We just finished preparing our 2014 Lease Renewal Survey, and one thing shocked us right from the start:  18% of respondents gave exactly zero days warning for their renewal letter! 

Let me explain:  If you have a 30 day notice to vacate, you would anticipate that a community would send out their renewal letter at least a few weeks or a month before that, which would give the residents time to digest the renewal letter and make a decision before they have to give their notice to vacate.  But 18% of communities told us that they give zero days or less notice, which means that if they had a 30 day notice to vacate, they were giving out their renewal 30 days prior to the end of the lease, which is the same day the notice to vacate is due, giving the resident zero days to make a decision.  Two communities surprisingly had a 60 day notice to vacate, and yet only sent out their renewal letter 30 days prior to the end of the lease, meaning the resident got their new rental rate 30 days after the notice to vacate was due.

I've been in this situation as a resident, actually, and it infuriated me.  I felt steamrolled into making a quick decision, and even though I think I did renew (it has been many years, so I don't recall exactly), I had a newfound distrust and dislike for the community.

So the question is whether this is simply the community not properly timing out the renewal process, or if it is a specific strategy to reduce the options of the resident.  If you give someone zero days to make a decision, and the two options are something familiar and something unknown, I suppose there is a good chance they will simply stick with the familiar, even if it creates animosity in the process.

What are your thoughts on the process?  Do you all think that this strategy 1) works and 2) is a reasonable business practice?