When you’re looking through the newspaper, online classifieds, or specialty rental sites, you’ll find that most landlords are looking to rent out their spaces on a month-to-month basis, or at the most, a year at a time. While that might be what the average tenant wants, there are some individuals who would prefer to rent and stay put for more than a year, especially since it can allow them to lock in a rental fee without having to worry about it going up.
Rental homes that will allow more than a one-year lease aren’t everywhere, but they’re available if you look. There are also some simple ways you might be able to get a landlord to allow you to double or triple your lease length.
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1. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
If you find a rental home you love but the lease says one-year terms, that doesn’t mean you can’t ask about extending them. If you really love the space and it’s within your budget, the landlord may be willing to work with you so you can stay longer.
2. Find the Right Area
Areas where there are a considerable amount of vacancies are probably your best bet as there’s some chance the landlord has been without a tenant for a while. If that has happened, they’ll just be happy to get somebody in the house so they don’t have to absorb the mortgage costs, even if it means a two-year lease.
If you can get a landlord to talk to you about a long-term rental at all, they’ll want to know that you’re a great candidate. This means that you should obtain references from your last landlord – or even your last few landlords, as this will provide peace of mind that you are a trustworthy and reliable tenant.
They’re also going to use those references to verify that you always paid your rent on time and didn’t damage the property or do anything else problematic.
4. Negotiate a Rent Increase
Some landlords will want to raise the rent each year in certain areas – areas where that’s economically possible. However, they may be willing to work with you to make sure your increase is well below market value if you sign a longer lease.
This is often worth it for landlords, as they won’t have the problem of finding a new tenant, or run the risk of letting their property sit vacant for months at a time.
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5. Hire a Realtor
Working with a realtor isn’t always necessary when finding a rental home. However, when you need special terms like a long lease, it can be helpful to work with a realtor who may have more leverage than you.
If you do work with a realtor, let them know up front exactly how long you would like your lease to be.
6. Use Multiple Search Methods
The most important part of finding a long-term lease – doing the legwork. You’re going to have to use multiple different resources to find the right space for you, including multiple online sites, a realtor, and of course the old standby, your eyes.
Finding a long-term rental isn’t going to be easy in most markets, but it can well be worth it for you and the landlord to come to an agreement. If you do your homework and put in the effort, you can find a place to call home – at least for a few years.