How to minimize increases for apartment rent?

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flamesabers
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How to minimize increases for apartment rent?

Post by flamesabers »

Hello all.

Today I spoke to my landlord about changes in my monthly rent should I decide to renew my lease in July. The higher-end estimate she gave me was an increase of $45 per month. I've been living in this apartment for the last 5.5 years and prior increases have been about $20 per month.

For those who are renters or have rented in the past, do you have any advice to offer with negotiating lower rent fees? The one thing I could think of was offering to prepay my rent several months in advance for a discount, but my landlord said she'll check with the owner on that and get back to me.

I did some price shopping online and I don't think there is a comparable apartment in my city that is lower then what I'm paying now/will be paying for my apartment. If I really wanted to save money on rent, I would probably have to move about 20-25 miles outside of my hometown into a commuter town that has a population of a few thousand. However, I'll be spending more money on gas to commute, so the savings on rent might not be so significant in the long-term.
mhalley
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Re: How to minimize increases for apartment rent?

Post by mhalley »

Sometimes they'll let you sign a longer lease (say 2 years) if you are a good tenant, thus putting off the yearly increase. The other main negotiating tool is lease comparison, but looks like you are out of luck there.
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simplesimon
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Re: How to minimize increases for apartment rent?

Post by simplesimon »

It sounds like you're getting a very good deal if you're on the low end when compared to other places.

Best bet is playing the "great tenant" card and remind them how you've paid your rent on time for the last five years etc. Maybe tug on their heart strings a bit by saying your income hasn't increased by the same amount or something.

How long do you plan on staying there? Are you willing to sign a longer term lease for lower rent?

Any idea if there are vacancies in your complex? If they're operating at minimal vacancies, you may just have to bite the bullet.
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Re: How to minimize increases for apartment rent?

Post by flamesabers »

simplesimon wrote:It sounds like you're getting a very good deal if you're on the low end when compared to other places.
One nice thing about my lease is I don't have to pay extra per month for my two cats. I only had to make one pet deposit since both of my cats were spayed and declawed when I adopted them. I see other places charging anywhere from $10-$25 per month for each pet.
simplesimon wrote: Best bet is playing the "great tenant" card and remind them how you've paid your rent on time for the last five years etc. Maybe tug on their heart strings a bit by saying your income hasn't increased by the same amount or something.
My landlord already tells me I'm a great tenant. :)

She wants to keep me as a tenant but she doesn't have the final say on rent increases, the owner does.
simplesimon wrote:How long do you plan on staying there? Are you willing to sign a longer term lease for lower rent?
I don't have any plans to move elsewhere. I'm single with no plan to marry and my family and job are both here in my hometown.

When I first moved in, my landlord was offering either a 13 or 15 month leases. Now 12 months is the longest lease I can get. I've always selected the longest lease available in order to avoid the rate increases as much as possible. My landlord has always recommended taking the longest lease available if it was practical for me.
simplesimon wrote: Any idea if there are vacancies in your complex? If they're operating at minimal vacancies, you may just have to bite the bullet.
As far as I can tell, no. My apartment complex has been having issues with a lack of parking space as of late, so I assume the complex is pretty close to full occupancy.
mhalley wrote:Sometimes they'll let you sign a longer lease (say 2 years) if you are a good tenant, thus putting off the yearly increase. The other main negotiating tool is lease comparison, but looks like you are out of luck there.
I would sign a longer lease if I could, but as of now it appears 12 months is the limit.
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dm200
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Re: How to minimize increases for apartment rent?

Post by dm200 »

flamesabers wrote:Hello all.
Today I spoke to my landlord about changes in my monthly rent should I decide to renew my lease in July. The higher-end estimate she gave me was an increase of $45 per month. I've been living in this apartment for the last 5.5 years and prior increases have been about $20 per month.
For those who are renters or have rented in the past, do you have any advice to offer with negotiating lower rent fees? The one thing I could think of was offering to prepay my rent several months in advance for a discount, but my landlord said she'll check with the owner on that and get back to me.
I did some price shopping online and I don't think there is a comparable apartment in my city that is lower then what I'm paying now/will be paying for my apartment. If I really wanted to save money on rent, I would probably have to move about 20-25 miles outside of my hometown into a commuter town that has a population of a few thousand. However, I'll be spending more money on gas to commute, so the savings on rent might not be so significant in the long-term.
In some cases, where the owner is close to the management of the property, there may be a better chance of minimizing rent increases by being a "good tenant". Know your "rights" as to what the landlord is required to do by regulations. For example, if things like repainting every x years or replacing carpeting, etc. is generally required - then (maybe) if you "waive" that right, you might be seen as a tenant they want to keep.

