Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ask your landlord for lower rent gives the reasons why:
There are several reasons landlords may be willing to make a deal these days.

Eighty-eight percent of property owners who participated in a recent survey said that job losses are contributing to vacancy rates. Fifty percent said would-be tenants can't afford rent or are trying to save, and 45% said that the trend of more people doubling up with roommates is causing units to sit vacant. The survey polled owners representing 3,192 apartment communities throughout the country.

Plus, there's even more inventory to compete with these days because in sluggish housing markets many homeowners rent their homes instead of selling, said Peggy Abkemeier, general manager of And some renters are becoming homeowners as affordability improves and the government entices them with a first-time buyer tax credit. ...

In response to vacancies, 68% of landlords said they were lowering rents and 68% also said they were giving one or more months of rent free; 38% said they were reducing deposits; and 18% were offering upgrades or allowing more leniency for breaking leases or changing status, according to the survey. Fifteen percent are offering storage or parking at reduced rates, and 8% are relaxing pet policies. ...

And yet another survey by TransUnion, which screens credit for property-management companies, found that half of property managers are having difficulty locating qualified renters, compared with last year. Eighty-one percent are concerned they won't find reliable tenants for the rest of 2009.

Lessors of real estate are earning significantly less so far this year, according to Sageworks, a financial information company. Profits are falling, company research shows, and empty units cost money to maintain.
Personally, in my apartment complex in Centreville, Virginia, I'm surrounded by empty units. Still, my landlord is trying to slightly raise my rent above the going rate for new tenants.


  1. I would move. I moved from the condo I was renting to a townhouse thats twice the size and $450 less a month.

  2. Unfortunately i had to move on a short time frame so I couldn't use the same bargaining tactics. I found a place I liked alot at a pretty resonable rent. But I was able to get the real estate agent down from a $1350 to $500 fee and bring along my cat which the owner didn't really want to do. Its a tough situation for most landlords right now, and many of my friends have been able to get good deals and rent cuts. My advise if you're currently renting is to look around at what's available and use that as leverage with your current landlord.

  3. Yep, my landlord out here in Riverside, CA tried to raise our rent $50 for our new lease. Asked them if they could do something about that rise and now it's $50 less than we are paying now! I get the feeling these property management companies know they have just a little bit of time left before they are going to have to be doing some major rate cuts and now they are testing the waters to see if they can get you to go along with one more year of relatively high rent.

  4. I am here in Arlington living in an old dumpy apartment complex where the landlord is attempting to raise rents. The building charges a bogus amenities fee of $150 and now will charge you for utilities that were recently included in the rent. About a quarter mile away is a brand new building that was originally built for condos and it is now a rental. The building has 70% vacancy. Many dark units at night is a very telling sign. Yet my landlord thinks I am living in a posh pad. What a joke!

  5. Arlington Anon - I feel you. We shouldnt be surprised though, it looks like in 1Q09 average rental price in Arlington went up 11%. Thats a noisy stat, but Arlington rates certainly have made a rebound.

    Better rates were in Alexandria +0.37% and even better was Fairfax where it was down 1.05%

    Outside the beltway, rents are wayyyy down!

  6. If arlington is too expensive and you cant barter, move 2 miles over and get your rent for $600 a month cheaper

  7. The solution to this debate is very simple:

    If you have the funds to buy a property, go ahead do it. Rates are very low.

    If you can't afford to buy, then by all means rent. Renting is much cheaper than owning right now in DC area.

    In the name God put an end to this senseless debate!!!

  8. I was a landlord for a number of years. Had to relocate and couldn't sell.

    I would lower rent in heartbeat for a good tenant.

    My last tenant, before I sold, stopped paying rent. Went months. Had to hire an attorney for an eviction. Tenant sent me some money, about half owed, to try to stay. I told the tenant that I he would get his check back if he moved out asap without damaging the place. He agreed and I returned his money.

    I never rented the place again and kept it off the market and paid the cost until I sold it. It was easier than renting to someone.

    So, yes, if had a good tenant, I would assess the market and if the case for lowering the rent was there, I would do it.

  9. There are a ton of for rent signs on our block. In LA the unemployment rate is a lot higher than the state's which is bad already. In LA many people work in entertainment as contractors and they are working much less than normal. "Underemployed" I think is the term.

  10. I think you are right. When you let out your premises, you may have to deal with a number of different people. You may come across honest tenants who pay their rent on time and or come across problem tenants who may not be paying rent on time or may not be taking proper care of the accommodation provided to them. In the case of the latter, you can choose to evict problem tenants. In order to Evict Squatters or, problem tenants, a notice is served on the tenants for the breach of the agreement.