Property values are down, times are tough, and the Wall Street Journal details how to use the current economic situation to significantly reduce your rent with this simple fill-in-the-blank letter to your landlord. Photo by Editor B.
WSJ’s Mary Pilon and her roommates were none too pleased to discover that their new neighbors had secured a lease for $300 less than their lease, while they received a $100/month hike in their rent. After sending the letter below to her landlord, Pilon shaved $300 off her rent.
To Whom It May Concern:
We’re writing in regards to the renewal of our lease at [insert your address here].
On [date you moved in], we [names of tenants] moved into a unit in the aforementioned property. Since then, property values in Manhattan [replace with your city or neighborhood] have declined by 5.6% for two-bedrooms units, much more steeply than the nationwide drop of 0.4%. Further, apartment vacancies overall rose to 6.6% in the quarter from 5.7% a year earlier. [I used footnotes here to cite the WSJ story. I suggest also putting in data about your local market from local papers, etc..] Economists and real estate experts predict the decline to continue through 2009-2010.
In our building, that has meant facing an empty unit for several months. Units similar to ours have been rented in recent months to tenants with credit scores and incomes lower than ours at even cheaper rates than what we’ve paid. A rent hike seems inconsistent with recent market conditions and unfair to paying tenants like us with flawless records.
We’ve confirmed that a unit nearly identical to ours is renting at $2,350 a month for a one-year lease. We ask that our lease, at the least, should match that. This would satisfy your interest in keeping our unit occupied and our interest in staying in our apartment at a reasonable rate. Ideally, a discount would be lowering our rent to $2,100 a month for a one-year lease. [At first, I thought this was too bold, but I’m glad I started low.]
As one property manager recently told The Wall Street Journal: “If they’re good payers, we will give them a discount.” Here we are, good payers, asking for a reasonable discount. The $50 off our current rate [original manager] and Ms. Pilon spoke about is inconsistent with other rates in our building and current market activity and projections.
We look forward to continuing the conversation and hearing from you shortly.
[Names and contact information of tenants here]
Seems simple enough, right? Give the WSJ article a read to for a few more tips and details on how the author handled her landlord, and if you’ve done your own rent negotiations, let’s hear how you approached your landlord and how it turned out in the comments.