How we got our rent decreased

I was asked by a commenter to explain how we got our rent decreased by $100/mo.

First, it was just a good time to ask. It's definitely a renter's market around here right now. We knew it was a good time because (1) two units have been open in our 14 unit building for months; and (2) I checked Craig's List and found units within 1-2 miles of us that were going for less than we were paying.

We're also good tenants. Always pay rent on time, no issues with neighbors, and we're on good terms with the resident manager.

I typed up a one page letter asking for our decrease. At the time I wrote it, our lease was approximately 2 1/2 months away from expiring. I began the letter by stating that M and I had enjoyed our time in the apartment, but we were facing a tough decision in regards to renewing the lease, because of the "abundance of nearby less expensive units." I then expressed some fear about crime (our bikes were stolen from the building's parking lot soon after we moved in). Other than the bike issue, there is really VERY little, if any, crime in our area, and we feel safe, but I mentioned it for leverage.

I then brought up the two vacant units in our building and the cheaper nearby units (I gave the addresses of 2 comparable units I found on Craig's List). I ended the letter by stating exactly how much we pay now, and exactly how much we wanted to pay. I then asked for a response by the beginning of the month (I gave them about a 3 week window).

I delivered the letter to the manager and we chatted about it for a little while. She said she really didn't want us to leave, and that she would express the sentiment to the landlord. At that point, I was pretty confident that we would get the decrease. A few days later, she stopped by and said the landlord had agreed to it. And that was that. :)


Serendipity said...

I did similar steps to get our rent decrease last fall. Doesn't it feel nice to be in charge of that? I felt like saying, yeah take that apartment office.

Jenna said...

Thanks for sharing your actions with me. Definitely some good pointers. Congrats again!

Sunflowers said...

I kind of wonder if I could have asked for more! Although the cheapest nearby unit was only $30 less than what we asked for. Anyway, no use thinking about it now! I'm happy with what we got :)

DC Travel Girl said...

Wow, I would have never thought to ask for a rent decrease. Great job!

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