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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Apartment Leases


BlogPost Freedom Lease1


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The Urbane Freedom Lease was engineered to be different, to give our prospects more options. And that it does. For a $500 Fee, You can pick a 3 month term, a 6 month term, or a 9 month term. There is not a higher rent charge for a Short Term Lease. The Freedom Lease Fee of $500 is to cover the cost of turning the unit, in a reduced timeframe than the standard 12 month lease. If your stay extends past 18 months, the Freedom Lease Fee is returned to you. So, the Freedom Lease provides just that Freedom. Freedom from being tied down for twelve months. Freedom to come and go in a much reduced time frame than the typical twelve month lease. Seems like a good value, right? Based on the number of prospects that choose the 3 month term of the Urbane Freedom Lease would suggest the same.

But What happens Next?

So the real point of this article is to help curb what sometimes, more than sometimes Happens Next. Because, it causes unnecessary friction. Urbane Resident receives his / her online lease. They have chosen a 3 month Freedom Lease Option. They electronically sign it. They schedule to pick up their keys and they move into their new digs. All is well. The first 3 month term goes by, no worries, the Freedom Lease automatically renews at the end of each term. Maybe the second or even third 3 month term goes by. Still, all is generally well. But then, as does happen, life is full of twists and turns, Urbane Resident needs, or wants to move to San Francisco for a stealer job offer. We, our Urbane office staff get an email or text message from the Resident that goes something like this;

Hey Urbane, I just accepted a fantastic opportunity, and will be moving to San Francisco in three weeks! What do I need to do, and where do I drop off the apartment keys.  

So here we have a pretty excited Resident, super jazzed about a new life changing opportunity. They are packing their bags, and arranging their move. They signed a Freedom Lease, so that gives them the right to leave on a whim, right? Um, no, it does not. At this juncture of the conversation, we get to point out to the Happy and Excited Urbane Resident that the 3 month term just auto renewed for the third time two weeks ago. The conversation quickly escalates from dialogue to defensiveness and finger pointing. We are pointing out parts of the lease, the Resident are claiming that is not what they understood.

What to Do When  You Need to Move

A Freedom Lease allows a shorter lease term than the standard 12 months. That’s it really. Like any Apartment Lease, there is a framework of Rules of Engagement. For instance, IF you want to vacate or change the lease terms, you can do that with a (60) Day Notice, before the Lease Expiration Date. Those two things are the most overlooked piece of this puzzle. The Self Renewing Lease Terms and proper Notice to Vacate. We truly do not want to rain on our Residents parade, or get into uncomfortable debates of He Said, She Said, and us saying, Please Read the Lease You Signed. At that juncture, any good will we may have earned is quickly debited. What seemed like a great idea of a Self Renewing Lease Term is long forgotten.

The good news is that the process is pretty simple. If you want or need to move, or want to change the lease term, all you need to do is send a note outlining your intention, (60) days prior to the end of your lease term. IF you need to move anyway, and you just forgot to alert us, no worries, we have you covered. Our new lease terms allow the Resident to pay a Two Month Rent Fee, along with their (60) Day Notice to end their lease term.

Our goal at Urbane is to provide a flexible lifestyle for the fine folks that stay with us. The last thing we want is to upset someone or engage in a fight. But,……..we do have lenders, partners and generally a business to run. With that there are certain Rules of Engagement that need to be followed to avoid chaos. Thank You in Advance for respecting that.

This article brought to you by the fine folks at Urbane Apartments in Royal Oak,  Urbane Apartments in Birmingham, Urbane Apartments in Berkley, Urbane Apartments in Milford, Urbane Apartments Ferndale.


EBEric’s background is rooted in the rental and real estate industries. He founded metro Detroit’s Urbane Apartments in 2002, after serving as senior vice president for a major Midwest apartment developer. He established a proven track record of effectively repositioning existing rental properties in a way that added value for investors while enhancing the resident experience. He also established Urbane Media, a social media marketing and PR laboratory, where innovative marketing ideas are tested. Eric has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine and Business Week Magazine, the New York Times and Harvard Business Review . You can connect with Eric at  UrbaneLife on Twitter. 

RDA Press, (Rich Dad Advisors) are publishing Eric’s first book,Apartments to Hot Sauce; RED HOT RECIPES FOR YOUR BUSINESS START-UP, to be on the bookstore shelves in October-2017!

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