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Are any of you landlords??

I could use some tips on possibly negotiating rent. Long story short my current apartment sucks- the landlord is flaky (I can't even track him down to give him my rent half the time, god forbid anything ever breaks) and the upstairs is rented by an AWFUL family. Loud, rude, inconsiderate. I am super quiet and patient but it is literally non stop noise from 4am-2am. Someone is always home and there are a hundred other issues- they leave their trash all over the yard, throw food off the deck instead of in the trash so we have raccoons and RATS now. Its a very nice, quiet residential neighborhood and they are out of place there but the landlord is a pushover so they stay. My biggest issue is the utilities are in their name, so often they wont pay them and I will go days without heat/hot water, cable or internet.


ANYWAY now this is a long story long. I am single (divorced) and live in an area where the rent is pretty high and the pay does not quite match up. My current rent is about half of my take home pay. The area I live in is really nice and to get cheaper I'd have to move about an hour from here. The town I am in has VERY few rentals- most of the 'rentals' are actually seasonal winter only, or hotel rooms in resorts that couldn't make it on vacations alone. Its not pretty, and the good rentals are few and far between. A new listing came up yesterday and its PERFECT for me- one bedroom but a good size in a home thats been split into sort of a duplex. VERY nice neighborhood, very safe, about 4 minutes from my work. The apartment itself is gorgeous- washer and dryer, which I currently don't have, one level (I am in a walk out basement now) sunny, bright, new appliances, beautiful yard. I called yesterday thinking they'd never consider me but it turned out the landlord really liked me and is interested in me taking it.

HERES THE PROBLEM- its $500 more than I'm paying now :-| Its absolutely worth it, but I just don't think I can swing it. That does not leave me much wiggle room, although utilities are incl. and I'd save about $60 on laundry every month. (Can we talk about how the laundromat here charges $9.75 for a large load and 25 cents for 3 min in a dryer???) I LOVE this place and I think I would be a GREAT tenant for them. I'm neat and quiet and respectful, and the other side they use as their vacation homes. Does anyone have tips for how to start the conversation that may lead to them lowering the price a bit??? I know they could get what they're asking from someone else, but finding good tenants is tough so, so I'm hoping they'd consider lowering it for the right person. (Me! I'm the right person! Smiley Happy )

Re: Are any of you landlords??

Cough, clear throat: Ok, rent is to be 25% of your income or less in terms of good budgeting. Why are you paid so little? Sounds to me like your boss and your landlord are taking advantage of you. Those people upstairs need to go and trust me, a weekend with the Brat and they would be running and screaming from the building. No landlord needed. Actually I specialize in difficult situations like this. Smiley Very Happy


1. you need a raise

2. the landlord grows a pair or PM me for tricks of the trade so to speak

3. you can try and negotiate on the new place, but it sounds to me like you are too far apart money wise to make it work but I would try it- always try - i would also write them a letter and enclose letters of recommendation from anyone you can; your banker, employer, other big shots - can you trade services or tasks in lieu of money for part of the rent at the new place? cleaning, errands, are they elderly and need help?

4. is it legal to have the utilities together and not in the landlord's name

you might want to investigate local laws and talk to a council member or the city clerk - if the clerk does not know who you are, don't tell them and don't tell them where you live to avoid a possible sheet storm


Good luck! You can PM me and comeback for more brainstorming - we will help you cause that is what we do

Re: Are any of you landlords??

ITA. We employ a property management firm for our rental property, and they will not even consider anyone who exceeds 30% of their income for housing expenses.  I also would go to your state's website and see if they have any rules or guidelines regarding tenant's rights regarding the utilities.  You also may be able to file a formal complaint with the state regarding the landlord not paying them on time. I know it is illegal here to make a tenant go more than a couple of days without heat.  Best of luck to you.

Re: Are any of you landlords??

Thanks for all the tips! Oh- I am ABSOLUTELY living in an 'illegal' apartment, which is why its so 'cheap'. I know I have rights but I always feel so stuck because I do not have a lease- so they can give me the boot with 30 days notice, and I am worried if I fuss about too much thats what will happen. The only rental cheaper than mine I've seen is for a little more than half what I pay I can get a studio above the local strip club :-|


I don't know if I've mentioned it, but I have 2 small dogs too, so a lot of these teeny little hotel rooms/studios won't accept pets Smiley Sad But in my area 1 bedrooms (and not even nice ones) run about $850-1250, not including utilities usually. I WISH that was 30% of my income! lol.

Re: Are any of you landlords??

If you are in the state that is on your reviews, there is a PDF file available online regarding Tenants Rights And Responsibilities for your state.


Your landlord cannot retaliate against you (give you the boot) for complaining to the state because it is illegal for them to do so.  You really need to understand all of your rights because otherwise you are going to be severely taken advantage of and have them violated.  Please, for your own sake, be proactive about this because there are a lot of people out there who get away with this sort of thing because tenants do not know the laws and the rights that they have.  Being a landlord does not give anyone license to do anything they want to their tenants - lease or no lease.  Good Luck!

Re: Are any of you landlords??

I have no advice, but I hope you get the rental.  It sounds like a wonderful fit for you. 


Sending good wishes your way. Smiley Happy

Re: Are any of you landlords??

