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Making a Lease Renewal Agreement
Lease Renewal Agreements are used to extend a lease for another term. They offer the ability to renew the lease for the same length and to memorialize any changes to the lease, if needed. They are also referred to as: Residential Lease Renewal Agreement, Lease Renewal Form, Lease Extension Form, and Lease Renewal Letter.
The time to renew a lease comes at the end of an existing lease term. If the landlord and tenant have had a good relationship and both are happy with the terms of the existing lease, then both may decide that renewing the lease makes sense. Most of the terms of the existing lease typically would continue in the new lease. However, some landlords may decide to increase the rent for the new lease. If a tenant does not sign a lease renewal, but remains in the rental, the tenancy usually automatically converts to a month-to-month arrangement. The benefit of being month-to-month is an increased level of flexibility if you haven't settled your future plans. The downside to a month-to-month is that your landlord may decide to rent to a new tenant who is willing to sign a longer term lease.
A lease extension is simply the continuation of an existing lease agreement, usually on a month-to-month basis. A lease renewal is essentially a new lease, and is usually for the same term as the previous lease. The benefits of renewing a lease include the stability of knowing there's a commitment for the term of the new lease, the savings to the landlord of not having to find and move in a new tenant, and the ability to raise the rent for the new lease.
Yes, a landlord can refuse to renew a lease when the term of the original lease is over. In some states, however, a landlord may not refuse to renew a lease if doing so is for discriminatory reasons or is in retaliation for a tenant acting within their legal rights.
Auto-renewing leases contain a clause that continues the lease agreement for the same (or lesser) period of time. For example, a month-to-month rental agreement is a common auto-renewing lease. The term of the lease automatically renews, unless the landlord or tenant provides proper notice that they intend to end the lease. In general, they are legal, but if you have a question about your lease, it's best to ask a lawyer.