Both Tenants and landlords alike need to be weary of “Renewal” provisions in their lease agreements. Many standard leases contain these provisions, and at first glance they seem clear cut. They usually offer the tenant the option to renew the lease for another term within a certain time before the lease expires. What makes these provisions so tricky is that, in many cases, they don’t really mean very much. In most situations these provisions do not guarantee the tenant the ability to renew, or renew at the current rental price. A close read of the standard boilerplate language reveals that most of these clauses allow the tenant to give notice of their desire to renew the lease but do not force the landlord accept the renewal. This makes for a confusing situation. Both landlords and tenants should be aware that, in many cases, these seemingly clear-cut provisions, do not actually confer any real legal benefit or obligation. 

If you are a tenant you need to scrutinize your lease to see if this provision gives you any substantive right to renew, or if it is merely an option that the landlord can legally refuse to accept. Don’t be caught off guard if you try to exercise this renewal option but the landlord refuses – depending on the wording of you lease this may be perfectly legal. 

If you are a landlord, you should also look at any current leases to see what you may be empowered to do. Just because a tenant exercises their right under a lease agreement to request renewal of the lease, does not automatically mean that you are bound to accept the renewal. 

Understanding what rights and obligations attach to a rental agreement is crucial, and can prevent financial mishaps and unexpected consequences. An experienced attorney can help explain your rights under the law and under any lease. The Law Office of Robert N. Pelier, P.A. has decades of experience in civil law in South Florida and will work tirelessly on your behalf.