If the landlord wants to offer the tenant a lease renewal, landlord should approach tenant at least two or three months prior to the expiration of the lease. This gives the parties time to work out renewal terms. In the event the tenant does not want to renew the lease, or the parties cannot come to an agreement on the terms of the renewal, it will give landlord time to find a new tenant prior to the expiration of the current lease.
Before negotiating the lease renewal, a landlord should review the current lease.
- Is the lease drafted clearly?
- Are there any provisions that landlord wishes to renegotiate?
- Will there be an increase in rent or security deposit?
- Are maintenance and utility obligations equitable and effective?
- Are there new circumstances that need to be addressed in the renewal lease?
Some leases contain automatic lease renewal provisions. However, such provisions are not enforceable against the tenant unless the landlord provides notice of the renewal provision to draw the tenant’s attention to the automatic renewal. One can easily imagine a lease that was renewed automatically without the knowledge of a tenant who had since vacated.
If the landlord does not renew the lease and the tenant remains in possession, the tenant becomes a month-to-month tenant under the same terms as the expired lease.
An attorney can assist a landlord in drafting and negotiating leases and renewals.
Alanna C. Iacono is an Associate on the Real Estate Team. She can be reached by phone at 866-303-9595 toll free or 845-764-9656 and by email.