apartment lease renewal
September 18, 2007 5:02 PM   Subscribe

Should I give notice that I'm vacating my apartment, even though I might not be?

My lease expires at the end of October. I would like to find out what my rent will increase to before I decide to stay or move out. The problem is that my landlord won't tell me what the new rent will be until the first of the month, which is too late for the thirty day move out notice. Is she allowed to do that? Her suggestion was that I give written notice, and then withdraw it if I decide to stay. That sounds like a bad idea, but I don't know much about this. Any ideas on whether or not I should take her suggestion, or what other options I have? This is in Georgia, by the way. Help, hive mind!
posted by nzero to Law & Government (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
do you have to renew the lease? i'd just go month-to-month until i found a new place. giving notice before you know where you're moving next sounds like a recipe for disaster.
posted by gnutron at 5:53 PM on September 18, 2007

Are you dealing with a rental company or a "person"?

I would second checking out month to month. When our lease last came up we got a notice of the proposed price increase and an invitation to sign. I countered and we agreed on the lower rate.

Have you tried asking for the lease agreement to sign now. If you get that it would have to have the rent amount.

I guess it seems shady to me they won't give you the amount.
posted by imjosh at 6:16 PM on September 18, 2007

As a general rule whenever people with whom you have a commercial relationship are being coy, the news they are being coy about is never good. Decide how much of an increase seems fair and is affordable to you, average that with your current rent. Ask the landlord how much they intend to put the rent up to. If they continue to be coy about it, say "If it goes over $figure, I will have to consider moving out, so if that's your intention, please let me know ASAP, so I can get started on packing and cleaning and looking for a new place."

If they come back with a figure greater than this but still within your upper boundaries, tell them you need a day or so to think about it and do some research before you give the OK. This is to show you're not a pushover.

If their figure is too high, tell them thanks, but you'll give them the 30 days notice now, because you'll need that long to arrange things. Check with the local tenancy association, but since you haven't signed the new lease, it's likely you will be able to just continue as a periodical tenant under the old rental rate until you move out.

Also if there's anything that needs fixing, now is the perfect opportunity to get it done. Tell them "OK, but I'd like you to fix a couple things." Give them the list of things that need fixing, and don't sign anything until they've fixed it.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 6:29 PM on September 18, 2007

if you are not deeply entrenched, i would move. that sounds very shady to me.
posted by thinkingwoman at 6:31 PM on September 18, 2007

If you give notice, you have to leave.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 6:41 PM on September 18, 2007

That sounds borderline illegal--generally speaking, the laws that dictate move out periods and the laws that dictate notification of rent increases are designed to work together, so that they can't raise your rent without giving you the option to give notice and move out instead of paying the increase.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:42 PM on September 18, 2007

I know nothing about Georgia rent law, but you might not legally be able to rescind a move-out notice once given... so I would be hesitant about giving notice unless you're absolutely sure you're moving, unless your landlord says otherwise *in writing*.
posted by mahamandarava at 6:59 PM on September 18, 2007

What happens if you give your notice, the landord advertises the place as vacant, and some other person comes along and signs a lease? Oops, can't withdraw it now...
posted by PercussivePaul at 8:20 PM on September 18, 2007

I don't know about Georgia, but I'd be pretty surprised if it's enforceable to raise rent with a shorter notice period than that of the rent payment. Do you not have a renters' union arrangement there, to consult?

(having said that, unless you love the place I'd move out. Sounds like your landlord is a toerag)
posted by pompomtom at 8:40 PM on September 18, 2007

I'd at least start looking so you can see what is out there and then put in your 30 days as late as possible and I've known a lot of people that have put in their notice and then taken it back, but then again your landlord might be a bitch. However, since your landlord said you could withdraw your notice one could say you relied upon it. However, the fact she is being coy and saying you can withdraw it makes me think she looking to screw you in some way. Such as making you pay some ridiculous fee or something like that. I think its safe to say the increase won't be nothing, might not be outrageous, but its big enough she's will to risk you leaving and taking on the all the expense that a new tenant brings with it.
posted by whoaali at 8:46 PM on September 18, 2007

Georgia says you get 60 days notice of a rent increase before it can take effect.

What does your lease say?
posted by trevyn at 9:19 PM on September 18, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for the great replies.

To answer a few questions:

1) Am I dealing with a rental company, or a person?

The property is owned by a company, landlord is a person.

2) Have I asked for the new lease agreement?

Yes. She said they do all of them on the same day of the month, so she won't give it to me until the 1st, which is too late for 30 day notice.

3) Do I have a renters union arrangement to consult?

I don't know what that is, so probably not.

4) What does my lease say about notice of a rent increase?

I can't remember off the top of my head. I'll look and report back this evening.
posted by nzero at 12:19 PM on September 19, 2007

Response by poster: Ok, in case anyone is still reading this, here are some updates.

I spoke to the manager again. She said that the reason she can't tell me the new rent is because she herself will not know it until the corporate office tells her the amount, which will not happen until the 1st of the month.

Also, I checked my lease for specifics regarding lease renewal. It is worded in a very confusing way and says they have to give me 30 days notice of the new rate. However, it also says this will happen on the first of the month of the end of the current lease. This confuses me because the first of the month is not 30 days before the current lease expires. So, I'm still not sure what I should do.
posted by nzero at 9:25 AM on September 20, 2007

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