Signing A 2-Year Lease Can Increase Your Chances Of Getting Approved
Have you ever been in a situation where you find a rental property that you really love, only to find out that three other people are putting in an offer for the same place?
When it comes to applying for rental properties, most renters think that their application will get noticed by landlords, as long as they have a pretty decent background. But in competitive markets, where multiple applicants are often vying for the same property, this isn’t necessarily the case.
So how do you make yourself stand out from the crowd and secure the rental home you’re after? One way to do this is by offering to sign a 2-year lease, rather than a 12-month contract.
Here are some reasons why a 2-year lease could be a better option for both landlord and tenant alike, and some things to consider if you’re planning to go this route:
Most Landlords Prefer Stability
A longer tenancy guarantees you a better shot at getting your application approved, especially in hot rental markets where there is high demand (as long as your other credentials are strong, too).
Longer leases are attractive to landlords, as they get to save time and money by not having to market the property after a year. So, if a landlord has two or more qualified applicants, this could be what puts you at the top of the list. All things being equal, a landlord will likely go for the applicant with the longest lease term, so if you’ve found a property you really want and are worried about competition from other applicants, suggest a 2-year lease to give you the upper hand.
You Save on Moving Costs
The average costs for a local move can start from $1250 for a 2-3 bedroom property, and can go as high as $4000 or so for bigger properties or long-distance moves! Aside from moving costs, don’t forget about the miscellaneous fees usually associated with moving, such as putting down another big sum for your security deposit, paying property application fees, installation of services like WiFi or satellite TV, etc.
By renting the same place for 2 years, you can save on all of these costs (as well as the stress of moving). Keep in mind that your landlord also gets similar benefits if you stay longer – no missed months of rent, turnover costs like painting and marketing fees, etc. – so this can be a win-win for both parties.
You Save Time
Moving doesn’t just cost you financially – it also takes up a considerable amount of your time and energy. Most people find moving houses extremely tiresome – taking time off of work to view homes, packing, unpacking, calling bill providers, changing your address on all your official documentation, dealing with move-in and move-out paperwork… the list goes on!
By staying put for 2 years or more, you get to delay all of this hassle and focus on the more important things in life.
You Might be Able to Swing a Few Concessions
With a shiny and attractive 2-year lease offer, you MIGHT be able to swing a few concessions when negotiating with the landlord.
Maybe the paint in a specific room could use updating. You could negotiate that, and even the paint color. Sames goes for carpeting, ceiling fans, etc. How about an additional appliance, like a washer or dryer?
Just take note that many leases include an automatic rental increase annually to keep prices in line with rising inflation, so getting a locked-in rental rate isn’t a 100% guarantee – but it never hurts to ask!
It’s a Longer Commitment
Make sure that you’re prepared to commit to a longer-term lease before proposing one to your landlord. Most leases are pretty strict regarding the situations under which a tenant can break their lease, so if, for whatever reason, you find yourself needing to move in 18 months’ time, this could put you in a tricky situation.
Before putting in an offer for a long-term lease, the wisest thing to do is to thoroughly assess both financial and employment stability, along with other factors that can potentially affect your living situation over the next few years (like coronavirus!).
A Lease Extension May Gives Many of the Same Benefits
If you’re unsure about your situation, you might be better off putting in an offer for a 1-year lease and then opting for an extension at the end of the rental period. This way, you can still save on moving costs, but the difference is that you’ll have less bargaining power when applying for properties, if you’re only proposing a standard, 1-year rental term.
Signing a 2-year lease or longer is ultimately a big decision to make, but the benefits it provides are well worth it, as long as you’re prepared to commit to living in your rental home for a longer period. Particularly if you’re searching for a rental property in a competitive market, this is a great way to catch a landlord’s attention and increase your chances of securing your top pick property.
Would you consider a longer lease, if it meant greater bargaining power and less time and money spent on moving? Let us know your thoughts below!
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