Offering to sign a longer lease might incentivize the landlord to keep the rent increase lower.

Are there (or might there be) smaller and/or lower rent units in the same complex that would meet your needs?

Are there (or might there be) any kind of local (or other) government credits or "subsidies" based on your age, income level or something else? This might apply to you or, perhaps, to the owner/landlord.

From what you describe, you may be (net in dollars and lifestyle) worse off moving longer distance and paying more for commuting expenses and time/hassle. Remember also, that your auto insurance rates may increase with a longer distance commute.
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Re: How to minimize increases for apartment rent?

Post by cadreamer2015 »

What percentage is $45 per month? If this represents more than a say 2.5% increase you could say "Hey, the consumer price index is up only 2% (or whatever it is). I don't think I should have to pay a greater increase." But of course this is a market and prices are driven primarily by market forces of supply and demand. It sounds like you are currently paying at or below market rent, so you might have to choose between paying $45 more per month or moving.
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fantasytensai
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Re: How to minimize increases for apartment rent?

Post by fantasytensai »

flamesabers wrote:
simplesimon wrote:It sounds like you're getting a very good deal if you're on the low end when compared to other places.
One nice thing about my lease is I don't have to pay extra per month for my two cats. I only had to make one pet deposit since both of my cats were spayed and declawed when I adopted them. I see other places charging anywhere from $10-$25 per month for each pet.
simplesimon wrote: Best bet is playing the "great tenant" card and remind them how you've paid your rent on time for the last five years etc. Maybe tug on their heart strings a bit by saying your income hasn't increased by the same amount or something.
My landlord already tells me I'm a great tenant. :)

She wants to keep me as a tenant but she doesn't have the final say on rent increases, the owner does.
simplesimon wrote:How long do you plan on staying there? Are you willing to sign a longer term lease for lower rent?
I don't have any plans to move elsewhere. I'm single with no plan to marry and my family and job are both here in my hometown.

When I first moved in, my landlord was offering either a 13 or 15 month leases. Now 12 months is the longest lease I can get. I've always selected the longest lease available in order to avoid the rate increases as much as possible. My landlord has always recommended taking the longest lease available if it was practical for me.
simplesimon wrote: Any idea if there are vacancies in your complex? If they're operating at minimal vacancies, you may just have to bite the bullet.
As far as I can tell, no. My apartment complex has been having issues with a lack of parking space as of late, so I assume the complex is pretty close to full occupancy.
mhalley wrote:Sometimes they'll let you sign a longer lease (say 2 years) if you are a good tenant, thus putting off the yearly increase. The other main negotiating tool is lease comparison, but looks like you are out of luck there.
I would sign a longer lease if I could, but as of now it appears 12 months is the limit.
Dude...sorry to derail this thread but it's totally not cool to declaw a cat.
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flamesabers
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Re: How to minimize increases for apartment rent?

Post by flamesabers »

