Decisions can be stressful even for the calmest of us, and pros and cons lists are insufficient when you’re not sure what aspects you should consider. One such moment which takes a toll on a renter is whether or not to renew the lease. To make things easier, we asked some experts for advice on what questions to ask yourself before deciding to renew the lease. Here’s what we found:
The first thought people have is that this choice revolves around financial issues. Budget considerations are very important in the decision to renew or not, and this is not even about the rent itself.
“Comparing potential savings or increases in monthly rent isn’t the only thing renters should consider when it comes to their budget. It is equally important to consider the costs of truck and moving services, set-up fees for utilities, and the actual cost of utilities”, says Sean Organ, Area Vice President at Morgan Properties. He adds that “[a]nother thing to consider is the time and effort involved to pack, move, and then unpack, as they are likely to need a few days off of work to get settled”.
However, money is not the only aspect to think about when deciding between renewing your lease and moving into another rental. Your lifestyle, career, and your relationships come into play, as well as different aspects of the community you’re currently living in.
A considerable part of the decision to rent somewhere in the first place is location, specifically relative to the renter’s workplace. Career advancements are important to consider when discussing lease renewal:
“Residents should really take time to analyze their loyalty to their current job. If a renter is actively seeking new job opportunities across various states, it might be better to renew for a shorter term to avoid paying early-termination fees. They should also look at their current commute, amount of time spent at their job, and transportation expenses as well”, advices Holly McQueen, Vice President of GMH Capital Partners.
Keeping on with personal issues, relationships—whether with a significant other or with family and friends—can define the lifestyle you need as a renter. McQueen says that “[c]onsidering relational dynamics is important. Is your relationship with a significant other getting more serious? Are you considering moving in with a family member or friend? Taking the time to evaluate each relationship can really help renters put these things in perspective”.
Finally, if you want to adopt a pet, it’s crucial to check if your apartment community is pet-friendly or not. This can help make the decision for you. “Other things to keep in mind are the apartment’s pet-restrictions, unit size, backyard space or designated parks for pets to play, and if there is a vet nearby. Most landlords will allow the residents’ furry friends for a pet fee”, added McQueen.
After taking note of what aspects are important for you and your lifestyle, take a look at the place you’ve been living in and evaluate it. Try to find the features you like and those you dislike, to see which outweigh which.
If anything changes in your life, try to picture how this new aspect will fit in with your current living situation. For instance, if you decide to have a kid, you’ll most likely want to live in a community with a playground, in a family-friendly neighborhood.
The amenities your community offers should suit your lifestyle and add comfort and convenience to your stay. You can also ask around and check if any upgrades are on the way, in which case it may be simpler to renew than to start apartment hunting again.
Dan Flamini, Area Vice President with Morgan Properties, recommends taking into account the customer service of the community as well. “Residents should consider the quality of the interactions they’ve had with both their landlords and onsite staff to vet if they were genuinely happy with the apartment’s customer service”.
He encourages communication for a better decision: “They should also voice all concerns to their landlords, especially if a particular issue is their reason for not renewing. Most landlords will work with residents to resolve their issues to keep them happy and comfortable in their existing home”.
In the end, what you feel is best for you is the way to go, but being in the know about the important aspects of renewing the lease is very helpful. If you are not sure what to do, write down what you need and what you want from a rental, prioritizing the necessities, and be very aware of your budget and availability. Take it one step at a time and it will be much easier to choose.