How to Renegotiate Your Lease

Written By:
Haley Sacks
(aka Mrs. Dow Jones)

Bonjour Rich People!

Did you know summer is the most popular time to move? I moved 3 summers ago - not to brag. And now I’m sort of ready to move again but also the New York rental market is HORRIFIC right now, so I think I’m gonna stay put for a bit longer? Which means… it’s time to renegotiate my lease. You may be like, "Haley, what do you mean renegotiate your lease? Don’t you just have to sign it?” Umm… no sweetie! Whenever there’s a contract involved, I always try to get more than what is offered. Negotiating is my love language. And I wanna teach you how to renegotiate your lease too!

1. Know your rights:

If you're trying to re-sign your current lease but your landlord or management company is skyrocketing your rent, know your rights! It is New York State law that your landlord cannot raise your rent exceeding 5% without advanced written notice.

2. What’s the Market Value?

Look up other places in your area around the same size & make sure you aren’t getting played. Market research is key whenever you’re negotiating.

3. Think about what you want

If they won’t budge on your rent increase price, what else can you ask for? I’m gonna ask for touch-ups of paint in my apartment, a new washing machine, and massages from the doorman once a month. JK - sort of.

4. Think about what they want

In any good negotiation, both sides win but both sides also lose. So you have to think about what would motivate them to play ball with you. Can you sign an extended lease? Offer services to the building? Etc. Find a way to sweeten the deal for them.

5. Use this email template and let your landlord know what’s up.

You wanna do email instead of call so you have a paper trail!

Hi [Name],
I received the rent renewal offer that you sent over, but this rate is much higher than I expected. Not only is it New York State law that you have not given me enough notice to exceed my rent more than 5%, but other apartments on the market that are the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms as mine as being listed at [price].Since moving into this building, I have been a responsible tenant: paying my rent on time, being respectful to management as well as other tenants in the building, and never damaging my unit. While I'd really love to stay in this unit, I will be forced to leave unless you can come down to [price]. I appreciate your time and consideration and hope you'll understand where I'm coming from. I'd be happy to hop on a phone call with you if you have any further questions or suggestions.
Your Name

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