It’s that time of the year again. No, we’re not talking about the holidays. It is that time of the year that is very crucial for renters—their anniversary in the condo or apartment. It is crucial because this kind of anniversary involves a contract, and we know how people generally feel about contracts and agreements. Renters have to decide whether to stay or go.
Most condos for lease require a minimum of one year or the deposit is forfeited. And now, they come face to face with a truly life-altering question: “Should I renew my condo lease?” Unfortunately, this is not something that you decide on a whim. You are not choosing between mayonnaise or mustard. You are about to decide whether to pack all your stuff and move out or extend the deal for another year or so.
But how do you decide, exactly? Sit back because we got you covered. We listed down the key considerations on that condo lease renewal.
A list of pros and cons
A list always comes in handy. And when it is time to decide on contract renewal, it is no exemption. Go around your condo and make a list of the things that you like and the things you don’t. Do you like the paint? Do you love the kitchen? What do you think about the bathroom? See which column outweighs the other.
Renting in the Philippines is always a case-by-case basis. Some landlords do not mind if you repaint the walls or make changes, but in some cases it is not allowed. If you are allowed to make the con be a pro and if you have the budget for it, then think twice about leaving.
Increased fees and costs
Did your rent increase? How much? Can you handle it? Before renewing your lease, make sure that you took into consideration all fees and costs. Aside from the monthly rent, consider association and homeowner’s dues, parking fee, amenities fee, taxes, etc. Carefully assess if you can afford the increase or should start scouting for another property.
Evaluate the location
One of the main reasons why condo renting is such a growing trend in urban areas is because people want to live closer to work. Before renewing the lease on your condo, evaluate if your condo’s location has really reduced commute time or gas expenses. Has your condo location made it easier for you to achieve work-life balance? Does it allow you to come home in time for dinner? Check your savings, both monetary and time, in this regard.
Are you living in landlord hell?
The landlord-tenant relationship is very crucial in condo leasing. If you feel like you are living in a Big Brother house because your landlord watches everything you do, then that is obviously a sign that you should pack your bags, unless of course you can tolerate the invasion of privacy, not to mention the creepiness.
Your original contract should set clear boundaries. And if it doesn’t, you should make sure that this will be covered should you renew your lease. Having said that, a tenant must carefully assess his or her relationship with the landlord. Resolve issues that need to be resolved before making the decision to walk out just because the rules don’t sit well with you.
It is a relief to know that some condos in the Philippines, such as DMCI properties, can help their tenants resolve issues and ensure that tenants’ rights in the Philippines are upheld and protected at all times.
Security is not a non-issue
Has there been a serious security breach over the past month? Did one of your neighbors fall victim to a burglar? Are there not enough security measures in place?
Never take the issue of security lightly. Evaluate your community and how strict the security measures are. Check the area in general and if it has been a crime hotspot recently. If you can’t afford security cameras and alarms on your own and the property management or landlord refuses to upgrade their security, maybe it is time to move out. You can even look into your area’s crime rates if you want to get a better perspective of the security in your condo.
Size of the family VS floor space
Did your family grow over the past year? Is there a new bundle of joy? Or maybe your partner moved in with you. Did you have to look after your parents, too?
The size of the condo vis-à-vis the size of the family is very important to look into. If a studio is too small for your growing family, you should probably consider moving out. But if you think you can do something creative with the space to make it conducive for everyone, you can do that too. The important thing is that you know the limitations of the space you have.
Cost of moving
Moving out of an apartment and moving into a new one is expensive. You rent a truck, hire movers, and pay another security deposit. You must be prepared for these things as you consider whether or not to renew your lease. Can you afford the costs? If you can afford it, find out if it outweighs the cons of where you currently live.
Are there better options?
Did you find another condo in Metro Manila that meets your needs better? Is it closer to work? Is it more affordable? You have to be able to map out your priorities. Decide on what is most important—price, location, size, community, amenities, etc. Before signing that condo lease renewal, make sure that you have explored all your options. After a year or so of renting a condo, you should be a bit more experienced in this department now.
Journey to independence
A lot of condo renters in the Philippines are sharing the space with a roommate or two. When contract renewal is up, you must decide whether you still want to live in a shared space or you think you are ready to live on your own. And if you decide to live independently, ask yourself if you can afford it. Weigh the pros and cons.
A lease renewal is a tricky situation. You are somehow deciding on what you want to change in the way you live or how much of it you think is going right for you. And so, it is imperative that you start your decision-making process months before you are up for renewal. In cases like this, it is not advisable to trust a decision you made in a hurry. Even if you do end up deciding to move, there are so many great options for short- and long-term lease available. You’ll find that hunting for your new home may not be such a hassle after all.