Tenant relationships can be difficult to navigate at times, especially when it comes to the end of a lease. Although you may be ready to renew the lease, your tenant may have other ideas. Keep an eye out for these warning signs your tenant may not be planning to renew their lease so you can start preparing to fill the upcoming vacancy:
Late Rent Payments
Has your tenant gone from consistently paying rent on time to being habitually late as the lease renewal gets closer? Recent recurring late payments can be one of the easiest ways to tell your tenant has no intention of renewing the lease.
It’s important to keep in mind that with the pandemic, even the most reliable of tenants can fall on hard times. You may want to consider discussing the reasons behind the late payments with your tenant or find ways to encourage timely payments, like offering the ability to pay their rent online. If late payments are also accompanied by some of the other warning signs, however, it’s likely they’re not planning to renew their lease.
Shorter Lease Requests
If the tenant requested a shorter lease, such as a month-to-month or a six-month lease, this could be a sign that the tenant views your property as a temporary housing situation. This is most likely to occur at the initial lease signing, but it could also happen at lease renewal. A request for a shorter lease doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not a good choice as a tenant, but it could be a red flag if you’re searching for a long-term resident. Depending on how much the vacancy is costing you (or could cost you in the future), you may want to consider a shorter lease and increase the monthly rent to offset expenses.
Lease Renewal Cancellation Questions
One of the most telling signs your tenant isn’t planning to renew the lease is if they start asking questions about canceling the lease renewal. Many leasing agreements include automatic renewal clauses requiring tenants to give notice if they plan to terminate the contract once the initial lease is up. If your tenant asks when the cancellation date is, it’s a fairly sure sign that they’re not planning to renew the lease – or that they’re at least considering their options. Another sign your tenant is shopping around for other places to rent would be if you receive inquiries about your resident’s rental history from other landlords or property management companies.
Other Indications Your Tenant Won’t Renew
Along with some of the more obvious signs your tenant isn’t planning to renew, there could be some subtle indicators that they’re going to move, such as
- Avoiding discussions surrounding lease renewal
- Closed or uncomfortable body language when discussing the subject
- Constant requests to negotiate expenses, like the cost of rent or utilities
- Numerous complaints about the property or requests for updates to the property
- Communication breakdowns or inability to reach the tenant when they’ve previously been very communicative or responsive
- Lease violations
- A change in relations, such as the tenant suddenly becoming rude or disrespectful
- The tenant’s maintenance responsibilities (such as maintaining the yard) are being neglected
- Unauthorized residents or pets at the property
- Consistent disputes with the neighbors
Although it’s often in everyone’s best interest to renew a lease, it’s also important to watch for the signs that the tenant could be planning to move on. By staying vigilant in the time leading up to the lease renewal period and keeping communication open, you’ll be less likely to get caught off guard if your tenant plans on moving – and you can start preparing to find new occupants.
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