For some bizarre reason, our apartment complex only offers 11-month leases for new tenants. Once you’ve lived here for 11 months, you can renew with a normal 12-month lease, but first you must prove that you can go 11 months without blowing the place up. I guess. Maybe it has something to do with living in a college town, where people are apt to move in at the beginning of August but graduate in May and want to move out soon thereafter. I’m not sure. We don’t live in an area of Tallahassee that is heavily populated by students, but who knows. Anyway, because of this strange custom, Melanie and I have just had to sign our renewal papers, a month shy of living in Tally for a year. And so, we’ll be staying in this apartment until at least July 2010. Probably. (I’ll explain my hesitation in just a moment.)
Here’s the awesome news about renewing our contract, aside from the obvious fact that we won’t have to move: first of all, our rent is staying the same. I was shocked when they said the rent would not increase, but it’s true. In fact, they’re offering us a $100 discount on rent for the first month of our new lease term. Is that amazing or what? I just assumed our rent would increase by $50 a month or so, so this is fantastic news. Moreover, when we moved in, they offered us free cable and free washer/dryer rental for our first “year”—which they’ve informed us will continue for our second year here. Wow! No rent increase, and continued free cable and washer/dryer rental! I’m in awe! It almost sounds too good to be true, but I’m not complaining. Despite the pain in the butt that it was to get into this place (see this bitter post from August 2008), Melanie and I have been incredibly happy being here. They’ve treated us well, the maintenance has been phenomenal, and we’re happy with the location. It’s been great, knock on wood.
So why did I express any hesitation in my opening paragraph? Only because the lease renewal process is not over and done yet. Apparently, renewing your lease at this apartment complex is no less complicated than getting a lease in the first place. In my previous experience, renewing a lease was a simple process where you signed a piece of paper that had a couple of new dates on it. Here, they make you fill out and sign almost all of the same forms they had you do when you first moved in. One of those is an employment verification form, which caused havoc the first time around (since I make very little money and live largely on student loans). I’m just worried something similar will occur this time, and I’ll get stuck filling out form after form, requesting faxes from a variety of people, etc., only to find out that half of them were unnecessary. Thankfully, we’re already living here, so there’s no way this can end up being as stressful an ordeal as it was last year when we were basically loading up our moving truck without knowing for certain if we had a home to move to or not. That sucked, and I’m glad that won’t come into play this time around. Then again, I’m sure these guys can make things fairly stressful if they try hard—or rather, if they don’t try very hard, which is something for which many people have quite a talent. We’ll see. Keep your fingers crossed!