like you’ve got to have it all figured out, like, yesterday.

renewing an apartment lease

A few things to consider…

If your lease is up in the next few months, really knowing your options can be a game-changer. Historically, the seasonal transition from spring to summer has proved to be the most popular time to move among apartment renters. Remember what we said before about rates being a reflection of market demand? If your lease is up soon, it probably means you leased around this time last year or the year prior, meaning you moved during a time when the demand was higher, as well as the rent. Before choosing to renew, let our agents show you what’s out there. With the apartment market facing the same unprecedented time as its renters, now’s a good time to get reacquainted.

If you’ve thought about upgrading your apartment, we can help facilitate that. More specifically, our agents are getting clients amazing specials for newer properties looking to fill their brand new vacant units, thus offering specials resulting in a much more desirable rate. Depending on when your current property was built and where it’s located, there’s a possibility that upgrading to a newer property is feasible. The biggest perk to using a locator in this regard is that while most renters search for apartments once a year, we do it every day; so we definitely know what’s up!

If you need to add a pet to your lease, things like pet fees, deposits, weight and breed restrictions, and on-site pet amenities will be increasingly important. *Quick shoutout to all you new pet parents who helped empty local adoption kennels and give that furry guy or gal a forever home.* Whether you’re a newer pet parent or an O.G., things for a pet add up and their well-being becomes just as important as your own (we get it; we’re all pet people). 

As shelter in place orders continue to be instated, you may decide the current on-site pet amenities aren’t what you’re looking for – we can help with that. If you adopted a dog, perhaps that breed will grow to weigh more than 99 pounds, making “no weight restrictions” a contractual necessity – we know all those properties. Same with introducing a dog breed that’s classified as “restricted” – we know all the properties that don’t have restrictions on breeds. Pet fees, are you kidding me? No, we are not, but since we search the market and call properties every day, we know who’s waiving certain fees associated with our beloved fur babies.

If you’re interested in leveraging specials that push back a rent payment or two, the almost sure-fire way to take advantage of those is to move. As we mentioned above, properties are working tirelessly right now to help bridge whatever gaps they can for renters moving during this time. Knowing all your options before choosing to renew at your current property also means knowing what move-in specials are currently available! Taking advantage of 4 weeks free, 6 weeks free, 8 weeks free could mean deferring a full rent payment by a month or more. Whether a special is given upfront, prorated, or requires you to self-prorate, we can walk you through everything. Taking advantage of current specials is a great way to save extra cash and get a great deal on your dream apartment.

Didn’t we tell you? The option to renew may not be as straightforward as you think. Rest assured, as long as you understand the renewal your current property is offering, what’s available in the market and what you need to get out of your next lease agreement, you’ll make the choice that’s right for you! If you need help getting there, let us know – Click the link of the city that you’re moving in or to and complete our super-short form. We’ll have you connected with a free, trusted agent in a matter of minutes!

Dallas  ∙ Fort Worth  ∙ HoustonAustin

Call or Text Us