Landlords are raising rents


When they do, can you negotiate?

By Amber Randall - South Florida Sun Sentinel



Negotiating rent is tricky when the market favors landlords.

Negotiating rent is tricky when the market favors landlords.


Carline Jean/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS

As rents continue to climb in many places around the country, with no signs of slowing down, renters are wondering if they have leverage to negotiate with landlords when it comes time to renew their lease.

It turns out that there are a few ways to try and knock down a rent increase. However, experts warn that negotiating rent is tricky when the market favors landlords, as it does currently.

“Tenants are in a tough spot right now,” said Jon Mann of The Jills Zeder Group with Coldwell Banker Realty in Miami Beach, Fla.

One factor in the astronomical rent hikes is that landlords had to negotiate renters into their spaces with lower prices during the pandemic, he said. Now, as the housing market has taken off with an influx of newcomers and low inventory, landlords are able to raise rents — many spaces are seeing multiple offers.

Overall median rent for apartments in South Florida tell the story. In Palm Beach County the overall median rent is $2,135, a 33% increase from the year before. In Broward County, the overall median rent is $1,832, a 25% increase. For Miami-Dade County, overall median rent is $1,782, a 27% increase.

Adam Docktor, a real estate agent with Compass in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, conducted a survey of six property managers in Fort Lauderdale, and found that most buildings probably won’t negotiate with renters. Demand is just too high.

“Some buildings were allowing negotiating up until mid-summer. Now they can barely keep an apartment on the market for more than a couple of days” said one property manager. “Unfortunately, with the loss some of the communities have had during the pandemic, the investors are attempting to get some of that back,” they added. “As of today, negotiations are either very limited or a thing of the past.”

There are a few things a renter can try when it comes to a rental increase, according to lawyer Joseph Hughes with The Law Office of Joseph Hughes in Fort Lauderdale. It may be easier to negotiate with a smaller, private landlord than one that’s corporate-owned.

Strategies he suggests include offering to pay some of the rent upfront, or even committing to a longer lease period than a year.

“They (renters) could point out that they are good tenants who have never been late with rent. That might be a negotiation conversation,” added lawyer Jeffrey Lampert in West Palm Beach. “Otherwise there is nothing a tenant can do to force a landlord to not increase rent.”

There aren’t many protections for renters in South Florida. The state has no rent control laws to cap how much a landlord can raise rent in a given year, leaving renters with few options.

Local governments can’t do much to force landlords to not raise rents, as they are banned from putting in any sort of price controls, unless they can prove that there is a housing emergency.

A few states in the country do have a limit on how much rent can increase in a given year. Landlords in California can’t raise rents by more than 10% or by 5% plus the increase in the cost of living, or whichever one is less.

Negotiating rent is tricky when the market favors landlords.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/11/web1_BIZ-REAL-RENTS-NEGOTIATE-FL.jpgNegotiating rent is tricky when the market favors landlords. Carline Jean/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS
When they do, can you negotiate?

By Amber Randall

South Florida Sun Sentinel

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