I did it again.
This time annual savings of $660.
Here are the steps I followed:
1. I received my notice of rent increase to renew my rent. It was a slight $15 increase from what I currently pay.
2. I did the research and discovered new tenants rates were considerably lower.
3. I wrote my letter 60 days before end of lease to notify them I would not be renewing. (Remember to read your lease terms to see when/if notice is required...AND GIVE WRITTEN NOTICE EVEN IF YOU PLAN TO STAY).
4. I handed letter to leasing agent, who then said, "Oh, I am sorry to see you won't be renewing. Can I ask why?" I told her I could not afford the rent increase. She then asked what I could afford. I gave her a price, and she said, "Let me talk to the manager and see what I can do."
5. Receive phone call same day that they would give me the price I wanted, which is $40 less than my current rent.
I had been watching the rates for awhile, and they were $50 lower than I had even requested. Looking back, I wish I would have decreased the price I offered. Now the prices are back up, so I can't negotiate again. If they were lower though, believe me I would.
Just remember, NEVER..EVER listen to the complex's hogwash about how your rent MUST increase every year because of Market standards, or whatever seemingly great explanation they give. My rent has decreased the past two years.
Also, I tried to help my next door neighbor with my ways to reduce rent. He gave a letter to the office stating that he was not sure if he would renew or not. He did not follow my instructions exactly, and thus lost out on his negotiation power.
Final Update on Saving Money on Rent is here