How to re-negotiate your rental lease renewal

PUBLISHED 29 FEB 2020   

 

Do you know when your lease expires?

According to South African law, the owner of a property or their agent needs to inform the tenant that their lease is expiring. This should happen between 40 and 80 days before the expiry date. 

If your lease is due to expire soon, look out for an email or letter from your agent or landlord. It will notify you that your lease is about to expire, and will also contain important information about lease renewal:

  • There may be an increase in your monthly rent, and this amount must be stated clearly in the letter. 
  • The deposit may also increase in line with the rental increase.
  • You may be able to choose between renewing your lease for the same time period (usually 1 or 2 years) or switching to a month-to-month lease. 

Negotiating your lease renewal 

If you're happy with the terms of your lease renewal, you can go ahead and renew it - but what if you’re not?

You can always negotiate with the owner - either directly or through an agent - to renew the lease on the best possible terms. 

Here are some things to keep in mind when you negotiate.

?You’re an excellent tenant - mention the fact that you’ve paid your rent on time and kept the property in excellent condition.

?If you’ve made improvements to the property at your own expense, make sure you mention this.

?You’re willing to stay on in the long term and offer reliable rental income.

?Research the rental market - if things are slow, the owner may be more likely to agree to your terms. 

Most owners will be keen to keep a good, reliable tenant - even if it means giving up a few Rand here and there. Before you agree to renew your lease, negotiate - it never hurts to ask. 

Renewal vs. month-to-month

If you love your rented home, you’ll probably want to renew your lease - but should you go for a full year or two, or stay on a monthly lease? There are benefits and disadvantages to both. 

  • A settled tenant who plans to stay in the same place for an extended period of time would probably prefer the stability of a long-term lease, and so would the landlord. 
  • On the other hand, if you’re not sure how long you’ll be in Cape Town for, or are looking to rent or buy in a different area of the city, a monthly lease may be ideal. 

If you’re in the market to rent a property in Cape Town, we’d love to help you find the ideal home. Contact the Cape Letting team today.