We have had many people ask us about what happened with the roller coaster scenario of our non-move. So here is the basic story.
We are fortunate to live in an apartment that has a proffessional landlord separate from the owner. She manages a number of buildings, so things have always gone really smoothly. Before leaving she confirmed that there would be no issues renewing our lease for another year. At the beginning of the 9 days, we received a frantic e-mail from her, that the owner has made Aliyah and would like his apartment back. Moving was the last thing we wanted to do. Starting the apartment search out of season, across the ocean created an unpleasant strain to the end of our trip.
On Thursday night we received an e-mail from the landlord. The owner is enjoying life in Kiryat Sefer and would like to renew for another year. However, he is worried he may change his mind and wants the option to terminate the lease on two months notice. Negotiations went back and forth. We went to bed thinking we had an agreement. We would renew for a year. We could each have the option to terminate on 3 months notice, however he could only terminate under a limited set of circumstances. He could not terminate the lease to sell the apartment. As on off hand follow up Rachel sent an e-mail, as it was not discussed confirming there would be no rent increase.
In the morning, we found out the owner agreed to all of the terms but wanted the rent increase. He felt it was reasonable because it matched the going rate in the neighbourhood. We told him he couldn't have it both ways and that no one would move into an apartment with an option to terminate in 3 months. A very short time later he agreed to an unconditional 1 year contract with the nominal rent increase. We are happy with the outcome and will be able to weigh our options from a better position next year.