Post # 1
I have a question regarding rent negotiation in my apartment.
We have lived in our apartment for two years. Our apartment management wants to raise our rent this year. It is the same exact amount they raised it last year. It is not an outrageous amount, however I wanted to try and negotiate with them to kep our rent at the same price as this previous year.
I looked up comps in the area and found that at almost all of them I can get more square feet for less money. I went in and addressed this with the apartment staff. The property manager is currently out on maternity leave so I’ve had to deal with the assistant property manager, who I don’t particularly get along with. We have had lots of issues in the past, but I won’t get into that.
When I talked with the assistant property manager she stated that she didn’t have the authority to give me the negotiated rent, but that she would call the regional manager (since property manager is out on leave). She called me back and told me that the regional manager stated we could not negotiate our rent as it violated the fair housing act. According to them if they raise one persons rent they have to raise anothers the same amount and vice versa. So what they explained to me is that people living in in the same floor plan can have different rent rates, but if one goes up $20 then everyone elses goes up $20. I find this to sound kind of sketchy. So I went and googled the fair housing act. What I found says that they can not discriminate or give different rent rates etc based on race, religion, etc. To me this doesn’t mean we can’t have different increases etc just that they can’t base it on discrimination.
Does anyone have any advise here, is what I am thinking right or is the regional manager right? I feel like they are giving me incorrect information, but I want to make sure before I go back in to talk to them.
Post # 4
For starters? I’m 99% sure that is crap! Get the regional manager to talk with you directly and verify that this is really what was said to the Assistant. And if the RM says it is a part of the act, I would ask her to mail you a copy of the portion of the act where she interprets that rule. I could be wrong, but I think the entire comment sounds fishy… and an ASSISTANT MANAGER should know the act well enough that she/he shouldn’t have needed to call the RM if that was truly the reason.
Second, the fact that you took the time to research fair comps and negotiate in a sound manner (instead of just throwing out a random number) should have been enough to at least get them to consider talking to you. That they won’t makes me think you’re kind of screwed regardless of their reasons.
Third – Is this complex part of a larger company? If so, can you go higher than an RM, write a letter, etc?
And lastly – if they don’t work with you, are you REALLY ready to walk and move elsewhere?
EDIT: I have 6 years of Real Estate experience and I’ve been a landlord… I just haven’t read the act in years which is why I wrote 99% 🙂
Post # 5
I don’t have any kind of a legal backing but I’m pretty sure what they are telling you is completely false. If it isn’t, tons of apartment complexs accross the country violate the Act every year. Many of my friends have been able to negotiate no or a smaller rate increase from their complexes.
Post # 6
I think it’s complete crap too. I would talk to them RM yourself and go above if necessary. And if you are really adament about this, be prepared to walk if they don’t negotiate.
Post # 7
Thanks ladies! I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t crazy.
I am going to call the regional manager tomorrow to see what he says to me. If I dont’ get anywhere with him I do plan to write a letter.
I am prepared to move if I have to- but I dont’ really want to. The apartment complex doesn’t know this though. Thanks for your input- hopefully my conversation with the RM goes well tomorrow.