When your lease finishes, you can sign on for another fixed-term period, or move to month-to-month. If you’re not sure about the next steps and are weighing up moving or sticking around, here are five reasons to renew your lease.
Renewing is actually cheaper in the long run
As anyone who’s moved before can attest, shifting house is time-consuming and, let’s face it, pretty costly. If you choose to renew your lease on a fixed-term or go periodic, the only actual expense you may face is a slight rent increase.
Compare that increase against the likely cost of moving house. You’ll need to factor in a moving truck, moving supplies, cleaning supplies, forking out a new rental bond, and more. Even if the rent at your new place is slightly cheaper, that benefit might not outweigh the cost of moving. In many cases, it’s probably more budget-friendly to stay where you are.
Renewing gives you better bargaining power
A landlord who knows they have a good tenant in place will want to keep you on. The reason is, finding a new tenant comes with marketing costs and lost rental income while the property sits vacant. If you’ve been a good tenant who pays on time, you’ll be in a great position to negotiate the rent amount on your lease renewal – or even some better lease terms.
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Renewing reduces unnecessary stress
Finding a new home (and suburb) can be stressful. It’s tough getting to know a new area, but moving can take quite a physical toll. The day of your move will likely involve some pretty intense physical labour (“Pivot, pivot!”), and you’ll need to be on your game to keep things organised. You could also be up against whatever weather decides to show up that day. Choosing to renew your lease helps you avoid that stress.
Renewing saves you time
Average time spent renewing a lease? Five to ten minutes, at most. Your property manager or landlord will ask you to sign your new agreement and return a signed copy. Hey presto, you’ve got another 6 or 12 months at your disposal.
Moving house, however, comes packed with tasks that could chew up your time. We’re talking about searching for a rental, showing up for property viewings, filling out applications, switching your utilities and the change of address. All these tasks take up time that could be better spent enjoying your current home.
Renewing also reduces uncertainty
At this point, you’ve been in your home for a while. If you stay there, you’ll have some idea of what to expect from the experience. You’ve worked out your schedule, your transport route to work and have probably met and found some ok neighbours. Familiarity is a nice thing, especially for those of us who like routine and knowing what to expect.
Moving opens up a few new challenges. You could end up with less-friendly neighbours, a more complex public transport route, or even potential maintenance issues.
If you like the property manager or landlord you’re dealing with now, there’s no guarantee you’re going to have the same relationship with the next one. Having a great connection with your agent is a cool but often rare thing, so if you can rely on them to help you out with issues when you need it, that’s a huge benefit.
Is your lease coming up? Most property managers will approach you a few months in advance to find out your plans. Use this time to crunch the numbers and work out the pros and cons. Staying where you are might be the best choice you can make.
Lauren Vardy is the Content Manager at Rent.com.au, Australia's largest company dedicated to renters (ASX:RNT). Lauren has worked with Rent.com.au since 2015 and manages the Rent.com.au Blog. Formerly a journalist with Fairfax Media and Rural Press, Lauren has worked with multiple media groups in Australia and internationally on a freelance basis through publications including the Esperance Express, Southeast Asia Globe, Colosoul Magazine, The Sunday Times, and more.