Are you staring down the barrel of an impending lease renewal, and you’re worried about a rent increase? While it can feel like your landlord holds all the cards, take note – lease renewals are a two-way street and it’s possible that both you and your landlord can walk away from the process happy. Use these tips when negotiating your lease renewal.
Understand your rent status
First of all, be very clear about whether or not you live in an apartment that is rent-regulated. It is entirely possible that your market-rate apartment should actually be rent-stabilized. Check out this helpful article that details how to find your apartment’s rent history and what to do if you think it should be rent-stabilized. Know that if your apartment is rent-stabilized, the Rent Guidelines Board regulates rent increases and lease lengths. However, landlords can raise the rent as much as they would like on market-rate apartments. It’s good to know where you legally stand when you begin your negotiations.
While it’s tempting to put off unpleasant tasks, you should be proactive about negotiating your lease renewal. As soon as you receive notification from your landlord about a rent increase, follow-up and initiate a conversation. Put out feelers to see if your landlord might be willing to work with you on the rent or terms of the lease.
Use your manners
We can’t stress this enough – be nice! It’s not going to work in your favor to put your landlord on the defensive from the get-go, so always be polite in your communications. Keep your emotions in check and be respectful. You don’t want to find yourself with the reputation of being difficult.
Tout your good qualities
Have you been a good tenant? Then sing your own praises. Are you quiet? Do you always pay your rent on time? Do you have a good relationship with building staff? Let your landlord know. They’ll be much more open to retaining a problem-free tenant than going through the hassle and expense of finding someone new.
Look for comps
While you’re at it, do some research about rental prices in your neighborhood. Are you paying more than a comparably-sized apartment with similar amenities? If you have hard numbers to share, you can back up your case more easily. Also be aware of how many vacancies there are in your building, and whether the landlord is offering any incentives for new tenants. This could signal that they’ll be more willing to accept your counter-offer.
Extend the terms
Another way to save on your rent is to negotiate for a longer term on your lease. If you can lock in the same rate for 18 months or two years, you won’t have to experience another increase for a longer period of time.
Consider other upgrades instead
If your landlord won’t budge on the rent increase, see if you can find other ways to get more for your money. If your building offers amenities like a gym that requires a fee, ask to have the fee waived. Other options to consider are having your apartment re-painted or getting new appliances installed.
Offer to pay early
Finally, if you have the means, offer to pay for several months’ rent upfront. If your landlord knows your rent is guaranteed and they won’t have to hound you for payments, then it could tip the scales in your favor.
Talk to Platinum Properties
Are you in the market for a new Manhattan apartment? Then contact Platinum Properties today! Our team is always available to answer your questions and to guide you through the real estate process.