Negotiating Rent When Resigning Your Contract

October 16th, 2006 by

When it’s time to renew your lease, you don’t necessarily have to succumb to your landlord’s demands. If you’ve been a good tenant, you can engage in some savvy negotiation to get a better deal. It’s always easier for the apartment management to have a guaranteed good tenant than to have to seek out a new tenant with unknown payment and residential habits. These suggestions may help you get on your way to negotiating a better agreement with your landlord when re-signing your lease.

Payment history

One of the best approaches you can take is to emphasize your history of making full and timely rent payments. There’s nothing a landlord loves more than money, and if you provide yours on time, you’re definitely a desirable tenant. Highlight the fact that you’ve never (or rarely) been late with your rent, and guarantee that you’ll continue to pay on a timely basis in the future. This will definitely get your foot in the door for rate negotiations.

Vacancy rates

The higher the vacancy rates in your apartment complex, the more likely it is that they’ll want you to stay. It’s not likely that your landlord will disclose the current vacancy rates, but you may be able to find out some information about vacancies by asking around or observing how many apartments are being shown. Use this information to suggest that it would be in the apartment complex’s best interest to keep you on your terms.

Loyalty to complex

If you’ve been at your apartment complex for some time, and especially if you’ve previously renewed your lease with them, you should gain some leverage with the complex. It’s definitely in your landlord’s interest to retain a dependable tenant, so emphasizing your loyalty should give you some points. If necessary, you can explain that you’ll be forced to take your business elsewhere if the complex does not adjust its rates. Stress that you love the complex and don’t want to move out, but just can’t afford the higher rent. If you’re using this tactic, it may help to point out comparable rents in your area. That brings us to our next section…

Local comparisons

Apartment complexes will often raise their rates based on what other complexes in the area are charging. As a result, proving that other local apartments are being rented for lower rates may help make your case. Do some research in the area and come up with a list of local places for rent of comparable size and with comparable amenities for a lower price. Your landlord isn’t likely to reduce your rent on a 1000 square foot one-bedroom if a tiny studio in a complex with no pool, fitness room, or other amenities costs less. Bring your data and get results!

If you can prove your worth as a tenant and show your landlord that the new rental rate is too high, you should be well on your way to getting a better deal when renewing your rent.

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15 Responses to “Negotiating Rent When Resigning Your Contract”

  1. Guest Says:

    I lived at a complex for eleven years. During the tenth year I cited my perfect payment record when I requested that the management resolve a problem with an unemployed tenant who lived above me. This tenant continuously stomped around her rooms from 1-4AM.

    Management’s reaction was telling me to move elsewhere, that the other tenant was “just on another schedule” than me.

    My ten year loyalty to the complex and perfect payment record meant nothing to them. They know that there will always be some sucker replacing the tenants who move out, and that sucker will be tied to an iron-clad one-year lease. There are no incentives for most landlords to give long-time tenants any breaks.

  2. Guest Says:

    Ah, I know that situation only too well. I have been at my apartment for almost 5 years now and we have a teenaqger living alone behind us. (His mom signed the lease for him) He plays his music way too loud at all hours of the night and morning, and the apartment’s resolution was that I should move to another apartment on the property. This kid moved in 4 months ago…. 4 months, 4 years… It doesn’t matter to them. Saving money and keeping an apartment with a tenant is much more important to them.

  3. Guest Says:

    The above article is true; landlords love when rental payments are made on time. Landlords also realize how much easier it is to renew a resident than to find a new resident. Again this article is very true.
    There are some other things to think about when you are trying to negotiate your rental increase; your property manager may not be the person you need to convince. Many communities are owned by large management companies. This benefits the resident in a couple of ways; one, larger management companies are able to invest more capital to enhance a community. Two, they are able to attract superior employees with better salaries. Most importantly, because they are more experienced in property management they already have policies in place that make your apartment renting experience better.
    What this article does not prepare you for is a corporation that does not have a flat organization chart. Often times the decision to increase rental rates is made two to three levels above the property manager.
    Something else the article fails to consider is “Fair Housing.” The Real Estate industry is heavily regulated by Fair Housing Laws that require equal treatment across the board. Fair Housing Laws extend all the way down the ranks; the corporation is not the only one that must follow the laws. Property managers, Maintenance, even contractors working on property must abide by Federal, State, and City laws regarding Fair Housing.
    Please understand why your property manager is telling you they are unable to negotiate your increase.

  4. Guest Says:

    It seems that the person initiating this discussion is ignorant to Fair Housing laws. It is illegal to make exceptions for people. Therefore, if policy is to raise rent, the landlord would have to raise rent for EVERYONE, regardless of payment history, behavior, etc..

  5. Guest Says:

    Renter and Rentee Contract

    Should the contract between the renter and rentee be that long winded?

    Rent in various markets 2 bedroom 1 bath
    ==========================================
    San Mateo 1400 USD equivalent
    San Jose 1500 USD equivalent
    Sacramento 800 USD equivalent
    Los Angeles 1100 USD equivalent
    Kolkotta 500 USD equivalent

  6. Guest Says:

    To the commenter who accused the author of the article of being ignorant to fair housing laws:

    It is you who is ignorant to fair housing laws. It is illegal to charge different rental rates to different people ONLY if that discrimination is based on a protected class. Some examples of protected classes are race, gender, nationality and religion. Some jurisdictions also protect other classes such as age and sexual orientation.

    Distinguishing between renters based on on specific behaviors (e.g. not paying rent on time, damaging property) that are not protected classes is perfectly acceptable under the law.

  7. Guest Says:

    There are apartments springing up all over the place in my area. I have been at my current location for 3 years now…Also, I have never been late on rent…although they have lost my rent or did not document it a couple of times and I in turn had to prove it to them (I always make them give me a receipt)..Anyway, lease is ending again, but this time , they want to raise my rent $100.00!!!! To compete with all these new apartments……The management told me that people are paying the price, so they will stick with raising mine as well…..because anywhere else I go, the rent will be slightly higher anyway….Im moving just so they can have 1 less great tenant….Found a brand new complex still under construction…..Will be moving soon….

  8. Guest Says:

    What is the best time to reneal your release? My lease was supposed to be renewed this month, starting Jan/2008. They wanted to increase my rent a lot and offered me a renewl in July. Did I make the right decision taking the deal and having the rent renewed in July (right in the middle of the Summer)? I’ve heard that it is the worst time to look for apartments and negotiate prices. Is that correct?

  9. Guest Says:

    if apartments offer lower rates to joe blows off the street and old tenants more does this violate fair housing? In other words do they have to offer specials or better rates to everyone?

  10. Guest Says:

    What happens when you sign a new lease can you get out of it before the new lease kicks in. Say your old lease ends on June 6 and the new one start on June 6 can you get out of the new lease, if it has not yeat started

  11. Guest Says:

    CAN THEY ASK FOR ANOTHER DEPOSIT

  12. Guest Says:

    My lease is up and I was planning on resigning(even told the staff I was resigning) but now have changed my mind and am hoping to move out. I was supposed to resign tomorrow morning. What can happen when I don’t? Can they charge me for not warning them?

  13. Guest Says:

    Wondering if anyone here has negotiated a lower rental rate because they are a single tenant

  14. Guest Says:

    Does anyone have a sample letter when negotiating your rent?

  15. mevina Says:

    Unfortunately leasing agents get bonuses only for renting to new tenants.

    Until leasing agents start getting the same bonuses for keeping good tenants, what incentive do they have to do so????

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