Your Apartment’s Rental Lease Ends – Now What?

rental-leaseKnow What Happens When Your Rental Lease Terminates

An apartment’s rental lease is a legal contract between tenant and landlord. As you know, each apartment’s rental lease has a specific duration – and many of them terminate at the end of a month or the end of the year. Whether you are a landlord or a renter, you should know how that affects you.

A Rental Lease Should Have Instructions

Almost all rental leases have specific instructions about what happens after the apartment’s lease term expires. Generally, a rental lease becomes a month-to-month lease after it expires. This means that the existing legal agreement between renter and landlord will continue until one party decides to terminate it.

The Pros and Cons of a New Rental Lease

If you’re an apartment renter, a month-to-month lease is fine if you aren’t concerned about a long-term stay at your current apartment. For example, if you’re hoping to be getting into graduate school and move to a new apartment, or if you will be relocating to a new job soon, you probably want to let your apartment’s rental lease expire without shaking things up.

If you’re an apartment manager, the same conditions apply from the other perspective. A month-to-month lease gives you flexibility if you’re not concerned about refilling the apartment and don’t want to pressure a good renter to leave.

However, if you’re ready to commit to another lease term, we recommend setting up a new rental lease. A new rental lease gives apartment managers one opportunity to raise the rent or rental deposit, but it also means that they can’t raise the rent during the lease or give renters 30 days notice to move out and make way for someone else.

A new rental lease fixes the rent at one price for the entire lease term. Sometimes it’s worth setting up a new rental lease – and risking the chance that your apartment’s rent might be raised or that the renter might vacate – so that you can have a stable apartment rental situation at a stable rent.

Read That Rental Lease

Of course, it always helps to know exactly what your rental lease says. Your lease could be very different. If your rental lease is terminating, don’t be in the dark about where you stand legally.

Many renters have stayed happily for years in their apartment on a month-to-month lease that has terminated long ago. If you have a good relationship with your landlord or apartment manager, you might be willing to risk living in such a situation in hopes that your rent doesn’t change. The same goes for apartment managers who’ve enjoyed long-standing informal rental arrangements.

We at recommend that you get a new rental lease anytime you’re sure you’ll be around for three months or more. No one likes to be forced to find an apartment and move out with 30 days notice – or to scramble for new tenants in the same time frame. Plan ahead, and you won’t have to hustle for a new apartment arrangement in the middle of winter! And of course, if you do need a new apartment or help filling a vacancy, is happy to help!