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Should you renew your lease? Answer these six questions to find out | MyProperty.ph
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Should you renew your lease? Answer these six questions to find out

by Jillian CariolaPublished: October 18, 2017Updated: October 20, 2017

Think about whether renewing the lease to your apartment is the right decision by answering these questions.

The pros and cons of renewing your apartment lease MyProperty Philipipnes Signing document and house keys

Upon reaching the end of your one- or two-year lease term, you’re probably torn between renewing your lease and terminating it. This decision is especially hard if you’ve grown to love the apartment you’re living in right now: you feel extremely comfortable at present, but part of you is probably still wishing to explore other options. Here are a few questions that might help you determine whether a lease renewal is the right thing to do.

 

Can you afford the move?

Moving can cost a lot of money, which is potentially problematic if you are someone who’s not earning a lot to begin with. Think about it: you have to hire a moving company, pay for gas, buy packing supplies, eat out during your first weeks if you’re too busy at work to start unpacking—the list goes on. Staying will allow you to put away the money meant for moving and put it toward something more worthwhile, like your emergency fund, life insurance, or the vacation you’ve been wanting to take for the longest time.

The pros and cons of renewing your apartment lease MyProperty Philipipnes Man and woman reading and using laptop
The costs involved in moving can definitely impact your monthly budget. Photo via Depositphotos

However, if you manage to find an apartment for less than you’re paying now, it’s definitely possible for you to offset the costs you’ll incur during the move since you’ll be paying less from then on. In that case, you will now have to answer this sub-question: are you prepared to shell out moving money right now?

How comfortable are you with the cost of your rent?

You might be saving your moving expenses by staying, but what you save can ultimately end up in rent anyway. Landlords aren’t allowed to raise the rent during your lease term, but they can do this once your lease ends. According to Republic Act 9653 or the Rent Control Act of 2009, if the place will be occupied by the same lessee, rent that is up to Php3,999 can be raised by up to 4 percent, while those that cost between Php4,000 and Php10,000 can be increased by no more than 7 percent. If your salary isn’t enough to handle even a little spike in the rates, then you’re probably better off finding an apartment that costs less.

The pros and cons of renewing your apartment lease MyProperty Philipipnes Coins calculator notepad pencil
Can you still afford your current rent comfortably? Photo via Depositphotos

On the other hand, you have to weigh that option against the cost of producing the amount required to rent a new apartment initially. Even if the new apartment costs less, keep in mind that landlords usually charge one month’s advance rent and two months’ worth of deposit, which is the amount stipulated in the Rent Control Act.

Do you handle stress well?

Relocating to a new home is no walk in the park. Your tasks will include searching for a new apartment, haggling for a good deal, having your services cancelled in one place and activated in another, cleaning up the new apartment, and filling out “change in address” forms for mail and subscriptions. All of this and you haven’t even counted packing up all your stuff and unpacking them again later. Why would you want to throw your world into chaos if you’re already settled and comfortable right where you are?

The pros and cons of renewing your apartment lease MyProperty Philipipnes Stressed man using laptop
Stress is just part of any major life change. Photo via Depositphotos

Alternately, there are those who might find moving to be a breeze. You are probably one of those people if you are experienced in using various methods of house-hunting (including online real estate portals), already have people you can call on to help you move, and don’t have a lot of extra services to transfer or subscriptions to update.

How sociable are you?

Moving to a new place means having a new landlord to deal with and new neighbors to run into. While this is not an entirely negative concept, adjusting to an unfamiliar situation can still take time, and even then you don’t know if you will end up loving the new place. For people who favor familiarity, being surrounded by friendly faces they have at least adjusted to over the year beats the uncomfortable feeling of saying “good morning” to a completely different crowd any day.

The pros and cons of renewing your apartment lease MyProperty Philipipnes Friends at barbecue party
If the neighborhood is tight-knit, expect invitations to backyard parties. Photo via Depositphotos

But what if you are someone who likes meeting different people all the time? Social butterflies might adapt more easily, which would make moving not a challenge in terms of social interaction. And if you are someone who wants to be more outgoing, taking the plunge should be good practice for you.

Are you looking for new surroundings?

Aside from getting used to living among new neighbors, being in a new community means having a whole new world to explore. Finding new restaurants to enjoy, new malls to shop in, and new recreational facilities to visit can be an exciting thing to do if you thrive in different surroundings. If you have to take a new route from point A to point B, that’s what Waze and Uber are for.

The pros and cons of renewing your apartment lease MyProperty Philipipnes Woman using map and phone
Got a good sense of direction? You should find your way quite easily. Photo via Depositphotos

Looked at another way, an entirely new neighborhood is a different place for you to get lost in, especially if it is not an area you are very familiar with. How long does it take for you to adapt to a new routine? Are you good at memorizing directions, or at least looking them up? If you drive or take public transport every day, staying at your old apartment will be easier if you already have a route that’s working for you.

Are you feeling tied down?

Staying right where you are would be ideal if you can definitively say that your life will be somewhat the same in the next few years. This means there are no big decisions to make anytime soon, like your job is stable, your company will not be transferred to a different branch, or you have no immediate plans of getting married. Considering all of this and the possibility that you have actually started to love your rental, why budge?

The pros and cons of renewing your apartment lease MyProperty Philipipnes Man lying on couch while reading
Sometimes, the longer you stay, the more comfortable you get. Photo via Depositphotos

Renting does allow you to be more flexible compared to owning a house, but having a lease still limits your freedom to move whenever you want. If you have to leave right away for any reason, your only option would be to break your lease, which is not an easy thing to do (and will cost you money).

 

Should you decide to move to a new apartment, don’t forget to read your lease agreement carefully. Contracts are legally binding, and they are not just designed to protect the landlord and/or property owner, they also ensure that you’re agreeing only to things that you have deliberated with them when you agreed to rent. If you are renewing your lease, this is the landlord’s opportunity to raise the rent, so be sure the new amount is reflected on the new agreement. You might also want to try to renegotiate the terms of your lease, like if you want to bring in a new pet or sublease one bedroom.

 

Main photo via Depositphotos

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