If your lease is up for renewal and your landlord institutes a rent hike, you may need to put on your negotiator’s hat to try and strike a deal. If you write a letter requesting lease negotiations, you can present your case in a deliberate and precise way. Your letter will give the landlord the opportunity to consider and accept your terms, possibly saving you some money.
Gather some comps from the neighborhood to prove that your landlord wants too much rent. Talk to your neighbors to find out what they’re paying. If they’re paying less than your current or proposed rent, note the unit and the rent. Call nearby apartment complexes to find out the current rents and write down details about rents that are less than yours.
Place your name and address at the top of the letter as the return address. Add the landlord’s name and address or the management company’s name and address. Enter “Lease Renewal” as the subject.
Begin the letter with the opening paragraph introducing the subject of the letter. For example, you might write, “The purpose of this letter is to discuss the renewal of our lease for 4189 Shepherd’s Way, #23.”
Provide background information in the second paragraph. For example, you might write, “We began our lease of this apartment on May 1, 2007. Since this time, we have been reliable tenants, always paying our rent on time and following all stipulations of the lease."
Validate your lease negotiations with information about current market conditions. You could mention falling property values and empty apartment units in your area, if applicable. Add the information about the comparable apartment rents in your area that you collected, too.
Present the rent you wish to pay for your apartment in a straightforward and direct manner. For example, you might write, “We are paying $1,750 per month in rent currently. We propose that a rent hike of $200 is not a realistic rent increase. Based on our positive rental history and comparable rents in this area, we propose that $1,620 would be a more reasonable rent to pay for this apartment.”
Close the letter with an invitation to negotiate in person to discuss the matter. For example, you might write, “We hope to have the opportunity to discuss this rental situation with you soon to enable us to make a decision about our living situation. Thank you.”
Write “Sincerely” and then skip four lines to enter your full name. Sign your name in the space. Add your telephone number and email address under your typed name.
Make a copy of the letter and save it in your personal files. Send the letter to the landlord of the management company.
Follow up on the letter three or four days after sending it to see if the landlord is receptive to negotiation.
Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.