Rent Renewal Rant

I think this is my 5th post in two weeks about my horrific rent, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. I got the following response from the lease agent I deal with (unedited):

Please send me documentation supporting the rents being down and vacancy rates up so that I can talk to one of the partners. I do not believe that your statements are true.

Are you aware that electricity and real estate taxes are up significantly?

Here are my problems with supplying the information…

1) The vacancy rate statistic is straight from the evening news. It could take some digging to find it in print/online.

2) My information about the decline in rents comes from a very reputable source – but it also implies that the value of my apartment is significantly higher than I’m paying. I’d rather not draw his attention to this.

3) Oh, and I will take pleasure in reminding him that oil prices are a fraction of what they were a year ago, which no doubt negates the electricity and some of the taxes. Besides, rental values are determined by the market, not the underlying value. Haven’t we learned that lesson repeatedly from the stock exchange??

This could get ugly…

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6 Responses

  1. I’m not surprised they fought and ask for proof.

    But if your statements are true (they seem to be), grab some proof and back up what you say. It may be a pain, but if it’ll save you $$$ without having to move…. it will be worth it.

  2. SP, I really thought I was just calling his bluff. I mean, if *I* am familiar with the basic trends in apartment rentals without even trying, surely a professional like him would be even moreso. I really felt he was just taking a chance that I didn’t know any better and would back down gracefully. I’ve got the back-up for the vacancy rate info lined up, still working on a percentage statistic that doesn’t quote prices for my exact segment of the market…

  3. To back up your claim, try http://www.zilpy.com — it lists average rents for the U.S. I used it and discovered that my rent was lower than average. It could go a long way to supporting your claim. it’s worth a try but I’m not surprised that they want proof. I would write a response letter in the most professional way possible, as if it were a salary negotation. good luck!

  4. Notice how he says “I do not believe” and does not back up his “belief” with proof? He has no idea – he’s just guessing! And what does he mean “significantly” – he should give you an actual percentage.

  5. Response:

    I have never heard of these so-called “real estate taxes.” Perhaps you mean property taxes?

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