I got my lease renewal and the good news is that it didn't go up. In fact it went down...by $1. Yep, $1...from $835 to $834. Now, that's great; it didn't go up. EXCEPT I got curious and looked online and the advertised rate for new residents is $660-$725!!! Now, the rate being that low is newish. Last time I checked the rate for new residents was $725-$795. Still...
So, how much will they typically negotiate? I've been a resident here for 4 or 5 yrs now and have no real reason to move. Still less money going out would be nice.
I was in a similar circumstance once. I told the leasing office I was considering looking around for a new apartment. I told them if they were willing to reduce my rent to that offered to new tenants I would stay for another year. They would not reduce it to the new tenant rates for me, but did agree to reduce it by 75% of the difference. I guess it also depends on the market. There was an abundance of available rentals at the time I negotiated with them.
At least in my area, apartment vacancies are at an all time high, about 15%. If you're in a complex that has more than a few empty units, I bet you can get them to come down to around $750. After all, having a resident is better than having you leave for a complex that WILL negotiate, and give you the new tenant rate to boot.
Rents have come down as the market has softened. They know this which is why they haven't raised you. I bet you can get it down.
Thanks. I'll give them a call tomorrow and see how it goes. I'd be happy at $775
They're hoping you won't notice what the real market price is. Print out the online ad showing the cheaper price, go in to the office and demand to see the property manager (not an underling), wave that printout in front of her (aren't they always women?...), and tell her you are shocked they're overcharging you, considering you've been a source of solid dependable cash flow for X years now.
Tell her you hope she can match the new resident pricing, because and if not you'll move ASAP since you now realize you can get much cheaper rent elsewhere.
And mean it. And do it. They're hoping inertia will prevent you from doing that.
This may not work, since apartment rental staff are among the stupidest people on earth (right up there with city councilmen), but at least you won't continue renting from a landlord who's ripping you off.
So here's the update:
First of all, she doesn't know where the "internet" numbers for new residents came from but they are not accurate at all. Which, on reflection, I do actually believe. Given the size of my apartment (2br, 1198sq ft) and location, there really is no way they would let one go at anywhere close to $660. Others in the area start at $750.
Second, they can't negotiate. The system they are using supposedly does not allow them to override rates. The system allows them to put in any lease term from 1 month to 15 months with any start date, etc. and calculates the rate on that. So on my lease renewal notice, they sent me what the rates would be on a 7 month, 11 month, and 15 month lease as examples.
The 11 month = $834
The 15 month = $829
But in talking to them today, the 12 month or 14 month = $807
She said she doesn't know why the 15 month would cost more than the 12 or 14 month except that the program does take into account the month/time of year the lease would end or something like that? I said, "Whatever. Just give me the 12 months at $807."
So from the $835 I'm paying now that is a $28 month drop...better than nothing.
and no moving costs
oooohhhh....I am Pi$$ed off now....
So since I am back in town from the holidays, I went by the apartment office to drop off my rent check and pick up a package. Since it is a Saturday, just one woman was there and she was on the phone so I had to wait. So I was listening and she was talking to someone looking for a first floor apartment. And she said she had "floorplan x" (ie. mine) avail. Feb 15th (my lease ends/renews Feb. 29) in a range of $660-$705!!!!
To recap from above, I was told by the woman I talked too on Dec. 22nd that those numbers don't exist!!! Hello! If they don't exist, then why would you be telling someone interested in the unit those exact numbers!!! Ughh!! I know that they usually give discounts to new residents to get them in, but to lie to me that those numbers don't exist at all...it angers me :>
Of course, the weekend woman can't really do much of anything for me. I need to call back during the week. At this point I'm angry enough to start shopping around for someplace else. I know that I will cool down and re-evaluate, but I hate the lie that those numbers from the internet "didn't exist...she didn't know where they came from".
On the other hand, there are a couple of nice looking townhomes listed in my area. I can easily afford the mortgage itself...it's when you add the $150/month HOA fees that I start to get twitchy.
If you really want to go after this then I think you should call on Monday, don't say who you are, use call blocker.
Tell them you think you want the unit available Feb 15th but you want to make sure you wrote down the rent amount. When she tells you 660-705 then thank her and ask if she'll be in the office in a few hours, you need to make a decision. When you go to her office, simply tell her that you are moving to the new unit now that you have verified the rent with her, and you want to know how it will all work with giving notice on the old unit and overlapping dates.
Quite generally, you can expect her to become super frustrated with you and you'll have tons of friction between you and her from here on out. Believe me, I've been in your exact situation.
It is very frustrating to be lied to but you run the risk of calling them on it and hurting your rental reference down the line. They could come up with something ridiculous like charging you for carpet replacement throughout the unit after you move, or whatever they dream up. She'll also tell you that you aren't eligible for the lower rent but you and she both know you caught her in her lies.
This all happened to me a few years ago. I opted to stay in my original unit for even higher rent by going to month-to-month so I could move away from that complex at my convenience.
