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  • Nov 18th, 2010 1:05 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 6, 2010
11 posts

renting question

I have been renting for a downtown condo for quite some time - precisely, four and half years at the same location. I’m paying below market rate as a long time tenant with 2-3% rent increase every year. For the first three years I renewed my lease contract every year and for the most recent one and half year I did not sign anything and therefore is on “month-to-month” lease.

Today I got a call from the management office and ask me what my intention is regarding my future tenancy. They acknowledged I am in month-to-month release but asked me to sign a minimum one-year contract with them. I honestly think I can’t get any better deals at my rate at this area but I don’t want to commit anything long-term either. On my current arrange, I can move out anytime by giving 2 months notice. My question is, since they explicitly asked for a fixed-term contract, if I say no this time, will that result a termination of tenancy by the management? My understanding is that for a month-to-month type of lease, both tenant and the landlord have the right to terminate the lease with 2 month notice. Another question is why the property manager left me alone for almost two years and suddenly come to ask for a fixed-term lease? Anyone experienced the same thing? Maybe they realized that my rate is lower than average and wanted get some sort of compensation – i.e. predictable income with less risk?

Let me know your thoughts!
5 replies
Banned
User avatar
Feb 15, 2008
26318 posts
3234 upvotes
Calgary
The landlord might be trolling their bank looking for a mortgage renewal, and the bank is requiring long-term leases as part of the loan documentation package.

Basically, you need to look around you, and see if there are vacant units, if they're able to rent the place out on the market, and what rents they're receiving. If there are vacant units, then they have little leverage over you. If there's a 2-year waiting list to rent a unit in the place, then I would suggest that you sign the lease.

There have been a few RFD posters posting of rent decreases lately. You may also wish to do some detective work, track down the bank of your landlord, and find out if the mortgage is due for renewal soon. This will give you an idea as to whether the bank is putting the screws to your landlord or not.
Jr. Member
Jul 1, 2008
185 posts
15 upvotes
Toronto
frankie20 wrote: My understanding is that for a month-to-month type of lease, both tenant and the landlord have the right to terminate the lease with 2 month notice.


Not quite, the landlord can only terminate under certain circumstances: to convert the property to personal use for themselves or their immediate family (which can also happen if the unit is sold and the new buyer wants it for personal use), for major renovations (which is really not a risk in a new condo), etc... but not just because they feel like having you gone, or think they can get a higher rent if they put it back on the market.

If you're a good tenant, and the landlord is serious about holding the unit for the long term, they shouldn't care whether you're month-to-month or sign a new lease, except as Netriones said, for predictability, or if as Mark77 said, if they're being asked to prove the income to a lender.

If you're planning on staying there for at least another year, signing a new lease isn't going to hurt you then (you really just give up your freedom to move out with 2 months' notice, but even then you can try to work with the landlord to assign the unit and break the lease if you have to move), and may even give you some protection against the unit being sold to a new owner that wants it for personal use.

Now for a personal anecdote: I used to live in a high-rise apartment building. I had a 1-year lease for the first year I lived there, and then went month-to-month for another 2.5 years. Every anniversary they'd send up a notice with the rent increase for the year, and a copy of a 1-year lease to sign. I'd just tell the manager that I wasn't going to sign the lease, and was going to stay month-to-month, and his response was "Ok. Doesn't hurt to try!"
Sr. Member
Mar 26, 2009
682 posts
27 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
There is only 1 reason for you to sign a new lease: lower rent. Signing a fixed term lease while already month-to-month has absolutely zero advantage for you, infact it becomes a disadvantage cause now you're signed on for another fixed term. If the landlord needs to show a fixed term lease for whatever reason, ask for a rent reduction in return.

The landlord can give you 2 months notice to sell/occupy/renovate the unit whether you are month-to-month or on a fixed-term lease, so there is absolutely no repercussions if you decline to sign the fixed term lease and stay month-to-month.

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