Author Topic: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?  (Read 2098 times)

Wrenchturner

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Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« on: March 29, 2020, 08:04:24 PM »
I've been renting this place for 14 months now.  Never had any missed payments and I'm a very low maintenance tenant.

I'll probably get laid off this week and my income will drop substantially.  I'll still be able to afford rent though.  My lease is up end of April and it's a fixed term so I have to make an arrangement with the landlord either to renew or go month-to-month.

Should I ask for a discount given my layoff even though I'll be able to afford it?  Really it's my savings rate that will take a loss.

RWTL

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2020, 04:24:56 AM »
No. 

You have an obligation that you committed to.  You shouldn't put your savings rate above paying your obligations.  Congrats on having enough saved to weather the storm!


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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2020, 04:56:56 AM »
No. 

You have an obligation that you committed to.  You shouldn't put your savings rate above paying your obligations.  Congrats on having enough saved to weather the storm!


There is no obligation past the end of April, though, is there?  That means that Wrenchturner and her landlord need to come to some new arrangement when the old one ends, and there are a number of options: Wrenchturner decides to leave, the landlord decides he wants Wrenchturner to leave, or they both agree terms on which Wrenchturner stays.

If Wrenchturner stays, the options are a new fixed term lease or a month to month arrangement.  I don't see any problem with Wrenchturner saying either "I'd like to stay but I've just been laid off because of coronavirus: if I sign up for another year would it be possible to do so at a lower rate?" or "I'd like to stay but I've just been laid off because of coronavirus: would it be possible to go to a month to month arrangement and could that be at a lower rate until this emergency is over?"

It is up to the landlord whether or not they start negotiating after an approach like this.  I suppose the danger would be that the landlord would ask Wrenchturner to leave immediately the current arrangement ends: only Wrenchturner can judge the likelihood of that and what their options would be if the landlord did.  My view (and I am a landlord) is that in the current circumstances the likelihood of a lengthy void, and associated losses, would be considerable and that keeping a good tenant in place could well be worth a temporary drop in rent.

iris lily

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2020, 06:02:14 AM »
I know Wrenchturner to be a fine upstanding fellow. Were I his landlord, I would grab this tenant for the upcoming turbulent times.

Wrenchturner

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2020, 10:43:35 AM »
No. 

You have an obligation that you committed to.  You shouldn't put your savings rate above paying your obligations.  Congrats on having enough saved to weather the storm!


There is no obligation past the end of April, though, is there?  That means that Wrenchturner and her landlord need to come to some new arrangement when the old one ends, and there are a number of options: Wrenchturner decides to leave, the landlord decides he wants Wrenchturner to leave, or they both agree terms on which Wrenchturner stays.

If Wrenchturner stays, the options are a new fixed term lease or a month to month arrangement.  I don't see any problem with Wrenchturner saying either "I'd like to stay but I've just been laid off because of coronavirus: if I sign up for another year would it be possible to do so at a lower rate?" or "I'd like to stay but I've just been laid off because of coronavirus: would it be possible to go to a month to month arrangement and could that be at a lower rate until this emergency is over?"

It is up to the landlord whether or not they start negotiating after an approach like this.  I suppose the danger would be that the landlord would ask Wrenchturner to leave immediately the current arrangement ends: only Wrenchturner can judge the likelihood of that and what their options would be if the landlord did.  My view (and I am a landlord) is that in the current circumstances the likelihood of a lengthy void, and associated losses, would be considerable and that keeping a good tenant in place could well be worth a temporary drop in rent.

This is my analysis too.  Worst case he says no.  He's not going to refuse a renewal either I don't think.  As it turns out, the benefit here in Canada being issued to laid off workers is taxable, so this will push my cashflow to the limits.  Maybe I'll  ask for 10% off/$100.

Wrenchturner

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2020, 10:44:02 AM »
I know Wrenchturner to be a fine upstanding fellow. Were I his landlord, I would grab this tenant for the upcoming turbulent times.

Well that's awfully nice of you!

bacchi

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2020, 11:06:31 AM »
Yeah, I'd ask.

