Author Topic: Tenant In Need of Advice from Landlords  (Read 2882 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Tenant In Need of Advice from Landlords
« on: August 04, 2015, 03:11:44 PM »
Hoping the community might be able to provide some good advice for a tenant.

I am hoping to renew my lease at fairly large apartment complex in a good neighborhood in DC.  I inquired about resigning with the manager, and she sent it inquiry off to the "pricing guy".  They came back with a number $290/mo higher than my current rent and also said it was their final offer.  That's almost a $3,500/year increase. 

I am also trying to lease a parking spot next year for another $195/mo.  I've thought about prepaying rent or the spot for the full year.  Anything to trying and bring the cost down.

Any pointers on how I should approach this?  Is it worth trying to negotiate this down, or will I piss them off?


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Tenant In Need of Advice from Landlords
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2015, 03:15:50 PM »
I live near DC and I have to ask: Why do you need a car (and thus an expensive parking space)? I presume you live there so your commute is bike-able? If your commute is not bike-able then move. If it is why own a car? You can rent one 5 days a month for less than what you're paying now if you have a special use case.

As for your rent it really depends on what you're paying now and how much other similar places are going for in the area. Sometimes a 2 year lease can convince land lords to discount the rent.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 03:19:01 PM by jj20051 »


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Tenant In Need of Advice from Landlords
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2015, 03:17:27 PM »
Not a landlord, but you can always ask for a lower price, the question is, what is your game-plan if they say no?  If you really are willing to move over this, then you've got some leverage.  If they have a long waiting list of new renters, they will likely stand firm.

I'd start shopping, personally, just in case you need to move.  When is your lease up?


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Tenant In Need of Advice from Landlords
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2015, 10:14:01 PM »
If it is a large complex then the decisions are probably not made on site. I would submit your request in writing and include a couple comps. For example a similar sized unit in the same area for less. Let them know you are serious about moving out. Also state the term you would renew for. Look to see if they are offering any move-in incentives on their current vacant units. If you see anything like half off first month's rent, or discounts, then use these in your negotiations to stay. Landlords do not like turnover and vacancy. Let them know you know this. It doesn't hurt to ask. But on large complexes your options are limited.


  • Stubble
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Re: Tenant In Need of Advice from Landlords
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2015, 06:00:52 AM »
I thought Washington DC had some strict rules about rent increases?


  • Bristles
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Re: Tenant In Need of Advice from Landlords
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2015, 01:23:07 PM »
It all boils down to supply/demand...if similar units at nearby complexes are renting for that much, and that's what they are securing new renters for at your place, and the demand is sufficient that your unit wont sit vacant for long, there's probably not a lot of room in the price.  If they know they can get a new renter quickly at the price they want and make 3500 more on that unit in the coming year they aren't going to care about losing the few weeks of rent in between, and as they are probably already turning over units all the time if it's a large complex, they are going to be pretty cost efficent at it (i'm assuming your monthly rent is less than 3500...if it's 5 or 6 grand or something the above statement might not be true).  It's true that low turnover is generally better but not if you're going to leave money on the table over the course of the year from not getting market rent over what the vacancy/reconditioning cost would be.  Here's what I would do:

1-Walk in as a prospective renter and check comps at similar places nearby.  If they're the same quality place, equally desirable location, have availability etc, and are lower, bring that up in to them immediately, ask why they feel they can charge a premium over the comps, and say if they can't match then you'll move.  You ACTUALLY have to be willing to move though.

2-Have a friend go into the leasing office of the place you live and inquire as a prospective renter for your size unit and see what they quote him, and see if there is immediate availability or not.  If they quote something alot lower than what they want to bump you to and there's vacant units, they are probably trying to screw you and bank that you don't want to deal with the hassle of moving and will just go along with it.  If they quote him something similar to what they want you to pay, or tell him there are no units available and there's a wait list, then the price is probably going to stick no matter what you try to do, if that's what they are securing new renters at that's what they want to try to bring all the units up to.

3-Dont worry about 'pissing them off'...they're a business, these aren't emotional decisions, and that very well may be their final offer depending on how strong their hand is, but it's always worth countering in this situation, it's extremely unlikely that just by countering they will give you the boot or something.  Based on the research from the above 2 steps, throw out a counter offer of what you are willing to accept for an increase and see what happens.  The worst they can say is no at which point you just need to decide whether to pay up or move on....but before doing so you need to make sure you can get a better value elsewhere, otherwise what's the point.

4-The suggestions of pre-payment or longer lease terms are good ones to throw out there in negotiations...I have given tenants a little better deal before in exchange for more stable/less risky terms for myself (but I'm just a guy renting out a house, don't know if a large apt complex has that flexibility).


  • Stubble
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Re: Tenant In Need of Advice from Landlords
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2015, 03:23:44 PM »
I agree it's always worth negotiating, just be respectful about it. See if you can talk to a manager/boss above the person who gave you the first answer. Having comps is a good idea, as is asking about a two year lease. I'm a landlord (though not in a big buidling, just a unit in my house) and will definitely offer cheaper rent to good, respectful, long-term tenants. The worst they can do is say no -- then either you stay in the same place and pay the higher rent or find a new spot.

Different topic, but I lived in DC for five years as a renter and found that houses/apartments within houses were MUCH cheaper than large, managed buildings. They also come with street parking (for the cost of a permit), which can be annoying but is not a big deal if you don't drive every day. If your lease is up anyway, you might consider relocating to a different part of town.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Tenant In Need of Advice from Landlords
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2015, 06:48:04 PM »
Terrestrial has some awesome advice for how to deal with this.

My experience is that the biggest complexes play the "squeeze as much as possible" game on renewing leases. In the past I lived in one where "the corporation" supposedly changed the "market rate" daily and they wanted to jack the rent 10% in a 1% inflation environment. I told them 10% was crazy and preceded with my plan to move. After I gave my 30 days notice, they offered to renew the lease without any rent increase at all, but at that point I was committed to moving. In many environments, though, one can reserve a new place and move within a 2 week period. So check out your options close to work and go ahead and give notice 30 days before the lease ends if there seem to be a few places available that are reasonable.