Extending a lease
DH and I just bought a wonderful new house, a new construction that should be ready hopefully by the end of August/beginning of September. Our lease ends in the beginning of August. We have been renting with the same rental company for the last 3.5 years, albeit in two different states, and have been good tenants. (No late payments, no noise complaints, no other complaints, good relationships with the management, etc.) We have requested a short extension in our lease, a month or two just to cover the build. That got turned down as we live in a college town and they said they wouldn't be able to rent the place in the off-season. Fine. We countered, asking for an extension until November, since that's the approximate latest time that the house will be done, assuming awful weather and building delays. Again, they said no, for the same off-season reason. Now, the semester's over in December, they'd be able to pick up on the mid-year people, especially since our rent is cheap. Besides, the apartment next door to us was rented out in January this year, so it's certainly possible to rent one of their apartments in a month other than August. We'd actually be taking a major hit in this arrangement as we'd be paying a mortgage on our house and rent on an apartment we aren't living in, but they would still have the money. (We can afford both, we'll just have to live very tightly for a few months.)
Am I crazy to think they're being unreasonable? We do have a clause in our lease that states that if we refuse to leave after our lease is up they have to switch us to a month-to-month until we do leave, they get to raise the rent plus charge a month-to-month tenant penalty, but they can't kick us out. (It's even the very first clause in the lease!) Should we invoke the clause? Should we even mention it to them as an option we're considering or just do it in August and screw them? I really hate doing something so underhanded to a company we've had good dealings with. The company has a rent-to-own program and it's only because of that program that we managed to get our house in the first place, so I find it really bad that they won't give any sort of concession to us.
Anyone else have a similar situation or have any ideas?