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If your lease is coming up for renewal you may have looked around to see that not only are home prices falling but rental prices have taken a tumble too. This may be just the time to re-negotiate your lease using sound negotiating principles--putting yourself in the best position for a great deal and giving your landlord peace of mind that the unit won't lose money by sitting idle.
Second quarter figures from the real-estate realm have been released and the numbers show that asking rents went down by 0.6%, and that is after falling the same amount in the the first quarter, following a 0.2% drop in the 4th quarter of 2008. And to give a little perspective, over the past ten years there has been only a single other quarter in which asking rents showed a decline. And though not all cities across the board experienced a drop, areas that topped the list for major asking rent drops include: the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, New York, and Southern California.
What does this all mean for you, neighborly renter? It's time to finesse your game, and get in on the rent-dropping action!
In a Wall Street Journal blog post from 2008, blogger and Lower-East-Side-Manhattan-dweller shared her experience with negotiating a rent savings. And she kindly also included the exact letter used in scoring a $300 per month rent deduction. Here are some tips to help you with the process:
As you move from negotiation to agreement, remember, a lease is a binding contract, so before you sign yours key in on what to look for. Most leases come with boiler-plate, pre-printed language that makes renters feel that there is no room for negotiation. But it is an offer to lease that only becomes binding when you, the party to which it is written against, signs it. So, if there are terms you would like to change just write them in and deliver back to the landlord. Effectually you will have rejected the landlord's lease and counter-offered with the updated lease. You can talk out any differences in the lease and then sign the dotted line, after any changes to the printed lease have been initialed by agreeing party.
Go forth and lease well.