How to Negotiate a Break on Rent
Kiplinger's Personal Finance|December 2020
It’s the first of the month, and you know what that means: The rent is due. But if the cost of your rent gives you sticker shock each month (as mine does), you may be able to get relief.
By Rivan Stinson

The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a decline in rents in Washington, D.C., New York City, San Francisco, and other major metro areas, as folks either leave city life for the less-dense suburbs or move because they can’t afford their existing rent. And although I don’t plan to abandon the D.C. area and return to the Michigan suburbs, the downward trend in rents has me thinking it’s time to start negotiating with my apartment manager.

Know your market.

Before I moved to my most recent place in the summer of 2018, I tried to negotiate a lower rate with my old apartment manager. I liked where I was living, and I thought I had a good case for a break. I was never late with the rent, and management rarely heard from me unless it was a real emergency. (My electricity went out a couple of times during the winter, and I woke up without heat.) I was unsuccessful, however, in part because I didn’t research the rental market around me.

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