Rent Renewal update: Begging wittily for 0%

So I invested some time in researching what’s going with the Manhattan rental market. Unfortunately, I think the October data only covers up to Sept 1 or 15th at best, which is right before the world going financially wonky. I also searched a few sites to see what’s on offer in my area, and for $2200-2300 a month (I was offered $2250) I can get another 100 sq ft for heaven’s sake. And although there are indeed some studios out there asking $2500, which official real estate research says is the current market rate, there are more asking $1900. Generally, the difference is the whole doorman thing, which I sort of need but might sacrifice depending on the individual building’s set-up. Although the safety thing is a big deal, now that the city is so safe, I’m more worried about having people randomly ring my doorbell from the street – e.g. UPS, drunken idiots, news delivery services, etc. – and scare the bejesus out of my clients.

I’ve been putting off the email to my landlord for 10 days now, because the roof over my head isn’t just my home – it’s a huge factor in my livelihood. I’m nervous about losing my clients if I move more than 3 blocks from where I am. I’m worried that no other building will accept my application. I hate negotiating with sharks who are trying to dupe me into paying bribes (ahem, commission + fees + what feels like half a year’s rent in advance) pretending it’s normal. Can’t I just keep writing the same inflated check every month and keep doing what I’m doing? Isn’t everything scary enough as it is?

So this is the email I went with…I have no idea if I struck the tone I intended, but I figure it doesn’t really matter how I come across – either he’s willing to negotiate or he isn’t.

Hi, Friendly Neighborhood Leasing Agent.

I was more than a little surprised when I got this year’s renewal offer. With the citywide vacancy rate up 35% (and climbing), rents down 10-15% (and sinking), and a noticeably high turnover of apartments in this building in the past few months…well, a 7.3% increase isn’t making any sense to me when even a 0% change would qualify as beating the market trend. Since I somewhat doubt that you meant to put a negative sign in front of that $150 figure (though there are quite a few comps in the area at that price), I’m wondering if the “15” in front of the “0” was, perhaps, a typo…?


Oh my, I truly am the Queen of the Run-on Sentence sometimes…and of the Parentheses pretty much all the time. Hopefully I just sound like a gifted grammatical acrobat. Hey, a blogger can dream, can’t she?


3 Responses

  1. I really can’t wait to hear the feedback on this email you sent! Love it!

    BTW – I want my very own KTM! 🙂

  2. It never hurts to ask. My current apartment won’t negotiate but the apartment I lived in L.A. always knocked off some dollars everytime I complained.

  3. yeah, GOOD FOR YOU!!! it’s all about standing up for yourself and giving things a shot. time to go read your update now 🙂

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