Me and my girlfriend moved into our apartment on August 14th (the start of the 2017-18 term), just 37 days ago. The apartment complex is owned by a fairly large local company, owning many properties around town. Today we (and every other 2017-18 tenant) received an email stating that we need to respond that we are intending to stay, with a form including our signature, by October 2 (49 days into the term) otherwise our apartment will be "marketed and available to prospective tenants". Then they state they can only hold the apartment until the October 27th (74 days into the lease and 37 days since this email notice) because of high demand, and that that if they do not have a renewal lease signed point they will mark the apartment as available and we may "lose your house/apartment for next term".
I dug through the lease and there is no mention of when any party must give intention to renew, however they do state that any notice to end a current term by either party or change any details about the current term must be given 60 days prior to the end of the term (July 31, 2018).
This time to renew is way to early, we still have maintenance issues that haven't been addressed which we'd like to know the outcome of before signing up for another year, plus things could change. I'm wondering, short of any relevant information being in the lease, is there any recourse to being prompted to sign for renewal early in a term. Surely it would be an obvious issue if they forced you to renew 1 day into your lease, 49-74 days in doesn't feel much different. Is there options, short of emailing them and begging, to extend that term?
This is in Virginia, USA to be specific.