dm200 wrote:In some cases, where the owner is close to the management of the property, there may be a better chance of minimizing rent increases by being a "good tenant". Know your "rights" as to what the landlord is required to do by regulations. For example, if things like repainting every x years or replacing carpeting, etc. is generally required - then (maybe) if you "waive" that right, you might be seen as a tenant they want to keep.
There hasn't been any major home improvement projects done in my apartment since I moved in. Also, I only called on maintenance a handful of times over the last 5 years.
dm200 wrote:Offering to sign a longer lease might incentivize the landlord to keep the rent increase lower.
I'll suggest this the next time I speak to my landlord.
dm200 wrote:Are there (or might there be) smaller and/or lower rent units in the same complex that would meet your needs?
There may be, but I doubt it would produce a big enough savings to be worth the effort.
dm200 wrote:Are there (or might there be) any kind of local (or other) government credits or "subsidies" based on your age, income level or something else? This might apply to you or, perhaps, to the owner/landlord.
I think my income is too high to qualify for a government credit or subsidy, especially since I hit the 25% tax bracket for 2016.
cadreamer2015 wrote:What percentage is $45 per month? If this represents more than a say 2.5% increase you could say "Hey, the consumer price index is up only 2% (or whatever it is). I don't think I should have to pay a greater increase." But of course this is a market and prices are driven primarily by market forces of supply and demand. It sounds like you are currently paying at or below market rent, so you might have to choose between paying $45 more per month or moving.
$45 (which is the higher-end estimate) would be a 5.7% increase for me. This drops to 5.3% if I include my garage rental.

$45 extra a month isn't going to break the bank for me, but if there is an easy way for me to knock it down a little or something I'm willing to look into it.
fantasytensai wrote:Dude...sorry to derail this thread but it's totally not cool to declaw a cat.
I didn't declaw my cats. They were already declawed when I adopted them from a local animal shelter.
JGoneRiding
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Re: How to minimize increases for apartment rent?

Post by JGoneRiding »

fantasytensai wrote:
flamesabers wrote:
simplesimon wrote:It sounds like you're getting a very good deal if you're on the low end when compared to other places.
One nice thing about my lease is I don't have to pay extra per month for my two cats. I only had to make one pet deposit since both of my cats were spayed and declawed when I adopted them. I see other places charging anywhere from $10-$25 per month for each pet.



Dude...sorry to derail this thread but it's totally not cool to declaw a cat.
She said "when i adopted them!" Which would generally be interpreted as they came that way from the shelter. And there are a lot of legitimate reasons to declaw (a lot of non legitimate ones too but some times there are very good reasons for doing it)


Well i guess she already defended herself. But at least op can know someone else read it the way she meant it! ;)

Op as a LL i think you are out of luck it sounds like you are already getting the good tenant dont want turn over rate and they would raise it more for a new person.
westcoast
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Re: How to minimize increases for apartment rent?

Post by westcoast »

You could look at what the cost the landlord would need to spend in fixing or replacing things in your apartment if you move out. Such as carpeting, painting, and replacing counters etc. A rent increase of around five hundred dollars a year may not be worth it to the landlord if you stay in the apartment as is for another year. We have some rentals an prefer long term tenants. Best of luck.
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Re: How to minimize increases for apartment rent?

Post by littlebird »

fantasytensai wrote:
Dude...sorry to derail this thread but it's totally not cool to declaw a cat.
In one of the 14 or 15 posts you appended, the OP says that the cats were declawed when he adopted them.
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Re: How to minimize increases for apartment rent?

Post by flamesabers »

JGoneRiding wrote:Op as a LL i think you are out of luck it sounds like you are already getting the good tenant dont want turn over rate and they would raise it more for a new person.
Yeah, that's the conclusion I'm coming to as I'm reading more and more of the replies on this thread.

I think you're correct about the rate being higher for a new tenant. In prior years when I was getting a $20 per month increase my landlord said the rate was going up higher for new tenants. This is something I should keep in mind if I decide to move to a different apartment later on.
westcoast wrote:You could look at what the cost the landlord would need to spend in fixing or replacing things in your apartment if you move out. Such as carpeting, painting, and replacing counters etc. A rent increase of around five hundred dollars a year may not be worth it to the landlord if you stay in the apartment as is for another year. We have some rentals an prefer long term tenants. Best of luck.
Seeing as how the competition isn't offering lower prices for the same type of apartment, I'll most likely have to pay the extra $500+ and be done with it. If I could sign a 2 year lease I would do that.
littlebird wrote:
fantasytensai wrote:
Dude...sorry to derail this thread but it's totally not cool to declaw a cat.
In one of the 14 or 15 posts you appended, the OP says that the cats were declawed when he adopted them.
That's correct. I know how detrimental declawing is for cats and I would never choose to put my cats through that.
clutchied
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Re: How to minimize increases for apartment rent?

