Brickunderground, 5/20

“Typically, traditional guarantors (parents, usually) can be on the lease for renewals but still have to redo the paperwork every year just to check that it’s all still okay, says Jeffrey Geller of?Insurent Lease Guaranty, which guarantees leases for a fee.

For lease renewals, Insurent offers a 15 percent discount on its normal rates of ?80 percent of a month’s rent if you have U.S. credit and 110 percent of a month’s rent for foreign residents with no U.S. credit, Geller says.

Summer in the city means rents are at their peaks, and by our recent estimates, setting yourself up in a new place could put a?$12,000 hole in your wallet?(and that’s only for a one-bedroom). If your lease is about to run out, it may make financial sense to renew it, rather than move.

Typically, landlords let their tenants know about renewing–as well as any potential rent increases–about 30 to 60 days before the agreement expires, says Anit Kliot of property management company?Kaled Management. For market-rate apartments (i.e. those that aren’t rent-stabilized), the?sky’s the limit?on how much a landlord can spike the rent, unless your lease specifically prohibits this.

If you’re planning to sign up for another year, be smart about how you do it.

1. Negotiate your rent increase

Just because your landlord says they’re going to raise your rent by some spectacularly high number doesn’t mean it’s a done deal.

Knowledge is power:?Arrive at any negotiation with info on how much it costs to rent an apartment like yours. If you find that comparable places are renting for 3 percent more than what you’re paying, you’ll have a much stronger argument against your landlord’s plan to raise the rent by 10 percent.

Look at?StreetEasy,?Craigslist,?NakedApartments?or other rental listings websites to get an idea of the going rate. Focus on places in the same neighborhood with the same bedroom count and similar features, like an elevator, doorman or other amenities. Keep descriptions and photos of these apartments on hand.

Stay put for more than a year more:?You can also offer to sign a lease for longer than 12 months; two years is common. This is a win-win: you don’t have to deal with another rent hike a year from now, and your landlord is guaranteed a good tenant for another year.

Also, landlords love it when leases come up for renewal during the busy May to September rental season when rents are highest, so if yours is renewing on a different month, you could offer to restructure the timing. Just beware that you’ll have less leverage the next time–or face stiff competition when you look for another apartment.

Negotiate an option to renew:?Consider renewing with an?escalation clause, which gives you the right to renew at terms you agree to now, typically at a 3 to 5 percent increase.

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