Do I have any rights to extend my lease for another year?

My landlords and I were negotiating the renewal of my 12-month lease that ends
July 31st for another year. I was under the impression that we were all set to
sign the new lease this week once my new roommate’s application went through, but
then they told me they had offered the place to another couple who accepted it.
As the current tenant do I have any rights to argue this decision after they
verbally said that we would be all set to sign on for another year?

Asked on June 30, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, being a current tenant gives you no right to automatically renew a lease, anymore than being someone's current plumber means that person cannot stop using you and pick a different plumber instead. A landlord is free to decide who to lease to--current or former tenant--just as tenant is free to decide whether he/she wants to renew a lease or not. 
If the lease has an automatic renewal term in it, or some other provision giving you renewal rights, that would be different: a contractual obligation to renew is enforceable. But if the lease doesn't require renewal, the landlord is free to select a different tenant.

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