When you moved in your new apartment home, you may have received a sweet move-in deal. Maybe you even got a month or 2 of free rent. As your lease comes to a close, the landlord or apartment management company will usually notify you and offer the rate for the next lease term.
If you live in a larger apartment complex, they may slip a renewal notice under your door with the new rate. If you agree with the rate, you just sign on the dotted line and you can drop it off at the leasing office. But what happens when the new rate is higher than your previous rent? This is not uncommon, and is typical of many communities. Here are a few tips you can use to potentially re-negotiate your rent.
Call around other nearby Complexes
Before you contact the manager, call a few apartment complexes nearby. They should be similar in the age, and have amenities both inside and out that are on par with yours. Get a couple quotes on a floor-plan that is similar to the square footage of yours. Then ask if they are offering any move-in specials.
Be upfront about who you are, and what you are trying to accomplish. You may not know it, but it’s possible you may find a place that you might end up moving into. Calculate the dollar amount per square foot. If you find out that the complex you contacted is offering a better rate, then it’s time to make an appointment with your current manager.
Let him/her know that you really love your apartment home and that you want to stay. But you felt it a duty to contact some similar communities, and found that they are offer a slightly better price. Ask them if they are able to make your new rate “more competitive”. State “if you were in my shoes what would you do”. Usually if you approach the manager in a non-combative way armed with sensible information, you are more likely to get what you want.
Offer to Sign a Longer Lease
Landlords love it when they can book revenue for a longer period of time. If they won’t budge on their rental amount, then it’s time to try a different approach. Offer to sign a longer term lease than you normally would. They won’t have to worry about finding a new renter, or cleaning out the place when you move out. In fact, you are a great renter who pays their rent on-time and follows the rules. They should feel privileged to have you. You understand their position, and by offering them a longer guarantee of occupancy, you hope they can offer you a rent concession.
Ask for Upgrades
So you can’t get them to budge on the rent using either of the above techniques. Now it’s time for you to look for weaknesses in your apartment home. Does the carpet need replacing? Or maybe the counters in the kitchens are dated, or you have had to contact the landlord to repair the washer and dryer several times over the life of your lease.
Approach the landlord with your list in your hand. Politely show them the list. Explain that you understand that they aren’t open to maintaining the current rent amount. If they have to find a new renter, chances are they may have to replace equipment, or upgrade appliances to remain competitive in the marketplace. State that you will be open to paying the higher rent, and in return you would appreciate the following upgrades in your apartment home. They probably aren’t aware of the faults with the apartment, and are thinking about the costs of having to replace or upgrade certain aspects of the home. According to Rentkidz.com, some renters have been able to get new granite counters along with stainless steel appliance or even new carpet or flooring.
If none of the techniques work, then maybe it’s time for you to move on. That is what is so great about leasing. You can just pick up and move!