Post by clutchied »

being a landlord I prize stable clean low maintenance tenants far above any type of increases.

It is expensive to have turnover and you never know what you're going to get.


I would assume you're in a distorted market right now where they probably don't care b/c they are under market and know they can fill it immediately.


I have some units in socal and some in the midwest and there is a significant difference in how I price and maintain them. If the market is calling for increases in socal I bump it b/c I know I can fill it. In the midwest I will leave people where they are as long as they stay there. I also tell them this so they know they have a reliable cost and I know I have a reliable tenant.
s0me0nesmind1
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Re: How to minimize increases for apartment rent?

Post by s0me0nesmind1 »

flamesabers wrote:Hello all.

Today I spoke to my landlord about changes in my monthly rent should I decide to renew my lease in July. The higher-end estimate she gave me was an increase of $45 per month. I've been living in this apartment for the last 5.5 years and prior increases have been about $20 per month.

For those who are renters or have rented in the past, do you have any advice to offer with negotiating lower rent fees? The one thing I could think of was offering to prepay my rent several months in advance for a discount, but my landlord said she'll check with the owner on that and get back to me.

I did some price shopping online and I don't think there is a comparable apartment in my city that is lower then what I'm paying now/will be paying for my apartment. If I really wanted to save money on rent, I would probably have to move about 20-25 miles outside of my hometown into a commuter town that has a population of a few thousand. However, I'll be spending more money on gas to commute, so the savings on rent might not be so significant in the long-term.
There is no negotiating.

Sorry, but I have a low opinion of landlords - and I bet there are plenty that are here... But in every experience in m my life the landlords will put in a a fat increase at every possible place. They just love playing a game of chicken where they are essentially saying "I bet he won't move out if I add this amount... Bet you won't!" Same thing next year "I suckered $50 out of him this year, bet another $25 isn't enough for him to move".

The only answer is to own property or be able to easily move between properties.

I find a very good comparison is with auto insurance. As long as I've EVER had car insurance, every 6 months they do an increase - essentially playing a game of chicken with we. "I bet he will be too lazy to switch or look at competition"... So I just circle between 3 auto-insurance competitors every 6-12 months. The concept of rewarding a repeat customer or long-time customer with on-time payments and no issues has been completely destroyed at this point - and that is utterly pathetic. No company or person values that anymore.
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Re: How to minimize increases for apartment rent?

Post by flamesabers »

clutchied wrote:being a landlord I prize stable clean low maintenance tenants far above any type of increases.

It is expensive to have turnover and you never know what you're going to get.


I would assume you're in a distorted market right now where they probably don't care b/c they are under market and know they can fill it immediately.


I have some units in socal and some in the midwest and there is a significant difference in how I price and maintain them. If the market is calling for increases in socal I bump it b/c I know I can fill it. In the midwest I will leave people where they are as long as they stay there. I also tell them this so they know they have a reliable cost and I know I have a reliable tenant.
Is there a particular formula you have between staying profitable and not wanting to drive out the good tenants with high rent fees? For instance, if 20% of your tenants in a complex are very reliable, 70% are reasonably reliable, and 10% aren't very reliable, are you willing to cut a break for the top 20%? If so, what kind of incentive would you offer them? Longer leases? Lower increases in rent for renewal?

While I have no doubt that my landlord won't have a whole lot of trouble finding a replacement tenant for my vacancy, I don't think it's as certain she'll easily find a new tenant that is reliable and low maintenance. Otherwise, I suspect the owner would be raising rates at a higher amount.
s0me0nesmind1 wrote:
flamesabers wrote:Hello all.

Today I spoke to my landlord about changes in my monthly rent should I decide to renew my lease in July. The higher-end estimate she gave me was an increase of $45 per month. I've been living in this apartment for the last 5.5 years and prior increases have been about $20 per month.

For those who are renters or have rented in the past, do you have any advice to offer with negotiating lower rent fees? The one thing I could think of was offering to prepay my rent several months in advance for a discount, but my landlord said she'll check with the owner on that and get back to me.

