Tips to avoid rent increases
Is it time for your lease to be renewed? If so, you might be worried that your landlord is going to increase your rent.
With high competition for apartments, especially in cities like NYC, rents have gone up over the past year. Most major US cities have seen record high rents in the past 12 months. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do.
Here are 5 tips to help you negotiate a rent increase.
- Remind them how good a tenant you are
- Be polite and timely
- Do your research
- Ask for a longer lease
- Does your landlord have a large portfolio?
Landlords will always want to retain a good tenant, someone who has treated their property with care and paid rent on time. Finding new tenants can be both costly and time consuming, especially if the apartment stays empty for a few weeks or the property needs repairs to bring it up to standard.
Write a letter to your landlord or agent explaining why you want to stay, how fond you are of the apartment/neighborhood and remind them that you’re a reliable tenant. These reasons could be enough for your landlord to reconsider.
Rent increases are a frustrating topic to negotiate, especially if you’re already spending your maximum budget, but remaining calm and polite in conversations with your landlord means they’re more likely to listen and consider your request. It’s also worth starting the conversation early, the sooner you start the more time you’ll have to think about your options.
It never hurts to present the numbers. Do you know what other apartments in your neighborhood are going for? Do you know how much your neighbours are paying? Do your research to determine how fair or unfair a rent increase would be.
You might figure out that the increase matches other apartments in your neighborhood, making it a little easier to stomach, or you might find a better deal and you could present this to your landlord to see if they could match it.
If you like the apartment and want to stay in the neighborhood, then a longer lease can lock in your current price and avoid further negotiations 12 months down the line.
Landlords with 1 or 2 properties might be basing their rent increases on gut feelings or poor market research. Analytical programmes that compare a range of metrics like seasonal trends and competitor prices can be expensive. A smaller landlord is more likely to be open to negotiation than a large company or a landlord with an extensive portfolio as an empty property has a higher cost to them.