Should You Renew Your Lease or Move Into a New Rental Apartment?
Written by Hannah Hildebolt
It’s time to do some thinking! You’ve got to decide whether you want to renew your apartment lease or move into a new rental apartment. If you’re not already leaning one way or another, it can be a hard decision to make. That’s why we’re here to help! We’ll walk you through a few good questions to ask yourself and a few other suggestions.
Do You Like Your Rental Apartment?
This is an obvious one, but it’s worth thinking about carefully. In the course of our daily lives, we often find ways to compensate for the issues in the spaces we live in, so you might not fully end up considering the number of problems you have with your apartment. Now is your opportunity to try and assess the situation more thoroughly.
Maybe you really are happy with your rental apartment. That’s great! In that case, you should definitely consider renewing. But maybe your neighbors are too noisy or you desperately need more space. In that case, it might be time to start considering a new rental. It never hurts to take stock of your situation.
Do You Like Your Neighborhood?
This is another important question to consider when asking yourself if you want to renew your lease. Maybe your neighborhood doesn’t have many restaurants or green spaces. Maybe there are not enough grocery stores. It could be that you just don’t feel safe there. All of these are good reasons to think about a new rental apartment in a neighborhood you like better. If, on the other hand, you love your neighborhood but don’t like your apartment, you could always look for a new rental in the same area.
Do You Like Your Landlord?
Yes, this is part of the equation! If you don’t like your landlord, you should think about a new rental apartment. It’s awful to feel like you can’t ask your landlord for help or communicate with them enough, and it can create endless inconveniences. If you have a great relationship with your landlord, you’ll probably want to renew your lease. If not, though, it’s a good idea to start hunting for a new rental apartment. Do keep in mind though that certain types of housing tend to have similar types of landlords, private student housing tends to attract landlords less concerned about property maintenance while large managed apartment complexes tend to all follow strict policies. Consider switching building types if there is something about the landlord relationship that really doesn’t work for you.
Can You Afford Your Current Rental Rate?
What’s your rent like? Has it gone up a lot since you moved in? Maybe the deal that you negotiated for your first year-long lease will end if you renew. If something like this is the case for you, then it might be worth it to look at other rental apartments in your area. This is also the case if your job has gotten less stable since the pandemic. Remember, as a rule of thumb, if you’re spending more than a third of your income on rent, it’s too much. If your rent is fine, however, it’s a sign that you might want to renew in order to keep a good thing going.
Can You Afford to Move Out?
Thinking through the logistics of moving out is also a good idea. Moving takes time and money, so before you decide to move, make sure you have the resources you need. How will you move your things––a friend, the help of a moving company? Are you able to take time off work if you need it? These are the kinds of questions you’ll want to ask yourself before deciding if you can move into a new rental apartment.
How is the Rental Market?
What’s the rental market like right now? If rental prices are skyrocketing in the area where you’d like to move to, maybe renewing is a better option. However, if rental prices are dropping there and rising in your area, maybe moving is smarter for your wallet. Do a little research and figure out what’s going on in the rental market before you make your decision.
Obviously, only you can decide how you feel about each of these factors and weigh them out in a way that makes sense to you. These questions are a good starting point, though.
You Can Still Better Your Situation If You Choose to Renew Your Rental Apartment
You might feel like you’re resigning yourself to the same old way of life if you choose to renew. This isn’t necessarily the case, however. When you talk to your landlord about renewing your lease, you’ll have an opportunity to bring up things that might bother you and talk again about the terms of the lease. Let’s take a look at what you might do.
If there are some parts of your lease you don’t like, you can always negotiate. Maybe you could offer a longer lease for a lower rent. If you’ve got handyman skills, you might offer them in exchange for a free parking space. Think about what might be useful or convenient for your landlord and use it in order to make the terms of your lease better for you. Everyone wins!
Upgrade Your Rental Apartment!
A lease renewal is a perfect time to talk to your landlord about an upgrade. This might be upgrading your current unit or moving into a recently upgraded one. Your landlord might want to charge you more for rent, so watch out for that. However, you could also offer to help pay for the upgrade, take a longer lease, or anything else you can think of. Ask your landlord what they would think––remember, they also want to make sure their rentals look as good as they can!
If you want a roommate, a renewal is a great time to add one. Maybe rent is too expensive, or you’d like to move in with your partner, or maybe both! Whatever the case may be, adding a roommate can often benefit you in a number of different ways. Now’s the time! Just remember to write a roommate agreement.
Best of luck as you figure out what makes the most sense for you. We hope that you now feel like a more informed renter!
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