As a landlord, I'd offer a 10% discount given the circumstances. The cost of you leaving, and the place sitting empty for a month, is worth a lot more than $1200 over a year.

This sounds like a game theory situation.

jinga nation

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2020, 11:55:08 AM »
Landlord chiming in.

A tenant couple asked for a rent reduction today. One lost their job since they are in the service/entertainment industry, the other had hours cut.

I've asked what they can pay. If they can pay at least half to cover the HOA, insurance, property taxes, and maintenance, I'll give them the reduction for April. Also probably for May if they request. Month-by-month basis to consider.

I want them to have a safe place to stay and not worry, so they can look for another income source (and they said they're already searching).

I've had bad landlords and good ones too as a renter, I don't want to be the former.

PJC74

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2020, 12:36:00 PM »
you lost your job, not looking for a free ride.

I would most certainly ask for a discount! Like housing prices, rental prices change. I've seen landlords jack prices in the good times, only fair play in lean times to accept market rate.

SunnyDays

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2020, 03:30:33 PM »
I thought the feds were giving renters some sort of benefit if laid off due to corona.  I donít believe itís tied to ability to pay.

Freedomin5

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2020, 03:43:24 PM »
As a landlord, if youíve been laid off and can prove that you were laid off, and you have been a good tenant, I would be willing to do a rent reduction (so that I can cover fixed costs like condo management fees and taxes), with an interest-free deferral on the balance on a month to month basis, following the banksí mortgage deferral policies (as in, for however long I get to defer my mortgage, you get to defer your rent). Basically Iíd be willing to work with you to come up with a payment plan that eases your financial burden during the crisis.

RWTL

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2020, 04:10:40 PM »
No. 

You have an obligation that you committed to.  You shouldn't put your savings rate above paying your obligations.  Congrats on having enough saved to weather the storm!


There is no obligation past the end of April, though, is there?  That means that Wrenchturner and her landlord need to come to some new arrangement when the old one ends, and there are a number of options: Wrenchturner decides to leave, the landlord decides he wants Wrenchturner to leave, or they both agree terms on which Wrenchturner stays.

If Wrenchturner stays, the options are a new fixed term lease or a month to month arrangement.  I don't see any problem with Wrenchturner saying either "I'd like to stay but I've just been laid off because of coronavirus: if I sign up for another year would it be possible to do so at a lower rate?" or "I'd like to stay but I've just been laid off because of coronavirus: would it be possible to go to a month to month arrangement and could that be at a lower rate until this emergency is over?"

It is up to the landlord whether or not they start negotiating after an approach like this.  I suppose the danger would be that the landlord would ask Wrenchturner to leave immediately the current arrangement ends: only Wrenchturner can judge the likelihood of that and what their options would be if the landlord did.  My view (and I am a landlord) is that in the current circumstances the likelihood of a lengthy void, and associated losses, would be considerable and that keeping a good tenant in place could well be worth a temporary drop in rent.

You know, you're right.  Blame it on it being my first cup of coffee when I answered this....I didn't read it right. 

I take it back.  I'd do the same.

Wrenchturner

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2020, 08:12:14 PM »
Got the letter today.  Locked up my tools for a couple months.  It's the first time I've lost employment that wasn't on my terms!  Feels weird man.

I'll write up an email tomorrow.  $100 off seems pretty tolerable and I'm getting feedback in this thread to support that idea.

I thought the feds were giving renters some sort of benefit if laid off due to corona.  I donít believe itís tied to ability to pay.

BC is doing this provincially.  I haven't seen anything nationally yet.

As a landlord, if youíve been laid off and can prove that you were laid off, and you have been a good tenant, I would be willing to do a rent reduction (so that I can cover fixed costs like condo management fees and taxes), with an interest-free deferral on the balance on a month to month basis, following the banksí mortgage deferral policies (as in, for however long I get to defer my mortgage, you get to defer your rent). Basically Iíd be willing to work with you to come up with a payment plan that eases your financial burden during the crisis.

Yeah, I thought about a deferral, but I can probably just eat the cashflow loss honestly.

PJC74

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2020, 08:46:29 PM »
don't shortchange yourself, is $100 off even 10%?

