Should You Stay or Should You Go? 3 Perks for Long-Term Renters

Thursday, January 5, 2017

As most landlords know, good tenants are worth their weight in gold. While investing a little extra effort to keep good tenants happy is good for business, it is also a big plus for long-term renters, potentially saving them hundreds of dollars over the course of their lease.

With rental rates expected to rise further in 2017, renewals and longer-term leases – those beyond the standard 12 months – have emerged as a valuable bargaining tool for renters, allowing them to strike a better deal with landlords who, in most cases, consider it more economical to retain a tenant than fill a vacancy.

Looking to make a move in 2017? Here are the three biggest benefits available to renters who are in it for the long haul:

1. Avoid astronomical rental rate increases

If you pay your rent on time, take good care of your apartment and are a thoughtful neighbor, chances are your property manager will want you to stick around and won’t risk you leaving due to excessive rent increases. Typically, renters looking to renew their lease can expect to be offered renewal rent amounts that are below market rate, according to Mark Durakovic, principal of Kass Management Services. Renters who agree to lease their unit for at least two years may be able to save even more.

2. Receive special perks

In order to encourage renewals, some landlords will offer long-term renters special incentives such as being the first to receive apartment upgrades like new appliances, countertops or flooring, or a fresh coat of paint. In some cases, such improvements may come at no additional cost or a lower rate than what new renters would pay for the same unit. But don’t expect your landlord to offer incentives upfront. “Long-term renters shouldn’t be afraid to ask for upgrades,” said Durakovic. “Unless it is unreasonable or cost prohibitive, many landlords will be happy to oblige.”

3. Save the money – and headaches – associated with a move

Moving can be a hassle, not to mention expensive. If you have found your perfect apartment, perhaps the best thing about renting long term is not having to pack up all of your belongings each year.

“The average move can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000, and that doesn’t take into account the aggravation that often comes with it,” said Durakovic. “If you’re happy with your apartment, neighbors and location, a long-term lease can allow you to lock it in at a more affordable price.”