Does Your Landlord Have To Renew Your Lease?

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante

It’s hard to find a great rental space where you can stay for years without too many rent increases. Once you get close to the end of your lease, you may understandably start to worry about whether your landlord will renew it. So, does your landlord have to renew your lease?

Your landlord doesn’t have to renew your lease, and you don’t have to renew it as a tenant either. However, your landlord must notify you that they don’t plan to renew your lease within 30-60 days for short-term renters and 120 days for long-term renters in most states. Laws vary between states, and you can sue your landlord if they fail to notify you within the lawful window of time.

In some cases, your landlord may have simply forgotten to draft the paperwork to renew your lease. That’s why it’s important to talk to your landlord to see if there was a mistake or to simply find out why they didn’t renew your lease. Follow along as we explore everything you must know about renewing your lease.

Do Landlords Have To Renew A Lease?

Your landlord doesn’t have to renew your lease. Tenants aren’t required to renew the lease either, as it is effectively voided once you reach the end date. Landlords are likely to renew your lease if you pay your rent on time and follow the rules laid out in the rental agreement.

Speak to your landlord several months before the lease is set to end if you want to renew it. They will likely renew the lease if you have been a great tenant. That said, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve been a bad tenant if your landlord doesn’t renew your lease.

Some landlords simply don’t renew leases because they plan to sell the property or raise the rent altogether. This can also happen if they change their policy and lease conditions. For example, they may not renew your lease if they previously allowed pets but have since made it a pet-free property. In that case, they may notify you that they won’t renew your lease and give you time to find another place.

How Much Notice Does A Landlord Have To Give If Not Renewing A Lease?

Your landlord must notify you 30-60 days before your lease ends if you’ve lived there for less than 3 years but more than 6 months in most places. Tenants who have lived at a rental property for 3 or more years get at least 120 days of notice when their landlord won’t renew the lease. That is the rule in many states, but lease laws and renter’s rights vary by state.

Landlords typically notify their tenants by mail, but they may drop the notice off. They are required to provide a written notice, but they may also call you. Your landlord is also likely to call you in addition to the letter if you’ve been a long-time renter.

Look up the laws in your state if you suspect that your landlord hasn’t given you enough notice when they don’t renew your lease. You can file a lawsuit if your landlord didn’t notify you within the time frame they’re supposed to.

What To Do When Your Landlord Won’t Renew Your Lease

It can be overwhelming when you find out your landlord won’t renew your lease, but you don’t have to stress out. Whether you talk to your landlord or search for a new apartment, you can take several steps to improve your situation.

Talk To Your Landlord

Talk to your landlord right away if you were thrown off when they didn’t renew your lease. Politely ask them for an explanation as to why they won’t renew the lease if they haven’t already explained. Depending on the reason, you may be able to negotiate to renew the lease at least temporarily.

For example, you may be able to switch to a month-to-month lease for a few months if you’re having trouble finding a new place to stay. There’s no guarantee that your landlord will help you, but it’s worth trying if you cannot find any apartment listings in the area.

This is much easier if you already have a good relationship with your landlord. In some cases, your landlord may have simply forgotten that your lease was about to expire, so they haven’t provided a new lease agreement to sign. That’s why it’s worthwhile to simply reach out to your landlord before you panic.

Look For A New Place

It’s time to look for a new place to live if your landlord won’t budge and renew your lease. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to find rental properties because of the countless online resources that are available. Ideally, you should start searching for a new rental property immediately after you get the notice from your landlord.

The application process takes a while, as landlords must verify your income and run a background check. This may put you in an uncomfortable situation where you must rush into a living situation that isn’t ideal simply because there aren’t many options available.

In that case, you may want to sign a month-to-month lease somewhere nearby while you look for the apartment or house of your dreams. Your landlord should provide enough time to find a nice place to live, so fill out as many lease applications as possible. They may not all work out, but you’ll at least have several options to choose from.

Contact An Attorney

Check the local laws to see if your landlord provided a notice within the lawful time frame in your state. Contact an attorney if your landlord didn’t give you enough time to find a new place to live. You must prove that you didn’t get a notice within the adequate time, or else you won’t have a case against them.

That said, you must consider whether the lawsuit is worth it. Legal fees are quite expensive, so it’s only worth the time and money to sue your landlord if the settlement would be more than the expenses. You must file the claim in the county where you reside, and the process can take a while.

Summing It Up

Your landlord doesn’t have to renew your lease, but they must notify you that they aren’t going to. It varies based on where you live and how long you’ve stayed at the property, but landlords must provide at least 30 days of notice that they aren’t renewing your lease. Long-term tenants typically get 120 days of notice. Contact an attorney if your landlord suddenly tells you they aren’t renewing your lease without adequate warning.

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Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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