You can get at least 25% off if not 40-50% if you have been a great tenant. As others have said, the last thing the landlord wants is a vacancy is this environment.

Wrenchturner

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2020, 09:32:23 PM »
don't shortchange yourself, is $100 off even 10%?

You can get at least 25% off if not 40-50% if you have been a great tenant. As others have said, the last thing the landlord wants is a vacancy is this environment.

$100 is 9.2%.  You have a good point.  I've never been good at haggling; always feel bad for the other party. 

Honestly my landlord is probably badly leveraged.  This house I'm in has lost 20% of its value in three years.  He owns at least three.  Vacancies are high.  All of this should give me more reason to haggle I suppose.  Hard to be sympathetic towards those who take high risk when I'm in a hedged position(renting).

Is being a landlord equally opportunistic in the other direction(more of a general question here)?

If he's playing the long game(capital appreciation) I shouldn't feel bad about making some in the short term, right?

Edit: My LL probably doesn't want a vacancy but I don't really want to move, mostly due to COVID.  I can haggle anyway though.

PJC74

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2020, 09:44:36 PM »
Of course they are opportunistic when times are good.

Tell him you just lost your job but you want to do everything to stay and be on good terms.
Ask him if itís possible to reduce the rent 25% for the next 3 months until you are back on the job.

Really a win-win  for both of you.

SunnyDays

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2020, 09:44:46 PM »
Federal relief is coming, called Canada Emergency Response Benefit.  I guess not rent relief per se, but topped up EI benefits of 2000.00 per month for 4 months.  Applications accepted starting April 6 with payments 2 weeks later.  But I hear there is now no waiting period for EI.  Itís something at least.

Wrenchturner

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2020, 09:50:13 PM »
Federal relief is coming, called Canada Emergency Response Benefit.  I guess not rent relief per se, but topped up EI benefits of 2000.00 per month for 4 months.  Applications accepted starting April 6 with payments 2 weeks later.  But I hear there is now no waiting period for EI.  Itís something at least.

CERB is a substitute for EI during COVID, or at least it is intended as such.  I cannot claim both simultaneously, from what I can understand.

SunnyDays

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2020, 09:31:47 AM »
No, but you can claim EI now and CERB next week, which I think is retroactive to sometime this month.

Wrenchturner

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2020, 01:29:22 PM »
No, but you can claim EI now and CERB next week, which I think is retroactive to sometime this month.

I'm a bit confused here.  It's my understanding that CERB is intended to be used instead of EI since my lay off is caused by COVID.   

Edit: from the website below:

Canadians who are already receiving EI regular and sickness benefits as of today would continue to receive their benefits and should not apply to the CERB. If their EI benefits end before October 3, 2020, they could apply for the CERB once their EI benefits cease, if they are unable to return to work due to COVID-19. Canadians who have already applied for EI and whose application has not yet been processed would not need to reapply. Canadians who are eligible for EI regular and sickness benefits would still be able to access their normal EI benefits, if still unemployed, after the 16-week period covered by the CERB.


https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/introduces-canada-emergency-response-benefit-to-help-workers-and-businesses.html
« Last Edit: March 31, 2020, 01:32:05 PM by Wrenchturner »

SunnyDays

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2020, 03:31:45 PM »
But canít you get regular EI now without a waiting period before CERB kicks in?  If not, you would be waiting a week to apply for CERB.
Maybe Iím confused.

Wrenchturner

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2020, 06:13:56 PM »
But canít you get regular EI now without a waiting period before CERB kicks in?  If not, you would be waiting a week to apply for CERB.
Maybe Iím confused.

If the CERB is backdated to the day after my layoff that's fine with me.  I'm not worried about my cash flow at this moment.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2020, 08:48:43 PM »
So appropriate!

 I got an email from my tenant saying that he was furloughed last week and his wife was going to be laid off. He also asked for a reduction in rent. My rental is in the US.

He has just 2 months to go on the lease.

Hopefully, this thread will help me make up my mind. @jinga nation, your post helped.

Le Poisson

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2020, 08:34:54 AM »
Of course they are opportunistic when times are good.

