And second, to ensure that leases end between May and September, when rental demand is at its highest, rather than next winter, when rents will be comparatively lower, brokers say. “This will allow them to command the highest possible rents on vacancy leases as well as stronger renewal rates from tenants who stay in place,” Wagner tells BrickUnderground.
For renters, there are a few pros and cons to signing an extra-long lease at this time of year:
The main benefit is that you’ll get a commitment from your landlord not to raise the rent for well over 12 months, brokers say. Plus, you may be able to negotiate extras like lower rent, a free month’s rent or having your landlord pay the broker’s fee if you commit to a longer term, says Gus Waite, a broker at Coldwell Banker AC Lawrence.
The main trade-off is that when your lease expires, you’ll be facing the busiest rental season of the year. That means either renew your lease and likely face a rent hike, or "if they choose to move out, they will enter the rental market at the most competitive time of year, when there are thousands of people in the market with listings vanishing in a matter of hours,” Wagner says.
Starting in April, concessions all but dry up, and rents can climb 10% higher than in the slow winter months, Waite says.
And don’t forget: While it may be tempting to move during the warm summer months, it may also be more difficult and more expensive to book a mover, notes Erica Manney, the marketing director of CityMove, a reverse auction website for people moving.
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