Can a landlord make me renew a lease a year early?

UPDATED: Dec 15, 2011

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Can a landlord make me renew a lease a year early?

I just renewed my lease, it began on the first of this month. Now the landlord sent me a renewal for next year. They tell me I must tell them if I will renew for another year right now. I must renew by the 15 of next month for a year from now or they’ll post my apartment as available next year on their website. How am I supposed to sign an agreement for a second year up front? I don’t know what my financial situation will be in a year. I’ve never had to tell them before, or any past landlord, more than 2 or 3 months before the end of the current lease, certainly not 12 months early,

Asked on December 15, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not you are obligated to make a decision to renew for another one year term for the rental that you are occupying after you have just renewed its term recently depends upon what the presumed written lease that you just signed states in that the document controls the obligations owed to you by the landlord and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law.

I would read your renewed lease carefully as to the time period for renewing the document that you just signed. Most likely you do not have to make a decision to renew or not renew for another 10 months.

In any event, I would not renew the current lease that is just starting a new term for at least another 10 months or so. At that point in time you will know better what your financial situation is. I suspect that something is going on personally with your landlord where he or she needs some security about renting the unit out down the road at this point in time.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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