I did some price shopping online and I don't think there is a comparable apartment in my city that is lower then what I'm paying now/will be paying for my apartment. If I really wanted to save money on rent, I would probably have to move about 20-25 miles outside of my hometown into a commuter town that has a population of a few thousand. However, I'll be spending more money on gas to commute, so the savings on rent might not be so significant in the long-term.
There is no negotiating.

Sorry, but I have a low opinion of landlords - and I bet there are plenty that are here... But in every experience in m my life the landlords will put in a a fat increase at every possible place. They just love playing a game of chicken where they are essentially saying "I bet he won't move out if I add this amount... Bet you won't!" Same thing next year "I suckered $50 out of him this year, bet another $25 isn't enough for him to move".

The only answer is to own property or be able to easily move between properties.

I find a very good comparison is with auto insurance. As long as I've EVER had car insurance, every 6 months they do an increase - essentially playing a game of chicken with we. "I bet he will be too lazy to switch or look at competition"... So I just circle between 3 auto-insurance competitors every 6-12 months. The concept of rewarding a repeat customer or long-time customer with on-time payments and no issues has been completely destroyed at this point - and that is utterly pathetic. No company or person values that anymore.
I'm doubtful owning property is a solution, seeing as how all property owners (at least in my state) have to pay property taxes. Who's to say the state government won't raise property taxes on me if I decided to buy a house or something?

As far as moving between properties, that isn't an option for me unless I move out of my area. And even then, whatever I save I rent on might end being used on gas and car maintenance.

I think comparing apartments to car insurance isn't a realistic comparison. All it takes to change your car insurance are a few phone calls and completing some paperwork. Moving on the other hand requires packing up everything, moving it, unpacking everything, switching over utilities, internet, etc. as well as notifying your creditors of your new address. Also, state laws require all motorists to be insured. There's no law requiring everyone to rent.
clutchied
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Re: How to minimize increases for apartment rent?

Post by clutchied »

flamesabers wrote:
clutchied wrote:being a landlord I prize stable clean low maintenance tenants far above any type of increases.

It is expensive to have turnover and you never know what you're going to get.


I would assume you're in a distorted market right now where they probably don't care b/c they are under market and know they can fill it immediately.


I have some units in socal and some in the midwest and there is a significant difference in how I price and maintain them. If the market is calling for increases in socal I bump it b/c I know I can fill it. In the midwest I will leave people where they are as long as they stay there. I also tell them this so they know they have a reliable cost and I know I have a reliable tenant.
Is there a particular formula you have between staying profitable and not wanting to drive out the good tenants with high rent fees? For instance, if 20% of your tenants in a complex are very reliable, 70% are reasonably reliable, and 10% aren't very reliable, are you willing to cut a break for the top 20%? If so, what kind of incentive would you offer them? Longer leases? Lower increases in rent for renewal?

While I have no doubt that my landlord won't have a whole lot of trouble finding a replacement tenant for my vacancy, I don't think it's as certain she'll easily find a new tenant that is reliable and low maintenance. Otherwise, I suspect the owner would be raising rates at a higher amount.
There are a few strategies... So in socal property taxes are more or less fixed w/ marginal increases. I have low rate mortgages on them and they yield maybe 10% currently but long term that will increase b/c my costs are more or less fixed. Houses in CA depending on location tend to not require a whole lot of maintenance.

My 4 unit in the midwest yields about 35% on a monthly basis. Now I figure in more vacancy as well as more maintenance due to freeze and thaw cycles. So I have a lot of wiggle room to keep those I want and I'll just raise the rent on those I don't want and they naturally go away.

To keep the ones I want I just tell them they can stay as long as they want with no increase. I also will do stuff like buy them a $1500 washer/dryer set when their current one breaks. It's not a huge deal for me and they know I want them there and they take care of the place more. It's a win/win.

I don't know many landlords that operate like I do, but I do like nice stuff and I tend to come in and do a full retrofit on most usage items like faucets/toilets and other things that people use on a daily basis. It gives the house a boost and I get better tenants usually.

I"ve been doing this less than 5 years so maybe it will bite me at some point but I keep big reserves to cushion the unexpected.


