5 tips for negotiating a lease renewal on favorable terms

by Tom Simplot

May 10, 2015

Owners and managers want great residents. So when you come to the end of your apartment or rental home lease, there are things you can do to make the renewal easier, and maybe even save money.

It’s important to check your lease about 90 days before your renewal and start putting together a strategy for how you plan to stay in your home.

  1. Timing can count: Don’t wait until the last minute to begin the conversation with your owner or manager. Some leases require 60 days notification. Get in front of this issue. If you want to stay in your place, make an appointment to see your manager early to talk about renewing. Neither of you will feel rushed and you’ll get a sense of the landlord’s interest in continuing with your current rent or not.
  2. Do some homework: Check out pricing of comparable communities near you. Do you pay more or less for something similar? If you are paying a bit more and you want to extend, there might be room for negotiation. Turning an apartment costs the management company money and most would rather retain a good resident than have to invest in cleaning and marketing your home to another family. Do the math for them and see if you can save a bit each month.
  3. Sign up for auto withdrawal or pay rent early: Owners and managers love residents who pay on time or early. Prove that you are a reliable renter who pays on time. Paying a couple of days early or via auto pay shows you plan to stay.
  4. Offer to sign a longer lease: If you love your place, lock it down for the upcoming year or for two years. Many homeowners and managers will happily reduce the rent a little to have a reliable resident for the next 12-24 months.
  5. Toot your own horn. If you have been a good resident, remind your manager you are the kind of neighbor they want to stay.