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Old 10-05-2009, 06:22 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
129 posts, read 440,098 times
Reputation: 128

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Afternoon Citydats!

I haven't looked for an apartment since college, which would be almost a decade ago. Therefore, I really dont know how things work in terms of rent negotiation. If you are interested in an apartment, is the rent that is listed pretty much set in stone? Or are landlords/property managers flexible in terms of rent negotiation (lowering price, no deposit, first month free, etc.) even if it has not been advertised this way? What has been your experience with this?
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Old 10-05-2009, 06:44 PM
 
Location: So Cal
7,899 posts, read 7,478,264 times
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of course, it does not hurt to ask. Just remember that they may try and convince you that there is only one or just a few vacancies and the price is set. Just tell them you are just looking around but not have made a decision on a place yet and see how they react. Best is to do your research by walking around the complex and seeing if their seems to be a large number of vacancies (empty balconies, is a good giveaway), this will let you know if there is more of chance to negotiate. It all has to do with supply and demand.
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Old 10-05-2009, 07:14 PM
 
Location: NoHo (North Hollywood)
448 posts, read 1,458,428 times
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When I was looking for apartments at the peak of the market, there was still negotiating room. Some landlords would reduce the rent if you moved in early (ie 2 weeks). Definitely ask! And when it comes to negotiating, always have a set figure in mind and offer that figure rather than letting the landlord/property manager give you a second price.
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:49 AM
 
1 posts, read 3,601 times
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It really depends on the property management company / landlord. If the property you're interested in is privately owned, then definitely negotiate. Often times owners of just a single condo or townhome will negotiate, especially if you're a highly qualified renter. In other words, low risk and great credit. Your odds of negotiating a lower rent with a larger apartment community that is professionally managed is much, much lower. Issues around Fair Housing have caused most of these companies to institute a no negotiating policy. Alternately, there is a new service available, or coming soon, rentnegotiator.com, that claims to allow you to negotiate anonymously. The other option is to higher a real estate or licensed broker to negotiate terms for you. It's not as common, but apartment finders / brokers are out there. Good luck.
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
6,877 posts, read 8,572,352 times
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I operate a small property management company here in Los Angeles, and I can say, negotiation is highly influenced by the market.
In these current times, many landlords are being a bit more flexible than a few years ago.
Some offer a month's free rent, while others are lowering the rents.
As for me, I try to keep my rents at a stable level conducent with market conditions.
One thing I have always done in the 18 years I have been in operation, I NEVER, and I do mean NEVER raise the rent on my tenants once they have moved in, with just one exception, that being, if they bring in an additional tenant after they have moved in, and that is usually a 10% increase.
That is the only time the rent will ever be increased.
If that additional tenant moves out, and there is no replacement, the rent drops to it's origiunal amount.
Capital improvements, (Which over the years, I have done many)and yearly allowable rent increases are just not something I want to pass on too my tenants.
We are in a position where that has never been necessary.
Many of my tenants heve been with me for years.
Some have been transient but, that is expected in the rental market.
My advice too you would be to examine the property you are interested in, ask questions that will answer you immediate housing needs then, ask what is negotiable.
As I said, the market will dictate how negotiable a landlord will be.
Bob.
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:32 AM
 
1,297 posts, read 5,171,907 times
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I agree with Bob.

There are quite a few vacancies, especially in west la. You should be able to negociate, especially if you are a professional, good credit score, reference, and dont have a bunch of kids etc.
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Old 11-20-2009, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
6,877 posts, read 8,572,352 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greggd View Post
I agree with Bob.

There are quite a few vacancies, especially in west la. You should be able to negociate, especially if you are a professional, good credit score, reference, and dont have a bunch of kids etc.
Having a good credit rating and solid employment are most definetely tools for meaningful negotiation in your favor.
This brings me to a short story that I experienced a while back.
I had a vacant unit,when this girl in her twenties showed up with her mother to look at the unit.
When we got around to talking about what the requirements were to move in, I mentioned that a good credit score was one of the criteria.
The young gal said she did not have good credit, and I replied, "I'm sorry, but one has to have good credit to apply".
Her reply, "Well, what are we people with bad credit suppossed to do"?
My answwr was simple and too the point, "Pay your bills on time".
They both left in a huff.
Bob.
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Old 11-20-2009, 05:40 PM
 
Location: SoCal, Idaho
3,161 posts, read 9,080,066 times
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Sounds like a pretty rude reply on your part. Bad credit is not just about late pays, there are many factors.
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
6,877 posts, read 8,572,352 times
Reputation: 8650
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1200RT View Post
Sounds like a pretty rude reply on your part. Bad credit is not just about late pays, there are many factors.
I havt too respectively disagree with your statement.
One's credit score is usually the determining factor when issuing credit.
What affects that credit score?
Not paying financial obligations as agreed too.
Sure, there may be any number of reasons why one did not live up too their financial agreement which lowers a credit score but, the bottom line is, credit evaluation is based on how one handles finances and meets financial obligations.
Paying one's bills on time increases that credit score, thereby giving someone good credit.
People with bad credit obviously have not paid bills on time for what ever reason and, that is what gave them bad credit.
My remark to the girl was not one bit rude, rather, it was the truth.
Bob.
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Old 11-21-2009, 06:44 PM
 
1,465 posts, read 4,763,594 times
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I kind of agree with CalGuy. It isn't that I don't want to give someone a break who ran into unfortunate circumstances but a landlord has limited tools to select tenants and it can be very difficult to get rid of a bad tenant. I use the results of the credit check very strongly. If it wasn't so difficult to get rd of a bad tenant, I would be much more accommodating.

To the OP's question, too much haggling and I probably walk. I can just imagine the tenant every month with his new offer. I think if they offered a bit off the rent, say 5%, I might consider it. If they go more than that or try for additional things like lower security deposit, then I probably wish him well and pass.
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