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4 Reasons Not to Renew a Lease


Jun 07, 2020 by Maurie Backman

If you're a renter, you'll eventually reach the point when you'll need to decide whether to renew your current lease agreement or pack up and move elsewhere. Renewing might seem like the easier approach initially. That way, you don't have to hunt for a new home, negotiate with a new landlord, and endure the potential horror that is boxing up all of your belongings and unpacking in a new abode.

But despite the hassle that moving entails, there are certain scenarios where it pays not to renew your lease once it runs out. Here are a few situations that should prompt you to look for a new home.

1. Your rent is going up -- a lot

It's common practice for landlords to raise rent every year. After all, the general cost-of-living increases that apply to you apply to landlords, too, and so charging you $850 a month for an apartment that previously cost you $825 isn't all that unreasonable. But if your landlord tries to impose a massive rent hike -- say, an $825-a-month apartment that will now cost you $975 -- that could be a good reason to move. That said, before you do, make sure that new number really is unreasonable. It could be that you were getting a really good deal to begin with, and that your higher rent is actually reflective of what the market looks like where you live.

2. You're running out of space

If you live alone, you can probably manage with the space you have by not acquiring more stuff and being smart about the furniture you buy. But if you're having a baby or a romantic partner is moving in, you may find that you simply need more room than your current rental allows for. If that's the case, you may have to bite the bullet and find a new home.

3. Your landlord is too slow to address tenant issues

As a tenant, it's important to be reasonable when it comes to repairs that pop up. For example, if you tell your landlord on Tuesday that your refrigerator isn't working, you shouldn't necessarily expect a repair person or replacement unit at your door on Wednesday. But if your landlord is notably slow to respond to reasonable tenant requests or complaints, then it may be time to move to a new home.

4. You want better amenities

Maybe you didn't mind living in a no-frills building when you first moved in, especially if living there has allowed you to save money. But if you can afford a rental with better amenities, like an on-site gym, swimming pool, or roof deck, then you may want to sign a new lease that gives you access to those perks.

There's no question about it: Moving can be a time-consuming, draining experience. But if your current living situation isn't working for you or renewing your lease involves paying a lot more money for your home than you're comfortable with, then it makes sense to bust out those packing supplies and find yourself a new rental -- one that better suits your logistical and financial needs.

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