Realty Bites

My NYC landlord sent a renewal notice three months in advance. Should I renew my lease early?

By Austin Havens-Bowen | June 7, 2022 - 2:30PM

Your landlord might be reaching out early in case they need to repaint and make any repairs in preparation for a new tenant.

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Question:

My landlord sent a renewal notice three months before my lease is set to expire. Is this normal? Should I renew this early?

Answer:

New York City landlords typically send lease renewal notices about two to three months in advance, according to the brokers Brick spoke to. 

That’s because if your landlord plans on increasing your rent by more than 5 percent, or doesn’t intend to renew your lease, they’re required to give you 30-, 60-, or 90-days notice, depending on how long you’ve lived in the apartment, according to the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants.

And there are also practical reasons for sending out a notice in advance: Owners want to have enough time to find a new tenant if you don’t plan on renewing your lease.


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For rent-stabilized tenants, landlords must offer a one- or two-year lease renewal 90 to 150 days before the end of a lease, says Adjina Dekidjiev, a broker at Coldwell Banker Warburg. And the rent increase cannot exceed the amount approved by the Rent Guidelines Board, which will make a final decision on stabilized rent hikes this month.  

Your landlord might also be reaching out early in case they need to repaint and make any repairs in preparation for a new tenant, says Gerard Splendore, a broker at Coldwell Banker Warburg. 

Are there any advantages to signing a lease renewal in advance? If you don’t plan on moving, then it’s probably a good idea—especially if there’s no rent hike. It’s currently a landlord’s market and rents are unlikely to come down for a while, Dekidjiev says. So you'll gain some peace of mind knowing you have locked in your new lease. 

Dekidjiev says to do your homework and search for comparable rentals in your neighborhood to see if you have the ability to negotiate with your landlord for a lower rent or a longer lease term.

And if you are unsure about your plans right now, you can hold off on signing the lease renewal until closer to the end of the lease term. Be aware the law specifies a timeframe for a rent-stabilized tenant to respond to a rent renewal offer (60 days), but there is no such time frame for market rate-tenants required by law. Still you should check to see if the owner is asking you to respond by a certain date.

If you do not want to renew your lease but do not know when you’re moving, you can ask to go month-to-month after your lease term ends, Splendore says. Just be aware you will lack the protections of a lease.

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