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 read more.
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!