If you are living in a rented apartment, your lease will run out eventually. When it expires, you will either have to get the lease renewed or vacate the place. If you are looking to keep your apartment and the landlord agrees to it, you will need to discuss the new lease’s terms and conditions with him.
Though a lot depends on what landlords decide with regard to the lease, smart tenants will try to find out the important aspects of the lease renewal process so that they are able to protect their interests when the time comes to negotiate the new lease’s clauses.
Will you want to continue living in the apartment?
Obviously, this is the first question you should ask yourself. The landlord will have the say whether you can keep the apartment or not, but you should also try to figure out if you are satisfied with the place. Are the amenities good enough? Is the apartment too far from your office? Does the neighborhood suit your lifestyle? Answers to these questions will help you determine if you should get the lease renewed in the first place.
Dust off your existing lease
You may have never had a look at your existing lease once your signed it and moved into the apartment, but at least a couple of months prior to its expiration date, you should evaluate its various clauses. Try to find out the terms and conditions which you think your landlord will try to negotiate. For example, your existing lease may have allowed keeping a pet, but if your pet has caused a dispute with other tenants or neighbors, the landlord may want to put some restrictions in this regard in the new lease. So looking at your existing lease will give you an idea of the changes that your landlord may likely want in the new one.
Research the market
The biggest concern of a tenant is whether the landlord will increase the rent when he will sign a new lease. Though it’s up to the landlord how much rent he will demand, you can strengthen your negotiation power by researching your neighborhood’s rental market. Try to find out at what rate rents are increasing in your area, if at all. The research will help you decide if the increase in rent is too much or unreasonable. If there are lots of vacancies in your area, you can even raise your voice against a rent increase.
Are you on good terms with your landlord?
If you haven’t been on good terms with your landlord, it’s a good time to sort out the differences. Invite the landlord to your place and discuss with him any issues that you might have had in the past.