To Renew or To Move?

If your lease is coming up for renewal soon, give it some thought! Are you ready to renew or do you want to see what other options are available? There are pros and cons to each, but it is up to you to determine if you should renew or move.

Pricing may have changed – in your apartment and in the market

Before you rush to move because of a pricing increase on your apartment (which is pretty common each year), do your research in your local market! It’s possible that apartment prices around you may have gone up more, in which case, renew to save some money and stay in your fairly-priced apartment. On the reverse, it’s also possible that apartment pricing in your market has gone down. If that’s the case, consider the move or try to renegotiate a lower, market-fair rate for your renewal lease.

Location may be more important

Reflect on your apartment’s location. Even with the best, most thoughtful intentions and research, it can be difficult to get location right on your first shot. Think about where you spent most of your time during the week and on the weekends. Did you have a long commute? Felt like you were always on the subway or in your car to see friends or family?

If you were content with your location throughout the year, it may be smart to renew. If you weren’t, check out locations near where you spend most of your time (check pricing!) and consider moving.

Small issues may seem bigger

While you may have had some non-negotiables in your original hunt, now you know from experience which features are most important to you. Is it critical to have a washer and dryer? Parking space? Close to public transportation?

If you skimped on some features originally, but missed them throughout the year, consider moving. Even small issues grow large over time!

Experience with your landlord and neighbors matters

This connects with location, but you must also consider your experience with your landlord and the people who live near you. Are they friendly? Rude? Loud? It’s not likely that their behavior will change quickly, so if you can live with them, consider renewing! If not… it may be time to consider moving.

Finances are key!

Realistically, most of the renewal-moving decisions are made based on your financial situation. If you can afford to move or want to be in a different place (or, your rent has increased higher than you can afford), a move is completely possible! However, remember that moving has associated expenses that can add up quickly, so make sure you factor them into your planning! If you’re strapped for cash and your apartment’s annual increase was minimal, you probably have no other choice than staying put.

Negotiate with your landlord

After you have done a careful pros and cons analysis of moving vs. renewing and the only item on the list that makes you lean towards moving is the price, talk to your landlord. If you have been a good responsible tenant, he’ll want to keep you, saving him the hassle of finding a new tenant. Use these tips to prepare for your negotiation.

Renting 101: Negotiating with Your Landlord

At the end of the day…

If you’re unhappy about your apartment’s location, neighbors, or other reason beyond your control and can afford to move, that’s probably your best option. If you’re content, renew! In either case, take the time to do your research so you’re sure you’re not missing out on the perfect apartment down the street.

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Author My First Apartment

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Sarah is a dog lover and advocate for conversation & laughing at your own jokes. Since finishing her college career in communications, she began working (and living) in Atlanta. After living in a few different apartments over the last few years, she's ready to share experiences. Stay tuned for adventures, tips and advice!

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