When you write a letter to landlord to extend a lease, you may be coming from a position of strength.
You may be in financial distress and are looking for a reduction on your rental from your landlord.
Whichever position you find yourself in, it is time to negotiate!
You also need to consider what you can reasonably expect or ask for in your letter, lest your request is rejected out of hand.
We will give you sample wording for both instances in our letter to landlord to extend a lease templates.
It is important to note that if you've been a quality tenant, your request will carry a lot of weight with your landlord.
Even if this letter is a mere formality as required by your lease, you can still use it as an opportunity to improve your terms, as per our letter below.
Or skip down to our second example for a letter to landlord seeking rent relief.
With reference to the following property:
My lease agreement with you will expire on _________________. I wish to extend the rental period until __________________.
I hereby request no increase in my rent for this extended period. This will be financially beneficial to us both since you will not need to pay for advertising of the property, tenant screening and background checks, agents fees or possible vacancy period.
I would respectfully ask your favourable consideration of this proposal in view of my excellent tenant history with yourself.
Please contact me on the following telephone numbers:
or kindly send me your acceptance in writing to the following address:
You may also have one or more of the following bargaining chips which you could add to the above:
Incidentally, as landlords ourselves we have been proactive in many instances when a tenant's lease is up for renewal, and have offered the tenant a reduction is his/her escalation percentage.
Our letter would simply read like this:
Dear Tenant, your lease period expires at the end of _________. Your lease agreement provides for an escalation of 6% per annum.
However, we value your tenancy and would like to offer you an extension to your lease at an escalation of 3%. We trust this will meet with your approval. Kindly let us know if you are in agreement with our proposal and we will draft a simple Addendum to your current lease to reflect the above.
During tough economic times or as a result of a disaster (such as Covid19) a tenant may not be able to pay rent.
A tenant may have lost employment or had a drastic cut in remuneration, may have had unexpected medical expenses, may have exhausted all savings etc. and is now in a situation having to ask for rent relief.
It is important to note that landlords are similarly facing loss of rental income in times like these, whilst in turn still being accountable to investors, financial institutions, payment of rates and taxes etc.
However, landlords need to look at the long-term picture and work with his/her quality tenant to come to a sustainable solution for both.
Solutions for Inability to Pay Rent - Consider the following:
If a tenant needs rent relief for a relatively short period, then the landlord could accept using the rental deposit in lieu of rent.
There must be a clear understanding that there will be no refund (or a reduced amount) due to the tenant at the end of the rental term. An addendum to the lease agreement must record this arrangement.
A security deposit is there to protect the landlord. If feasible, there could be provision for the deposit to be "built up" again as/when the tenant's financial position improves.
A landlord could be in a financial position to give the tenant a percentage discount on the rental for a period of time. This is a write-off of a portion of the rental and not a loan to the tenant.
The percentage paid by the tenant may then be sufficient for the landlord to cover cash-flow and allow for municipal payments, interest on loans etc. The landlord's financial losses can be accounted for on tax returns.
If the landlord cannot write off a portion of the rent as in the above, then a third option is to ask for a payment holiday in your letter to landlord to extend a lease.
In this instance there would be no rental payment for a period of time and the lease will be extended accordingly.
Alternatively, if extending the lease is not an option, then the tenant could offer an increased rental for the remainder of the lease, after the payment holiday.
The tenant needs to be sure that he'll be able to meet these increased amounts e.g. in anticipation of the sale of a property, policy payout etc.
The frequency of payment and other terms and conditions must be clearly spelled out in an Addendum to the lease agreement.
Tenants need to consider this option carefully before jumping at this solution. There will probably be interest payable, although the landlord should not add late payments fees as well.
The tenant should still endeavor to pay for utilities during this time.
As we said earlier, quality tenants who never defaulted on rental payments do come from a position of strength when writing a letter to landlord to reduce the rent.
It is also crucial to keep communication open during financially challenging times. Simply withholding rent or ignoring calls from the landlord is not conducive to an equitable agreement.
Savvy landlords will know that there will be a glut of rental property (both commercial and residential) during and especially after an economic downturn and will nurture long standing tenants and assist them to reach a viable and sustainable agreement.
Small business owners may be asked to provide turnover figures and/or management accounts to the landlord, when asking and motivating for rental relief.
You need to carefully consider the options above and be realistic in your expectations before using the template below to construct your letter.
You would choose ONE of the options (A or B or C or D) in our sample letter below. Note that you do not need to accept your landlord's first response if it does not alleviate your financial situation. Make contact with the landlord again and negotiate the option you first asked for or suggest one of the other options.
With reference to the following property ______________________________________ and my lease agreement with you which will expire on _________________.
I currently find myself unable to fulfill my rental obligation due to the following: _______________________________
In view of the above and as a tenant in good standing for the last _______ years, I respectfully ask you to please consider a reduction in my rental, which can be structured as:
I undertake to continue paying my utilities as and when they become due.
I trust that my urgent request and proposal will meet with your favourable consideration.
Please contact me on the following telephone numbers:____________________________________________________
or kindly send me your acceptance in writing to the following address:___________________________________
Please refer to our Renters Rights page for tenant information. and our Letter to Landlord page for other sample letters.
As with all letters to landlord our advice is to send it by registered mail and to retain proof of mailing and copies of letters.
A formal Letter to Landlord to Extend a Lease may be a specific requirement in your rental agreement. If you have a good history with the landlord you should ask for more favorable terms!
You are here: