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Old 10-24-2012, 10:44 AM
29 posts, read 82,468 times
Reputation: 33


I stumbled on a house for rent here that is in a great part of town, with a great yard and a ton of room. Would be a great fit for my family with the only downside being the inside could really use some modernization (the house is probably 90 years old, has single pane windows, wood floors that have seen plenty of use and an outdated kitchen). Overall though we like the place given the location and space and everything appears to be in good shape, though outdated.

The thing is, it's pretty cheap. For a 5 bedroom + office it's only $100 more than I'm currently paying for a 3 bedroom half duplex (though my duplex is VERY updated and has upscale flooring and counters). So I googled the address and found that the asking rental rate has gone down significantly over the past few months. The property seems to have been first listed in July of 2012 at a rate of $1795, with a note that it would be available on September 1st. As of the beginning of october, they were asking $1495. Currently they are asking $1,295. That's $500 less than the starting rate which is a large difference.

What I'm trying to figure out is, what are the odds after a 1 year lease is up they're going to jack the rent way up? It seems like they're getting desperate, this is a college town and school has started, so demand is way down. To be honest the rent is on the low side and if after a year they raised it up to $1,495 I would probably be ok with that. I'm just worried that they might try to raise it up to $1,795 again which is too rich for my blood. I do NOT want to have to move in a year, I like to stay put for a while... I suppose one advantage in my case that the lease would also expire in november of next year when demand is low so they would probably not want to risk loosing a good tenant, but who knows...

Short version: If I rent a place that has had the asking rent drop $500 over the past few months, what are the odds the rent would go up $500 next year?
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:58 AM
639 posts, read 1,671,162 times
Reputation: 1313
You could ask for a 2 year lease. But first try to find out why they haven't been able to rent it out. Might be something wrong with the house or neighborhood.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:28 AM
Location: Phoenix AZ
6,163 posts, read 12,095,463 times
Reputation: 9975
That's a huge drop - id be concerned that the ad might have been "hijacked" by a scammer & reposted without the owners knowledge. It's becoming more prevalent across the country - someone steals the pics and description from the MLS or a Craigslist ad, reposted the ad with their contact info & they'll break in, change the locks & sign a lease. They collect the security deposit & rent, then disappear.

I'd check the owners name in the tax records if possible & ask for ID before signing a lease. If its a property management firm, check the licensing in your state & sign the lease at their office, not on the kitchen counter.
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:22 PM
29 posts, read 82,468 times
Reputation: 33
It's legitimate, I've already looked at the place, it's the largest local property management company. The only real negatives on the place are the outdated kitchen and the flooring in 3 out of 4 bedrooms is pretty beat up wood.

The reason for the drop would be that it's a college town and we're now going into winter, people get desperate as demand suddenly drops off. My guess is the owner really needs to get someone in there ASAP. An advantage for me would be that the lease would end in 1 year so same situation, I would hope they'd remember the difficulty of renting a place after the university kicks off and not want to risk having it empty by raising the rent too much...
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:33 PM
Location: NJ
17,579 posts, read 41,374,229 times
Reputation: 16188
I believe in certain areas there are limits put on how much rent can be increased. Maybe check in to that.
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:59 PM
Location: Seaford, Delaware
3,482 posts, read 17,945,492 times
Reputation: 2659
As a landlord, my first thought was that the rent is being reduced to get it rented. The LL may have thought the original asking price was good, but no takers so it was lowered and at the current price is appropriate for the condition and location.
I would not worry about the rent being raised too much. The LL wanted it rented and if you are a good tenant the LL will want the place to remain occupied. I've rented places that I had priced too high and after lowering the rent got the right tenant. I didn't raise the rent at renewal time. They were good, it was rented and I was making money. All were happy. Look at it that way.
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:12 PM
Location: NJ
17,579 posts, read 41,374,229 times
Reputation: 16188
Even if the LL raises the rent it still seems like a good idea.

Option 1 - cheaper rent for one year and then higher rent in year two.
Option 2 - higher rent in year one and two.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:22 PM
16,077 posts, read 21,054,994 times
Reputation: 26423
True about possible scams. I've seen stories on this very forum about folks meeting at the house, giving over deposits, rent...first and last...planning to move in in a short time only to find out the person renting to them was a crook...a relative, or someone that got into the house. Scarey...there was a thread recently w/ a lady, her hubby and their child newly homeless for the reason I just explained....No was would I rent w/out seeing some real evidence that it was the owner. Good luck...if everything is kosher...get a 2 year lease at the current price...and if you really like it...save money see if they'll rent to own...it works nicely.
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