Renew your lease
Think you want to stay in your apartment after your current lease ends? Watch out for a notice of apartment lease renewal.
About 60 to 90 days before your apartment lease expires, usually your apartment community will give you a lease renewal notice. They may mail it to your address or they could simply slip it under your front door.
The apartment lease renewal notice will ask you to either indicate whether you’ll continue to rent an apartment or move out. If you want to stay, you’ll likely also have to choose the term of your new lease by marking a check box on the lease renewal form.
When you sign and return the form, it’s basically like signing a new apartment lease. All of the terms will be the same as the ones in your original apartment lease. The only things that could change is your rental prices — if your apartment community raises their rates — and the term of your next lease — that’s if you choose to do a shorter or longer lease than your original.
Rent a different apartment in the same community
If you want to stay in your apartment community — but not in your current unit — you may have some other apartment options. Your apartment manager may be able to move you into another unit in the same community.
Moving to another unit in the same community is an attractive option for folks who like their apartment community but have either outgrown their apartment or downsized and need a different amount of living space. So if your family has recently grown, for instance, you can talk to your property manager about larger units that are about to become available.
Talking to your property manager is an important first step if you’d like to change units. Chances are that your apartment community would much rather work with you to find a living arrangement that works, rather than lose you to another apartment community. So when you get your lease renewal notice, take it to your property manager to discuss options.
If you don’t want to rent an apartment in your community any more, then you’ll need to let your apartment community know that you plan to move out. Giving official written notice of your move-out date is standard protocol when it comes to apartment leases. In some apartment communities, returning the lease renewal form and indicating your move-out date is all the notice you need to give. But for other communities, you must give official written notice in the form of a business letter. Check your lease for details on how to give notice.
An alternative apartment lease option
Still not sure which apartment lease option you should go with? You might want to consider a month-to-month lease. Month-to-month leases allow renters the flexibility to stay in their apartments and continue to renew their leases every 30 days until they decide to move out. But not all apartment communities offer this type of lease, so check with your apartment community manager to see if a month-to-month lease is an option.
If your plans are up-in-the-air, month-to-month may be the way to go since it’s more cost-effective than signing another full-term lease only to break it early. Signing a month-to-month apartment lease means your monthly rent might be higher than it would be if you signed a full term lease — but that’s the price you pay for having the flexibility to move out quickly without paying an early termination penalty. A month-to-month apartment lease a great option for people who are house hunting and need a place to stay until they can close on their new home.
No matter which of the apartment lease options you choose, you’ll have to give official notice of your decision to your property manager — no matter what. Consider your options and be up front with your apartment manager, and whatever option you choose should go smoothly.
When the time comes for you to give notice to your landlord you’ll want to find just the right words. We’ve provided a sample letter of what you should say. Before you begin, make sure to read over your lease and confirm that the wording of our sample letter, as well as your planned notification ...
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