Renegotiating the Rent??

As rent prices go down, landlords and tenants alike are wondering what their apartments are “really worth.” I’m no economist and especially in these difficult times I’m not able to make predictions. I do know that prices are going down overall and vacancy has been on the rise for the past few months. The trend is downward but activity has been picking up noticably in the past month. I’ve been getting more phone calls, there are more apartments on the market and I’ve seen units renting that were vacant for months. Many landlords have made the necessary adjustments and lowered their prices, offered free rent, paid the broker’s fees, upgraded their units (not usually all at once though) and these units are being snapped up by tenants looking for more, bigger, better, cheaper.

With activity on the rise, the question on everyone’s mind is “can I renegotiate my current rent?” This is a difficult question, one that demonstrates the forces of the market at work, the fact that an apartment is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Are tenants prepared to walk away from apartments they feel are over-priced? Is now the moment to find that dream apartment that has seemed so elusive for the past few years? Only you can answer that question, but whether you’re renegotiating with your landlord or are looking for a change, it’s important for tenants to be realistic about how much of a discount you can expect to receive and for landlords to be cognizant of the fact that people are looking for bargains and are no longer forced to take sub-standard units because vacancy is so low.

This issue unfolds from both perspectives over on the Brownstoner forum:

“Renegotiating Rent in Park Slope”

“Lease Renewal in Cobble Hill”

“Rent 2009”

“Renegotiating with Landlord”


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Michelle Erfer is a licensed Real Estate Salesperson in New York City.
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