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Tips For Renegotiating Rent

Ask Savvy: What Are Your Tips For Renegotiating Rent?

Dear Savvy,

My boyfriend and I have been considering downsizing into a cheaper apartment. I was looking online and noticed that a similar apartment to ours in our complex is being offered for $300 less a month than we pay. Our lease is up in two months. Do you have any advice on renegotiating our rent? We are willing to move, but it would be ideal if we could stay and pay less per month.

Savvy says: I definitely think you and your boyfriend should try to renegotiate your rent. It can't hurt, and depending on your renter's history, you might have a good chance of getting what you want. See my thoughts on your situation when you


Your argument for rent reduction will be strong if you have been reliable tenants that have always paid on time (some NYC landlords have even been voluntarily reducing rent for good tenants to get them to stay). If possible, find out the key differences between your unit and the one that's advertised for $300 less. The apartments may be more different than you think, thus justifying the difference in rent, but if they're in fact very similar then your case will be even stronger.

Because you only have two months left on your lease, you should contact your landlord ASAP and explain that you'd like to discuss renegotiating the rent on your apartment. Say that you very much like living there and want to stay, but you've checked out similar apartments for less money — including one in the same complex. If possible, present other places for rent that are also charging less. If your landlord is unwilling to come down as much as you'd like, consider offering to extend your lease if you're granted a reduced rent.

Be prepared to answer questions like whether your employment situation has changed; your landlord might be paranoid that you want cheaper rent because you're having financial problems. If your finances are as good as they were when you were first approved as a tenant, then your case is solid. Good luck!

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bchicgrl bchicgrl 7 years
We were able to get our rent down about 30 dollars a month (which doesn't like much - I know) for the same reason as this mentioned. However after talking to them we realized there were really good deals on the 2br's so we decided to upgrade and we are moving into a 2 from a 1 in a month. I'm so excited to have the extra space and when we start a family we will be ready with the extra room. Anyways most landlords will reduce your rent when you due to resign because they would like to keep you as tenant. I'm sure it's more of a chore for them to clean the apt after you leave and then start showing it. The apt might not even rent out for a few months so at least giving you a reduced rate they are still making money and more then likely that's all they really care about.
mek123 mek123 7 years
Negotiating rent is similar to salary negotiations, it never hurts to ask and be prepared to walk away or accept what is offered.
syako syako 7 years
Kim, if there isn't a lot of competition for the apartment, then I'd say ask for it.
bingbingboom bingbingboom 7 years
We just re-negotiated last week and got $150 off. We explained that we liked the apartment, but we could probably find somewhere cheaper for about the same amenities. Just be polite and it never hurts to ask. Good luck!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
I'm struggling with this. I'm looking to move soon and there's a good chance I'll be renting an English basement apartment rather than an apartment in a building. The problem is that I live in one of the few areas not affected (at least not nearly as badly) by the recession and the type of apartment I want in the area I want is proving difficult to find already, so I don't want to push it. I think if I find something, I might try to negotiate it down a little, but still take it if they stand firm. I guess it can't hurt to ask, right?
katiestew katiestew 7 years
Thanks for posting my question Savvy! I'm actually going to take a look at the apartment for rent this weekend to see if there's any quantifiable differences between it and my current apartment. Then I will be calling to schedule a meeting to start renegotiating!
luna08 luna08 7 years
I negotiated my rent by $100 (unthinkable in this area!). I've been a perfect tenant since, and the landlord thinks it was well worth $100 to have me renting the place! :)
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
living in NYC - i've learned that you can almost always negotiate your rent these days. my husband and i need to find a bigger place because of an expanding family and every apt that we've looked at - we've been told that we can prob get them to go down $200-$300 off the asking price. we actually found an apt in our building that was listed at about $3000 and we're most likely going to sign the lease on it for a couple hundred less, which ends up being not too much more than what we pay now for our smaller apt. there are differences (i.e. our current apt has a nicer kitchen and bathroom) but we're willing to sacrifice for the larger space.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 7 years
This happened to us at our old apartment a few months ago. We lived at an "Avalon Bay Community" and had been there for three years and were perfect tenants. Our leasing was up in a couple months, and they sent us the new rent rates if we wanted to sign a new lease. For a new 12 month lease, the rent was going up $5 a month, and for shorter leases, the rent got more and more expensive (which was standard for Avalon). I decided to call our leasing office and pretended to be interested in our type of unit (and they are all exactly the same), and they told me the rent was $400 less than we were paying. I also looked online and the price there was even less. A few weeks later, we got a call from their corporate office and the woman was reminding us that they were giving us a "great deal" by only raising our rent $5. I pointed out that new people could move into our apartment for a lot less money than we were paying, so I failed to see how we were getting a deal. The woman got flustered and confirmed that new tenants were getting a better rate, but it was just due to "all the vacancies". I told her there was no way we were going to renew our lease without getting our rent lowered, and she said she would have our local leasing office manager call us. He arranged a meeting for us, and we were hopeful, but then he told us that it's Avalon's strict policy to never negotiate rent. So, we moved out into a bigger place which we had been wanting to do for a couple years anyway. It cost us $600 to move across town, which would have paid for itself in a couple months if we had just moved into a comparable apartment. We've talked to some of our old neighbors, and our old apartment is still empty four months later, and even if someone moves in, they will be paying at least $400 less than we were. Avalon is really a terrible (and stupid!) company to rent from.
syako syako 7 years
We did this recently and negotiated our rent down by 10%. We had to give our "intentions" about renewing the lease, so we wrote a letter outlining the things that have not been up to par for us and said we'd consider staying if the rent was reduced. They counteroffered a small amount and we accepted. It was much easier than moving, and we had nothing to lose really because we, too, were planning on moving anyway.
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