Rent Negotiation -- Need Advice

My boyfriend and I are living with a friend of mine in a two bedroom apartment. My friend, let’s call him “Andy” because that’s his name, is moving out when the lease is up on December 31st. The lease is currently in his name.

Andy contacted the landlord about transferring the lease to my name after he moves out. The landlord called me, we met in person, I showed him copies of my last few paychecks and last year’s tax return, and he told me he’d be happy to transfer the lease to me. He gave me an application to fill out and send back and he would have a new lease ready before January 1st.

Currently, our rent is $1500*. When I spoke to the landlord, he told me he would raise the rent on the new lease to $1750*. Legally, that’s his prerogative… in fact, he can legally raise it as high as $1825*, because I would be considered a new tenant on a new lease.

The thing is… the apartment’s not really worth $1750*. I expected a jump in rent, but not a $250 jump. Similar apartments in my neighborhood are renting for between $1500* and $1680*. The apartment’s big and close to work and I don’t really want to move, but there’s also plenty of things that need to be fixed and the neighborhood can only kindly be called “iffy.”

At this point, I haven’t signed anything, I haven’t agreed to anything, and everybody’s being nice and polite to everyone else. I have plenty of time to negotiate or look for a new apartment, if it comes to that.

All that being the case, I’m looking for advice on the best way to negotiate with my landlord. I want to keep things friendly, but show that I’m assertive and not to be walked on.

ETA: We are definitely going to get another roommate to replace Andy, when he moves out. The rent will still be split between three people.
*I know, I know…NYC rental prices, whatareyougonnado? Totally normal, lowish even. People who live elsewhere may feel free to put their bugging-out eyes back in their heads.

My landlord was very awesome about our rent when we signed our lease. We showed him our credit reports and paycheck stubs and such and offered to sign a 2 year lease if he would drop the rent by $50 a month and he was glad to do it. If you really want to play some hard ball take pictures of the things that need to be fixed and use them in your negotiation.

FWIW, I live like 6 blocks north of you or something like that and we pay $1450 to have a washer, dryer, and dish washer in our place so I would say you can do better than $1750 without question.

Always rubbing my nose in your fancy-shmancy washer and dryer and dishwasher, aren’t ya? :slight_smile:

Yes. Yes I am. :smiley:

Also, would you be able to replace Andy as a roommate or are you wanting to just keep the space between yourself and your SO?

The sole truly reliable negotiating tactic is to have alternatives. If you can line up an equivalent place for less than $1750, it should be reasonably easy to get your landlord to budge - unless, of course, he feels it would be reasonably easy to find someone else willing to pay $1750.

At first, I read that to mean you were spending an additional $1750 per month for a washer, dryer and dishwasher.

I was like, hey, give me $2,000 just once and I’ll buy you some appliances and even install 'em!

Count me as one putting my eye balls back in their sockets. I pay about what you do currently on my 15 year mortgage on my 3,000 sq ft home on 1/2 acre lot in a very desireable neighborhood. I even have one of those fancy washer/dryers and a dishwasher. I don’t even have roommates other than my wife, kids, and dogs.

I guess I shouldn’t complain about spending a dollar or two on gas to drive to a place with good NY style pizza.

Oh, I know it’s ridiculous.

I like talking to my cousin who lives out in San Francisco… he’s the only one I know that has to put up with even more ludicrous rental prices than I do.

I don’t mind the high rent. I pay less for a full month’s worth of transportation than most of the country does on gas for their car, not to mention car payments, insurance, traffic tickets, registration, repairs and such, etc. so it pretty much balances out for me.

I would say that in this economy you hold the upper hand. No one is going to pay $1750 in our neighborhood and they have to know that by now. I would bet by being sweet about it but reminding them how much it costs to have an empty apartment that no one will rent on the market for several months you can get him down to $1550 or $1600.

I’ve got a friend in Singapore I can hook you up with if you reall want to feel good.:slight_smile:

My former LL (also located in northeast US) told me that it’s much harder to find a tenant in the winter months because not many people want to move then. It’s a factor that may work in your favor, though I’m not suggesting that it would be helpful to point this out to him.

If you don’t mind continuing to live with the things that are broken, obviously you can make this a factor in asking for reduced rent.

The one time that I successfully negotiated for lower rent at the time of a proposed rent increase, I simply told the LL that my partner and I could not afford to stay on at the increased rate (this was definitely true – we were both grad students at the time). He agreed to increase the rent by only $25/month.

I’m also aware of a situation where a friend negotiated a lower rent by agreeing to do some tasks around the property (put trash cans in and out on trash day, change outdoor bulb next to the front door, and shovel the walk).

I was gonna say, you have it cheap!

I am in a rather amazing find- tiny, but 2 bed for $1100!

Most of the two beds around here are $1700 - 2K