Apartment Living

Pros and Cons: Signing a Multi-Year Lease

Pros and Cons: Signing a Multi-Year Lease

In our Pros and Cons series, we weigh the advantages and disadvantages of important decisions that apartment dwellers are making every day.

When you sign a lease for your new apartment, chances are that you’ll sign a one-year lease, with the ability to renew your lease every 12 months. However, you might also have the option to sign a longer multi-year lease. As the name suggests, a multi-year lease obliges tenants to stay in their apartment rentals for longer than a year. The length of commitment involved in a multi-year lease – often 24 months, but sometimes 18 months – may work better for certain renters. 

multi-year lease

Is a multi-year lease right for you? Weigh the pros and cons below to help with your decision.

Pros of signing a multi-year lease

Rent stability

If you want to re-sign your one-year lease to keep living in your apartment, then some landlords might raise your rent for the next year’s lease. (This changes by jurisdiction; not all cities and states allow landlords to raise rent after the first year.) When you sign a multi-year lease, you lock in a rent amount for a time period longer than a year, which may prove better for your budget in the long run.

Cheaper rent

In some cases, landlords looking to find trustworthy tenants for longer periods of time will sign leases for lower rent prices to lure in good tenants who might otherwise look elsewhere. That’s why, when you sign a multi-year lease, your monthly rent might be much less expensive than with a one-year lease.

Location stability

Even if you’re happy in your apartment, when your one-year lease ends, you might find yourself at least toying with the possibility of moving. When you sign a multi-year lease, you can immediately nip that temptation in the bud. If you’re the kind of person who finds yourself moving more often than you’d like, then signing a multi-year lease on an apartment that meets all your standards can ensure the location stability you’ve been missing.

Cons of signing a multi-year lease

Too much commitment

You might find that a one-year lease gives you more flexibility if you’re unsatisfied with your apartment. If the best apartment you find during your hunt is still not quite up to your standards, then if things don’t work out at the end of your one-year lease, you can just look again and potentially find an apartment that’s better for you. When you sign a multi-year lease, you don’t have this flexibility, so if you discover a dream apartment only to move in and find it deeply flawed, then you’re stuck there for much longer than you’d like.

Risky if your finances change

If you don’t think you’re particularly picky about apartments, keep in mind that the commitment of a multi-year lease can be stressful for more reasons than just your preferences. If your financial situation suddenly changes and you can no longer afford your rent, with a multi-year lease, you’re far more bound to your apartment than with a one-year lease. 

Breaking your lease is never easy (and rarely encouraged), but with a single-year lease, you may be able to try riding out the remainder of your lease if money gets tight. This prospect is far less realistic with a multi-year lease, and often, the penalties for breaking your multi-year lease are harsher than with a one-year lease. When you’re signing a multi-year lease, thoroughly read the consequences for breaking your lease before you sign it.

Would you rather sign a one-year lease or a multi-year lease? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Published at Thu, 23 Apr 2020 13:23:53 +0000

Can’t Leave Your Apartment? Five Ways to Keep Busy

Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to hundreds of millions of Americans sheltering in place. This means going out minimally if at all, perhaps only for groceries or other essential goods and the occasional neighborhood walk or jog. In other words, it means you mostly can’t leave your apartment, and if you’re like most people, you enjoy going out, seeing friends, and getting away from home for a bit. If you’re struggling to stay entertained while you’re stuck at home, here are five ways to keep busy when you can’t leave your apartment.

can't leave apartment

1. Make big meals

It’s one thing to toss together a sandwich using whatever’s left in your fridge and cupboard. It’s another thing to spend hours putting together a delicious, giant homemade dish with enough leftovers to feed yourself for days. Chopping vegetables, waiting for large pots to boil, and cleaning up all your kitchenware after can quickly kill hours of time you might otherwise spend bored. Bonus points if you follow-up your meal prep with a video dinner party to also keep busy without leaving your apartment.

2. Work out in your apartment

Not much of a jogger? Then your exercise options outside your apartment might be limited, as gyms nationwide have closed in response to the pandemic. That doesn’t mean you can’t get in plenty of heart-pumping, muscle-building exercise at home. Try any of these in-apartment workouts for inspiration, or head to social media or video streaming services to find a class to follow. Just remember that, even if you can’t leave your apartment at all and are desperate to keep busy, rest days are important, too!

3. Redecorate, rearrange, and reorganize

Adding new decorative touches to your apartment, rearranging your furniture, and reorganizing your belongings can take up a large portion of your day. These activities can also change the way your apartment feels for a while – realigning the couch with a different wall or adding some new houseplants to your windowsill can completely change the mood and ambiance of your space. And when your apartment feels different, you might associate it with less with boredom, restlessness, and other emotions you might be coping with when you can’t leave your apartment and are struggling to keep busy.

4. Get started on spring cleaning

Although you can’t leave your apartment, each day now has slightly more sunlight hours than the last, and as more natural light makes its way into your apartment, you’re probably seeing spots where you didn’t even notice dust accumulating before. Take a few hours to get started on spring cleaning and make your floors, countertops, walls, and other surfaces shine like new (and don’t forget to disinfect, too). Between spring cleaning and redecorating, reorganizing, and rearranging, you’ll easily keep busy, and you’ll do so productively, too.

5. Chat with friends

Just because you can’t see your friends in person doesn’t mean you can’t see them at all. A video call or even a regular old phone call with your friends is a great way to keep busy and kill time doing something you’d normally be doing in person. You’re far from the only person who can’t leave their apartment right now, so your friends are very likely to appreciate the call and the activity to keep them busy, too.

How do you keep busy when you can’t leave your apartment? Sound off in the comments!

Published at Mon, 20 Apr 2020 13:20:17 +0000