I wish you well, but if you were quiet and took care of my house I'd want to keep you and I wouldn't raise your rent. Your landlord may be getting raked with taxes... who knows. I'm a CPA by trade so I'm comfortable w/ my costing but others may not be and may just nominal increases. Sorry you're getting squeezed... lots of people are right now. It's not going to work out well long term.
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dm200
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Re: How to minimize increases for apartment rent?

Post by dm200 »

I'm doubtful owning property is a solution, seeing as how all property owners (at least in my state) have to pay property taxes. Who's to say the state government won't raise property taxes on me if I decided to buy a house or something?


Real estate taxes (and annual increases) on the owner of your apartment are probably a significant part of the costs landlords must pay and contribute to increasing rents. So, in a sense, you (as a renter) are paying such property taxes. I don't see property taxes as a real factor in the rent vs buy decision.

As far as moving between properties, that isn't an option for me unless I move out of my area. And even then, whatever I save I rent on might end being used on gas and car maintenance.


Probably (almost certainly) correct. However, it may make sense to do a little shopping around to be aware of current rental/housing trends in this locality. Every now and then, as well, you might stumble on a good (for you) situation. [Maybe something like a very small, owner occupied rental property where having a good and stable tenant is highly valued by the landlord.]
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IFRider
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Re: How to minimize increases for apartment rent?

Post by IFRider »

I lived in apartments from 1998 to 2014 and every year at renewal time an envelope would show up on my door notifying me of the increase in rent and the procedure to give notice. For most of those years, the yearly increase was in the $25-$40 range. I think I spoke with the property manager one time in those 16 years of rent increases and asked if there was any room for negotiation. She looked at me like I had a piece of broccoli in my teeth and I never really tried it again.

The real estate and rental market started heating up around 2013-2014 and the increases went from $25 to 25% and I knew something had to give, so I bought a house.

Now, instead of yearly rent increases, I get "escrow recalculations" amounting to about $25-$40 increases to my mortgage payment. It never ends.
orca91
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Re: How to minimize increases for apartment rent?

Post by orca91 »

flamesabers wrote:Hello all.

Today I spoke to my landlord about changes in my monthly rent should I decide to renew my lease in July. The higher-end estimate she gave me was an increase of $45 per month. I've been living in this apartment for the last 5.5 years and prior increases have been about $20 per month.

For those who are renters or have rented in the past, do you have any advice to offer with negotiating lower rent fees? The one thing I could think of was offering to prepay my rent several months in advance for a discount, but my landlord said she'll check with the owner on that and get back to me.

I did some price shopping online and I don't think there is a comparable apartment in my city that is lower then what I'm paying now/will be paying for my apartment. If I really wanted to save money on rent, I would probably have to move about 20-25 miles outside of my hometown into a commuter town that has a population of a few thousand. However, I'll be spending more money on gas to commute, so the savings on rent might not be so significant in the long-term.
As a former renter at an apartment complex and a former owner of a single family rental, you're likely wasting your time trying to negotiate on your apartment. Do you think the owner doesn't know comparable apartments in the city cost more? I bet they do and aren't willing to give a second thought to your negotiations. The landlord/manager is just the middle man here. She is likely telling you what you want to hear, but it's not likely she has much pull in the area of what your rent amount is. The owner makes that decision.

As the owner of a single family rental (accidental landlord), I was much more willing to listen to reasons/negotiations and I was less likely to raise rent yearly anyway. If I had a good tenant, I was all about keeping them in the house as long as I could.

Know your audience here, is my best advice. If your apartment complex is large enough to have a parking lot, it's full and overflowing, and your complex is cheaper than comparables in the same city, my guess would be you're wasting your time trying to negotiate. It's worth a try, but don't expect much to happen.

And as mentioned, the owner of your apartment complex also pays property taxes. How do you think they pay them? Through you renters and the money you pay. Maybe their property taxes went up more last year than years past, and that's why this bump was $45 instead of $20. Love the argument renters make of not having to pay property taxes. Really, you think the owner just picks up that tax bill out of kindness? Nope, maybe not directly but renters pay property taxes.
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