Tell him you just lost your job but you want to do everything to stay and be on good terms.
Ask him if itís possible to reduce the rent 25% for the next 3 months until you are back on the job.

Really a win-win  for both of you.

In Ontario, rent increases are tied to a provincial maximum. Last year it was 2.8%. Other jurisdictions probably have better terms for oppotunistic LLs.

Wrenchturner

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #24 on: April 01, 2020, 09:08:40 AM »
Of course they are opportunistic when times are good.

Tell him you just lost your job but you want to do everything to stay and be on good terms.
Ask him if itís possible to reduce the rent 25% for the next 3 months until you are back on the job.

Really a win-win  for both of you.

In Ontario, rent increases are tied to a provincial maximum. Last year it was 2.8%. Other jurisdictions probably have better terms for oppotunistic LLs.

Unless you experience or create a vacancy, right?  Then you can hike rent.

Knapptyme

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #25 on: April 01, 2020, 09:22:55 AM »
Another landlord chiming in. I know my tenants (two different houses) are both in the service industries and have lost business/clients because of coronavirus. A week ago, I informed them, without their requesting it, of a 25% rent reduction for April. They have been good tenants.

Definitely ask for more than 9.2% off.

Wrenchturner

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #26 on: April 01, 2020, 09:27:29 AM »
Another landlord chiming in. I know my tenants (two different houses) are both in the service industries and have lost business/clients because of coronavirus. A week ago, I informed them, without their requesting it, of a 25% rent reduction for April. They have been good tenants.

Definitely ask for more than 9.2% off.

I asked for 18.4% off, $200 a month for May and June.  The cheque for April was already written(I gave him post-dated cheques).  Just sent the email.

oldmachines

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #27 on: April 01, 2020, 10:01:12 AM »
Another landlord (commercial) chiming in. Good tenants are valuable and I want them to be successful because I want to be successful. I have already negotiated rents for a tenant due to the situation. If I evicted a business from one of my units how would it benefit anyone? Finding a new tenant right now seems like a losing situation. Bird in the hand.....   Ask. The worst thing that could happen is that they say no.

Le Poisson

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #28 on: April 01, 2020, 10:39:37 AM »
Of course they are opportunistic when times are good.

Tell him you just lost your job but you want to do everything to stay and be on good terms.
Ask him if itís possible to reduce the rent 25% for the next 3 months until you are back on the job.

Really a win-win  for both of you.

In Ontario, rent increases are tied to a provincial maximum. Last year it was 2.8%. Other jurisdictions probably have better terms for oppotunistic LLs.

Unless you experience or create a vacancy, right?  Then you can hike rent.

Correct - but only by what the market will bear, and at the next market downturn, you'll be looking for tenants again. Our rule of thumb is to price at the market's 85th percentile rounded down to the next $50.

spartana

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #29 on: April 01, 2020, 10:58:42 AM »
My sister got her landlord to cut her rent by several hundred per month during the 2008 recession after she was laid off. She went from $1200/month for a small old one bedroom apt to $900/month with a new 6 month lease. After that they increased the amount in very small increments every 6 months with a new lease until back to the original amount which took about 3 years - the amount of time she was unemployed. There were many vacancies and reduced tents at that time so the landlord was happy to reduce sisters rent. Even though she had the savings to pay, she would had vacated the apt if the price stayed the same or went up. So reducing the rent was helpful to her and the landlord. So no harm in asking. If they don't agree you can look around for a new lower cost place.

Wrenchturner

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #30 on: April 01, 2020, 03:12:56 PM »
My landlord was cool with this.  Not sure if he liked my suggestion of a month-to-month arrangement.  Didn't hear back on that bit.  I'll sign another 6 month lease if I must.  I was hoping to move in a few months but he probably isn't interested in dropping my rent only to lose me in two months.  I like it here anyway, I can stay another six months.

Wrenchturner

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #31 on: April 03, 2020, 11:22:16 AM »
Forgot to say: thanks for the advice people!

PJC74

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Re: Should I ask my landlord for a deal?
« Reply #32 on: April 03, 2020, 01:18:19 PM »
Welcome Wrenchturner! Glad it turned out beneficial to you.