May a Landlord Choose Not to Renew a Lease?

May a Landlord Choose Not to Renew a Lease?

If your lease is coming to an end, you might be considering what to do next. In most cases a resident will either renew a one- or two-year lease, opt to stay on a month-to-month basis, if possible, or move out.

But can a landlord choose not to renew a lease? Read on to find out about this renting wrinkle and what to do if it happens to you.

And the answer is…
Yes. In many situations a landlord is not required to extend or renew a lease.

Unless there is a provision in the lease that specifies otherwise, apartment community management is typically within their rights to end the lease at the termination date spelled out in the lease. Depending on the state, the apartment community manager will have to give 30 or 60 days notice that they are not renewing the lease, however.

Read more: Sample Let: Giving Notice to Your Apartment Manager

Ask questions
If you get a notice that your lease is not being renewed, the first question you might ask is “why?”

Some common reasons a lease may not be renewed include:

  • The apartment community management is selling the property.
  • The apartment community management is closing down a portion of the community for renovations.
  • The resident has been late on rent or has not paid rent a number of times.
  • The resident has broken rules set forth in the lease agreement.

What to do if you want to stay
If the apartment community management is not renewing the lease because they are renovating part of the community, ask if there is any way you can sign a new lease for another apartment in a different part of the community. This will still require a move, but it may be preferable to stay in a community that you like rather than relocate to another apartment community.

If the apartment community management is not renewing you lease because they are selling the property to another company, ask for the name of the company. Inquire whether you can sign a new lease with the new leasing company.

If you suspect that actions you have taken or neglected to take have led to the decision, you might discuss the matter directly with apartment management to see if options exist besides moving out of the community.

Read more: Reasons to Renew Your Lease and Great Reasons to Stay Put in an Apartment

Be prepared to move
Without a new lease, keep in mind that you will have to move and find a new apartment. Don’t waste time! Start making timely moving arrangements, as you may have only 30 or 60 days to make the move.

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Sashkin

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