Landlords can generally refuse to renew a lease for non-rent controlled or non-subsidized housing when the term is up, provided they give proper notice. Most landlords prefer the stability of a reliable tenant renewing, rather than the expense and process of attracting, vetting, and signing a lease with a new tenant. But sometimes it is necessary to deny a lease renewal. Here are some common reasons a landlord won’t renew a lease.
The Tenant Consistently Fails To Pay Rent or Pays Late
A tenant that cannot fulfill their obligation to pay rent on time may face non-renewal. While property owners make every effort to screen prospective tenants to ensure they have enough income to pay their rent, sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. Landlords should be cautious, however, about evictions and non-renewals during national emergencies like the COVID-19 crisis. Find out what rules are currently in effect. Many people have lost jobs, and financial help has been late in coming. Landlords may wish to make some accommodation for previously reliable tenants who have fallen on hard times.
Property Damage or Violations of Policy
A tenant that fails to report leaks in the plumbing or breakdowns in appliances might cause the problems to become worse. While a landlord may have some recourse in the security deposit to pay for the damage, a tenant that fails in their obligation to maintain the home is not likely to be offered a lease renewal.
Breaking the rules is another reason a landlord might not offer to renew a tenant’s lease. Repeated noise complaints, sneaking pets onto a property that does not permit them, or engaging in illegal activity are all reasons not to renew.
Selling or Renovating the Property
There may come a time when a property owner is better off selling the property than renting it. If the property’s status is changing from a rental to an owner-occupied home, the tenant will have to find another place to live.
Major renovations may require that the property be unoccupied for a prolonged time. Landlords must give proper notice and time for the tenant to move out before the lease’s term is up, but they are under no obligation to renew.
Discrimination or Retaliation Are Unlawful
Landlords must treat their tenants equally, applying policies and terms without regard to a tenant’s race, religion, sex, national origin, family status, disability, or other protected category. Landlords are also not allowed to refuse to renew a lease as an act of retaliation for a tenant filing a complaint against them. If the landlord refuses to renew the lease within a year of such a complaint, one might assume that they’re acting in retaliation.
Maintaining documentation of the reasons a landlord won’t renew a lease, treating all tenants equally, and avoiding even the appearance of discrimination or retaliation are all important safeguards for landlords in all circumstances. Property owners in the greater Atlanta area may benefit from the services of a professional property management company in Georgia.