Apartment Renewals

Ever since I started college, the springtime brings up a host of housing questions. Will I stay in my apartment? Will I move? Do I look for a cheaper place? Who will I live with? My current roommate is my best friend who is getting married in the summer (bittersweet) so I will need to find a new roommate or move somewhere cheaper. I started in my current full-time position in June ’08 and want to give the company at least one more year. Plus, I have a lot of furniture and the price for the location is pretty good.

My apartment lease runs out on July 31st. I live in a six-apartment duplex and I know that my landlord has three vacant apartments in my building and many others on my street that he owns.

I am wondering if I can bargain with my landlord for a rent decrease. It’s not really my style because I hate confrontation, but I also hate to waste opportunities to save a little cash. I know that he wouldn’t want to lose a perfectly good tenant (me) and I don’t really want to move either, but given the right spin in this tight economy, I wonder if a rent-decrease would be possible. Or some kind of bargain, like instead of a 12-month contract, a six-month with no rent increase.

Has anyone asked for a rent decrease or bargained with their landlord before?

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  • OK, while I do not have experience with haggling when it comes to landlords, I can vouch for the power of asking. It’s the kind of thing we girls aren’t really taught to do well, but over the last year, I’ve gotten a raise/bonus (in the midst of company setbacks), more money from an advertiser and a better deal from a business – all because I asked.

    Every time, it felt SO weird like I was doing something rude, but every time, it worked out. I currently manage three people but have also managed four others – out of those 7, only one asked for a performance-based raise, and none asked for a higher starting offer than they were offered. It was available, but they didn’t ask.

  • I don’t think it would hurt to ask…what’s the worst that could happen…they say no? Now that I’m a landlord, I think I’d be willing to negotiate with my tenant (because it seems like a lot less work than to find a new one.) I hope she’s not reading this…ha ha :)

  • We did, because we were in exactly the same position – our landlord had empty flats in our building. Do it via email if you don;t like confrontation. He will probably agree anyway, because even if he has someone ready to move in as soon as you go (which is unlikely), it’s still a headache changing tennants and will cost him money, so it’s in his best interestst to keep you. Good luck!

  • oh man how i miss those times of wondering where i’ll live! seriously, owning a house has its perks, but i’m starting to realize the freedom and excitement that i miss out on during rent renewals and all…

    but nah, never negotiated with my landlord but i can tell you that if i ever rent again i sure will! worst thing they can say is Go F off, right?

  • Thanks for the feedback! I think I will shop around the area and see if there are any cheaper similar apartments and then see if he can reduce the rent. I haven’t seen him since the first day I moved in so it’s not like it will be super awkward if I ask. Thanks!

  • If you’ve been a good tenant, I can’t see your landlord turning you down for a minor rent decrease. Rents are slightly decreasing right now due to the economy, so your idea to look around in the area to see what similar units are going for is a good one. And as others have said, the worst he can say is no – good luck!