I agree with everyone else, explain your situation to them and say you would be willing to help with upkeep if you could get a discount on rent. I don't know what your savings is like, but with my last landlord we worked out a deal where I would pay him so many months in advance and he would give me a discount. I think most people would be willing to lower the price a little for someone they could trust with the property and who they knew wasn't going to move out for awhile. If you're going to be that close to work you'll probably be saving quite a bit of money on gas, so that's something to take into account when figuring out what you can afford to pay.

Re: Are any of you landlords??

It depends on how much less you can afford to pay. A lot of times people that do this these properties pay for both mortgages. However, I would let them know that being a wonderful tenant that takes care of things is very beneficial to them.  In the long run it will be less that they will have to repair if/when you move out. I would let them know your current situation as well. I would think there are some kind of tenet laws that give you some rights if the landlord is not keeping up his end of the lease. I would just sit down and talk with them. Maybe you could clean the other side of the rental when the vacationers leave or something. Find other ways to make up the difference if they are willing. It  really depends if they are nice people to begin with. Let them know where you are comfortable and go from there. 

Re: Are any of you landlords??

I could swing it if they met me halfway- I would have to cut back a little but it would work. I know they have a maintenance guy come 2x a month so offering to mow the lawn/water the plants might be something that could work for me.


It is TOUGH being a single woman- sometimes I feel like the world is out to get me, LOL. Life is much easier in pairs!!! (I told my ex last night about this rental and he said 'You need a man'. I told him what I NEEDED was alimony :-p)

Re: Are any of you landlords??

Maybe your boss will give you a raise! Or ask around and maybe see if other people know of a place to rent. My inlaws have rentals and very rarely do they have to advertise. People always know someone and maybe that way if you don't get this place, would be a better way to get out of where you are. I have noisy kids, and we are a loud family and I honestly would hate to live by us! But there is no excuse for you not to have heat in the wintertime. I believe there are some laws that protect you from landlords like that but not sure if you want to take that route. 

Re: Are any of you landlords??

LOL I actually work for an attorney that specializes in real estate- so I know about the laws but unfortunately its so hard to find rentals I choose not to rock the boat! I put out the word to all the realtors we deal with but all they come back with is seasonal rentals Smiley Sad I will call this guy back later and if its meant to be we can work something out! If not I will be back here whining about it Smiley Happy

Re: Are any of you landlords??

Good for you, it sounds like you most surely need a raise! 

Re: Are any of you landlords??

Be honest.  Tell them your current place sucks and why, tell them you're quiet, clean, want to be close to work and don't break things but you could only do it if they came down a little on the rent.  Keep in mind though that landlords have expenses to meet like mortgage, upkeep, insurance, etc.  They may or may not be able to come down on the price even if they want you and still cover those expenses.  My sister had to move for work and couldn't sell her house so she ended up renting it.  She found good tenants and is happy to have them and break even vs. making some money and having college kids trash the place.

Re: Are any of you landlords??

I'm going to look up their taxes and if they have a mortgage right now (hey! Its all public record! lol) That way, maybe I'll have a better idea of whether or not they can meet me in the middle, or how low they could reasonably go!


Having lived below THE WORST TENANTS EVER, I am hoping they will quickly see what a delight I am and do whatever they can to get me in there :-D

Re: Are any of you landlords??

hi gtichick, although I haven't been a landlord, both my fiance and both of his parents have been.  I think it's worth it to discuss with the new landlord that money is a little bit of an issue, and ask if you can meet in the middle or adjust the rent in some way- for example, does it snow a lot?  Are you willing to clear snow in exchange for reduced rent?  Cut grass or otherwise maintain the yard?  Esp if this is a vacation home, they may be willing to lower price if you are willing to maintain the property.


However, please be aware that they may not be able or willing to lower rent.  If they live in the same building as you, they may be renting to make their mortgage manageable, and if they rent multiple properties, this is their livelihood- some people would rather have a tenant that pays the requested price over a tenant that is going to be nice/take care of the place, it depends on the person.


It stinks to live in an expensive area on a small budget, so I totally feel your pain.  I've definitely had to choose between living in a bad apartment in a good neighborhood and a nice apartment in a bad one before.  But, I've also found some really great rentals in good neighborhoods at a price I can afford by just looking at every single apartment that is available.  Good luck, and if the price on the place doesn't work out, don't give up!  You'll find something else.

Re: Are any of you landlords??

Thank you! What may work in my favor is that it doesn't seem they are renting to pay the mortgage- they live out of state and use half the house for weekends/summers (its a beachy/resort town) and I believe its been empty for a while.


Its so tough here- I would say monthly, maybe 3-5 new rentals show up. Most of them are the 'studios' (aka hotels) and the few apartment buildings here are reserved for elderly or affordable housing- generally people who make less than 20k/yr and have children. Most of the people who live here own homes, so the available rentals are few and far between Smiley Sad A few times I've gone to look at a 'one bedroom apartment' and its been someone renting a room out in their house- creepy! :-| I know rents are high every where but its so frustrating to look at a studio with a mini fridge and hot plate and they're asking $1250 plus utilities! 

Re: Are any of you landlords??

I feel you!  I live in NYC so the rent situation here is very similar.  We live with my fiance's dad, so we do NOT pay market value for our apartment (2 bed, 1 bath, around 600 sq ft) which should cost about $3000 a month here!

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