Is your apartment lease almost up?  Do you feel like you’re settling when there could be something better out there?  Just as with relationships, finding that perfect NYC apartment is a game of reality versus expectations.

Here are 5 quick tips to help you decide whether or not to move this Spring.

What’s your current situation?  An apartment isn’t just a property but a home, so consider your life and how well it fits with your humble abode.  If it works, then fight for that renewal!  Think of the neighborhood community, commuting experience, and generally, how much you love your NYC apartment.  Sometimes it’s not all about the actual apartment, but how well it is managed.  Think back to the service requests and if you’re happy with how your landlord-tenant relationship works.  Remember renewing a lease is not only about the actual unit, but also about your livelihood there.

In the tumultuous NYC rental market, your apartment’s worth will consistently fluctuate so keep tabs on the value and the associated rent.  Know that in NYC the apartment inventory remains low, but the demand increases every year.  Did you know that in NYC you can request a rent history report from your landlord?  The more you know the better so look up similar buildings and units, ask your neighbors about their rent, and check out other units in the building.   Don’t forget that while you may have started with a low net rent as part of a rental concession, the yearly increase is based on the gross monthly rent – so watch out for that increase!

The NYC rental market has become more seasonal than ever before.  The peak rental season begins April 1st and continues through the end of September.  Will your lease be up within that time frame?  That is no coincidence since low inventory and high demand drive a landlord’s business.  Before you renew your lease, think about the length of the lease.  Sometimes landlords will add in a couple months and you may end up with a less desirable renewal time next year.

Are you up to date on all the MTA changes within the next three years?  Think about how public transportation affects your work-life harmony.  Think of the planned services for the L train and how it is already changing the Williamsburg rental market.   For example, if you live right off the L, you could unwittingly be caught in a commuter dead zone in the next few years.  Alternatively, if you live in a transportation hub like FiDi, this could be a solid reason to renew.

No matter the size of a company, there will always be a point of contact with a name and a face.  Don’t be afraid to start the conversation and discuss the terms of the renewal.  If you’re landlord-tenant relationship is working, chances are that the landlord will also want to continue the relationship.  If so, then you are open to negotiating the increase and even request a renewal perk like fresh paint, or freshly polished wood floors.

Keep in mind that not all of these tips will apply to you, so pick and choose the ones that make the most sense to you.  If you’re still undecided, learn more with a quick call to a Platinum real estate agent.