About a month or 2 before your apartment lease is about to expire your landlord or apartment management company will send you notice.
Sometimes they simply drop a card in your mailbox with another lease term. Unfortunately , this usually comes with a rent increase in many cases. At first, many renters get upset and are shocked. Why reason would the apartment have for raising rent. Renters say they won’t pay the new amount or they would rather leave than having to fork over the extra money.
Apartment rent increases are a norm in big cities like Houston. These larger complexes are in the business of churning out profits for their corporate owners. But you do have some tools are your arsenal that you can use to try and stem the rate increase or at best negotiate a better rate for yourself.
Don’t Freak out and Do Some Research
Remain calm. Visit the apartment manager or call up your landlord and have a conversation. Rather than start out by saying you won’t pay the new rent, ask what your rent is going up. A good idea is to see where they are coming from. Ask them why are you raising my rent? Chances are you will here one of these responses:
- The market rates in the entire city have gone up and we have to raise rates to remain competitive
- Property tax rates have increased in the city and we have to raise prices.
- We have made upgrades across the property for everyones’s benefit.
At this point end the call. Now take it upon yourself to make a few phone calls to other apartments in the city. If you live in a big city like Houston you shouldn’t have a problem finding comparables. In one case, a renter living in his Heights Houston apartment contacted the property next door. She actually went in for an apartment tour and found out that they were offering one month free for new renters.
Armed with this type of information it’s not time to approach the management company again. Let them know that you found a property just like theirs that is offering you a free month. Simply say something like “look Property “Abc” will give me a month free, I really don’t want to move, but if your willing to work with me on my rent increase, I’ll consider staying.
Show them Your Track Record
Now lets assume that you are unable to find any other accommodations that you can use as an example. What can you do? At this point it’s time to please to management. Say things like
- I have always paid my rent on time
- I am a good tenant who never causes problems for you or the property.
If you go in with the “I cannot afford the new rent” the management won’t give in. They hear this excuse all the time and have a standard response.
So save time and just ask.
Ask to Sign a Longer Term Lease
Apartment communities love to lock in leases. Tell them you are willing to sign a two year lease. In exchange, you desire a lower rate. They receive a stable client who will be in the community for an additional 2 years.
When All Else Fails, Ask for Other Concessions
Now is the time to bring up items that need replacement. If the bathroom is in dire need of renovation, or the carpet needs to be replaced, bring it to the attention of management. Let them know that maybe the place would be worth it with certain upgrades. But if I leave, you will have to find someone else to rent the place, or you might end up upgrading certain items anyways. Why not take the time to upgrade the unit now and we will sign on and stay with you for another term?
Last but not least, remember to be nice. Getting angry won’t solve any problems