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Lease Renewal Agreement basics

Lease Renewal Agreements extend an expiring lease for an additional term. These forms are used when a landlord and tenant want to continue their positive rental experience. Lease Extension Forms also provide the opportunity to formalize a few changes, if needed.

Use the Lease Renewal Agreement document if:

  • You want to invite your tenant the opportunity to extend their lease.
  • A good renter has asked to extend their lease agreement.

While many lease agreements automatically convert to a month-to-month agreement, property managers and tenants may benefit from signing another long-term agreement. The time between when a lease expires and a new one begins also gives both parties the time to discuss repairs that may need to be done, possible rent changes and policy updates. Lease Renewal Letters can also act as a notice to let your renters know that their lease is about to end.

Other names for this document:

Residential Lease Renewal Agreement, Lease Renewal Form, Lease Extension Form, Lease Renewal Letter

What does a Lease Renewal Agreement Include?

In most cases, renewals are short and include just a few items. Lease Extensions Forms include the basics, such as:

  • Name and contact information for landlord and renter
  • Address of property to be leased
  • Reference to the original lease
  • Renewal terms and changes
  • Signatures and date

When should notices be sent?

Landlords or property managers should send renewal or Notice to End notices well before the ending of the original lease. Thirty, sixty or even ninety days before is common. Some states even require that Notice to End letters be sent out up to two months in advance, so the tenants have time to find a new rental, if needed. If the tenants decide to not renew, notice gives the property manager time to schedule work on the property to prepare it for new renters. You can ask a lawyer to see you if are required to send out notices within a certain amount of time.

Can you include changes in a Lease Renewal Agreement?

Yes, you can generally add a few changes to a Renewal Agreement. Changes such as increase or decrease in rent, new pet policies, repairs to be made and insurance requirements are often added to Lease Extension Forms. It is helpful if you include a copy of the original lease for reference in case the renter has misplaced their copy. If you plan on a long list of changes you may want to consider using a Lease Amendment or making a new Lease Agreement.

Why should a Lease Renewal Agreement be offered?

If you have tenants that pay their rent on time, follow lease agreements, do not disturb their neighbors and communicate well with you about concerns, it is worth your while to keep them around. Keeping a good renter is much easier and cheaper than trying to find a new one. While they still have a choice about whether they want to extend their lease or not, you'll still want to make an offer.

Why would a renter want to extend their lease?

Finding a new place, packing and moving is costly and stressful. Many tenants want to avoid moving unless it is necessary. Some property managers will even offer incentives to keep them renting such as a locked-in monthly rate or even lower rent. You can also throw in other types of enticements such as new appliances, a better parking spot or storage space.

Do I have to offer a Lease Extension Agreement?

In most cases, you do not. However, your city or local government may have restrictions on terminating a lease or not extending a lease for “no reason.” If you attempt to terminate a lease for “no reason,” it might be construed as discrimination, so it is best to talk to a lawyer. If a tenant violates the lease, such as continually paying the rent late or causes noise disturbances, in most cases, you do not have to renew their lease. Again, check with a local attorney, since you may be required to give multiple violation notices before deciding to terminate.

What if your renter chooses not to extend their lease?

There are many reasons why a tenant may choose not to renew their lease that are out of your control, such as job, family or health changes. If you sent out your notice early and the renter responds quickly, this is ideal, since it gives you time to create a move-out plan. It also gives you time to look for new tenants and schedule work that needs to be done on the property.

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