I'm more inclined at the moment to either go buy a townhouse or move into an apartment about 1/2 a mile away. I'll be visiting to look at the apartment in the next day or two. It is roughly the same size as mine for the rate my current place doesn't want to give me. Yeah, it would cost to move...2 Men and a Truck for a couple hours...and the hassle...but the savings over a year would be between $1200-$1600.
Alternately, there are a couple places closer to work. I wouldn't save quite as much in rent per month, but would cut my commute in half. (From 20 minutes to 10 minutes each way).
Edit: I should clarify that I have NOT signed a renewal yet. They have drawn it up but I haven't signed it yet. My current lease ends 02/29 and I have to give 60 days notice if moving out. So I am tempted to find someplace to move into around 3/1 and give notice here.
When you try to get into another unit owned by the same landlord, they may put you under a new lease, so you may end up losing the security deposit on the first lease on some technicality ("that stain wasn't there when you moved in and we'll charge you $$$ to get it out") on top of the hassle/cost of moving furniture etc even a short distance.
I can't believe you need to give 60 days notice. Wow, unbelieveable.
At least you haven't signed yet. Take a month-to-month option (if available) so you can boogie on out of there -at your convenience. The savings you indicated would be worth it in the long run IMHO.
BTW, I never confronted her. I just determined a new game plan in order to preserve my reference. I was all the more leery of her when it came time to move out. Woweee, I made sure that place was clean!!
Also, I don't know if you are a first time homebuyer or not, but credit unions seem to be very interested in helping out with that right now. The 8k was extended and is still available.
Yep, 60 days is pretty normal around here (sucks). The complexes I looked at today have the same.
I'm leaning towards moving. One of the complexes I was at today has a 2br/2ba with a garage! for less than my current place wants! And it is less than a mile away so here in my same area which is a plus! And the unit I toured looks pretty nice. Nicer than my current place anyway. The unit is upstairs from the garage but the stairwell from the garage (not shared) is private to my unit. I'd only be saving more like $60/mo than $100/mo, but oh well.
I'm definitely planning on 1 - hiring a cleaning service to come in after I've moved out, 2 - having someone repaint my walls to their standard color, or at least prime them, and 3 - taking pictures when I move out.
I would be yes. And I've thought about it. But I really don't have the funds ready for a house. ie. No downpayment available. Now I had heard supposedly that some banks were allowing the tax credit to be used towards downpayment somehow? But I'm not clear on that. My credit scores are great and would qualify. No issues on the credit report. But I'd also have to have closing cost help. I've seen references to NACA, but it seems like a somewhat long process. Maybe something I could start getting into during the next year from a new apartment. Doesn't sound like I could get thru the process in time to get the 8k tax credit.
I've driven by some townhomes in the $130-150 range in my area, but I'm really uncomfortable about what the payment would end up being once you add in insurance, taxes, PMI, and the monthly HOA fee. (Used the calculator on cnn's money site). As for single detached houses, I'd definitely have to look further out than I am now. My current commute is 20 minutes and in order to get a detached house I'd probably have to roughly double that to 35-45 minutes. Possible, but not sure I want to go for.
I haven't heard that about using the tax credit toward the downpayment. Interesting. I'll let you know what I find out!
Well, this has turned out to be a little more difficult than I anticipated. So, while I was still "upset" last weekend I went and looked at 2 apartments. I was very interested in one of them, but they couldn't give me a price on it that day because there were getting it "cancelled" in their system because the guy who was supposed to show up and move in, didn't. So that was Sunday. On Monday, the leasing agent did call me back with a price. I couldn't make it by Monday after work before they closed, but I did go over Tuesday. Guess what? They rented it Monday night. Ugh.
So then I called another place I was interested in. I had looked at them last year but ended up not moving. So, I called because they have been listing the unit I wanted at $917 on Craigslist. Yes, more than I am paying now, but a quick walk to work which means I can also walk home at lunch, so the upsides are no commute basically, so a drastic cut in my gas expenditures and a cut in my food expenses by eating lunch at home rather than out. But, they said in order to get the 917 price I would have to move in within the next 2 weeks...no can do. And the price at the time I want to move in would be $959. I was balking at that because it was already more than I really wanted to pay and the "leasing agent" got all bitchy and said "Have you considered a roommate?" WTF? OK, I know $959 is cheap in some areas of the country for a 2br, but where I'm at, it is kind of a high price! And no one really wants to pay that! Then she went on to clarify that the unit I'd be interested in, a first floor, wouldn't be available until April 1st anyway! Well, I need it March 1! Price isn't even an issue if you don't have what I want!!!
So now I'm looking again...not sure what is going to give...preferred area or price...or kitchen space. What is up with all these places that have exactly NO counterspace? I really don't want to stay where I'm at either, but...
I just looked up my renewal letter and if I go month to month they want $1214/month!!!! I am so frustrated right now.