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Old 04-21-2008, 10:03 PM
 
Location: WA
303 posts, read 1,253,017 times
Reputation: 117

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We'll be putting down a deposit on an apartment long-distance in the next few weeks. We flew out last month and visited a long list of apartments, and have a definite first and second choice (both are the same rental company, and we have applied and been accepted).

As we'll be moving to a high-rent area, and moving long-distance, I want to make sure we get a good deal. We're just out of college and the places we are looking at will really stretch our budget because of the area.

How negotiable are rents in a managed apartment complex? The floor plan we want has a rent that ranges $120 up or down, depending on location on the property and who knows what. Also, I don't think this place will hold an apartment. The leasing manager made it seem like if there was a move-in date of a certain day, rent would be due regardless of it we could move that day.

We have a set moving day due to work obligations, and I want to minimize the rent we pay in advance. We're also having to give notice at our current place and they require 30 days.

If this place is a nice complex, not much turnover of apartments, and high occupancy, should I just take what I get? Would I have any chance of being able to negotiate either a lower monthly rate, or for them to hold an available place for a week or more before we'd be able to move in?

I guess I shouldn't be asking for much since the lady has been very nice working with us long distance, answering questions, etc. But, how would I bring it up if I wanted to negotiate on any factors in the lease (rent or date rent begins) without seeming rude and asking for too much?

The main reason I ask this is because two units will be available that I know of, both the top renting price for the floor plan. One is ready 10 days before our move-in day, and one would be ready a few days afterwards (which would require us to either change our plans or stay in a hotel & store everything).

Should I just accept the expensive one that is ready before the move-in day to avoid risking not getting the place we'd like, or wait and see if anything else opens up in the 20-30 days prior to our move-in (when I've been told that residents would have to give notice)?

The difference in rent of up to $120 a month could mean $1,440 a year, and we're likely going to stay for several years to avoid moving costs. It's a large chunk of change to me.

Paying for 10 days before the move-in is also a lot of money ($545), but a one-time thing I could deal with as we're already looking to pay a $250 non-refundable administrative fee on top of a security deposit. If anyone wants to do the math, I just told you how much we're looking to pay in rent!

Advice? Anyone been in this situation?
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Old 04-22-2008, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
273 posts, read 1,202,740 times
Reputation: 80
The rent will not be negotiable in a managed apartment complex. Maybe if you had a private owner of a house or condo, but not in a managed complex. They will also have written policies on move-in dates, how long they will hold the apartment, etc. You can ask what the policies are, but they will not be up for debate. Just get the info and then you can make your decision based on that info.
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Old 04-22-2008, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Long Beach, CA
2,072 posts, read 8,317,093 times
Reputation: 1585
Tortoise,

Where are you moving to?? I can answer your questions, but all states are different.
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Old 04-22-2008, 09:33 AM
 
3,490 posts, read 5,142,742 times
Reputation: 3858
We moved into a rental a couple of weeks ago. It was listed for $2450/ month - we offered $2300 and the management company said yes.

You just don't know until you ask.

Why don't you approach them with your requests and see what they say.

Here's a way of approaching them which definitely isn't rude. The worst they can say is no!

"We are interested in renting unit ----. We would like to make an offer of $x per month with a start date of: x.

If this is acceptable, please advise and I will send over the depost to hold the unit."

You can either e.mail them or call them.

Good luck!
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Old 04-22-2008, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
2,408 posts, read 7,394,640 times
Reputation: 1318
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twinkletoes View Post
The rent will not be negotiable in a managed apartment complex. Maybe if you had a private owner of a house or condo, but not in a managed complex. They will also have written policies on move-in dates, how long they will hold the apartment, etc. You can ask what the policies are, but they will not be up for debate. Just get the info and then you can make your decision based on that info.
Most managed apartment complexes will change up their rents in response to market conditions. Some do it on a week-to-week or day-to-day basis even. It doesn't hurt to negotiate -- I have successfully negotiated small adjustments in rent (every little bit helps).
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Old 04-22-2008, 06:40 PM
 
Location: friendswood texas
2,490 posts, read 4,740,271 times
Reputation: 2991
The management company I worked for in Ca probably wouldn't have negiotiated with you unless they had a ton of vacant apartments. We were instructed to move the highest priced locations first, making sure that the prospective tenants didn't know about any cheaper locations (ones whose view was a wall). As for the move-in day, once a rental agreement was signed you owed money from that date regardless of when you moved in.

Hope that helps some. But it never hurts to ask. If they have a ton of open apartments you might be able to get some money knocked off. Might being the operative word.
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Old 04-22-2008, 07:25 PM
 
Location: WA
303 posts, read 1,253,017 times
Reputation: 117
Thank you for all the comments. We might just have to take the leap and go for it to make sure we can get something we'll like. I might try to negotiate on the rent start day a little bit, as they are not having any move-in specials or such (pretty high demand for apartments at the complex and I think they have a couple units empty at a time out of hundreds).
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Old 04-23-2008, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Hillsboro, OR
5,682 posts, read 4,548,074 times
Reputation: 3817
I suppose when one is renting at the higher price points the chances of a 'surprise' are less but I have to wonder why the interest in trying to get anything off the rent. Is this a case of 'just because'? By your own admission this complex doesn't have any trouble getting their units rented and they might think they are being more than accomodating renting to you sight unseen. In other words they are taking just as much of a risk as you are on this transaction.

H
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:54 PM
 
Location: WA
303 posts, read 1,253,017 times
Reputation: 117
It's more the point that they rent identical units for different prices, and we're stretching our budget thing by wanting this place (location, they have garages, most square footage for the rent, etc). Knowing that I started renting at a time when no cheaper units were available, and I'm stuck paying $120/month more than my neighbor, or even more when rent goes up after a year, for as long as I want to stay...it's something that would bug me.

I don't want to get screwed over just because the renting agent knows were are from out of town and very interested in the property. I'm taking her word that she's not marking the price up on a unit just because she thinks we could pay (we had to put salary info on applications).

From an application standpoint though, we're pretty perfect renter's as we both make enough by the formulas to afford the rent (very high debt we didn't have to admit to though), no pets, just the two of us (no kids), awesome credit, renting history, and higher education degrees. I don't think they are taking a "risk" at all on us.

I'm trying to decide on taking a risk of waiting until I know there is no more availability for our move-in day, or taking a unit that is a higher price than one that may come along in a few days or weeks. Paying more than we could be paying for a long amount of time (we'd likely stay at the place if we liked it for a few years, or as long as we stay in the city) would hurt because I'm rather cheap with my money!

I guess I better wait and hope a cheaper unit comes along. If it doesn't then, hope that one of the more expensive units is still available, or move on to Plan B. Answered my own question there--I'm too cheap to pay more for something if there is a chance to pay less that involves a little more risk.
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