Asking landlord to lower rent? ((WONDERFUL UPDATE!! post #38)) - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 05:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
UberMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,328
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We moved into this house just over two years ago. We were on a one year lease, which has expired, but they didn't bother asking us to sign a new one. While what we agreed to pay when we moved in was normal for this size of house in this area, even rental prices have dropped recently due to the economy.

Due to DH losing his job last month due to health issues (he hasn't worked since Feb though). We've had family suggesting we ask our landlords to lower our rent. I was very against this idea at first. We agreed to pay X amount, we should stick to that, right? But I even brought this up at our marriage counseling session a few weeks ago and the therapist, who also owns rental homes, agreed that we should ask and the worst that can happen is they say no. I see what everyone is saying, but I just feel so low having to ask.

I know the landlords are paying a mortgage on this house (it's a husband and wife who own a few rentals in the area). They bought this a few months before we moved in, fixed it up. I just don't want to cause them financial hardship, though I doubt they'd lower it unless they could afford to let us.

Ugh. I am just so conflicted, but we're so incredibly broke. I am applying for jobs left and right and hope to have one if not two in the next couple of weeks (seasonal retail). But even with that, rent will eat up a lot of it.

After all of this rambling, I am thinking the best thing to do is to include a letter with our next rent payment - telling them we're not doing so hot financially but we're doing our best to stick it out here, as we want to keep the kids in the school they are in and we love the house (and them, as landlords). But gently asking if they could lower it, even for just six months? I don't want to call, I get panicky on the phone at times. But how do I word the letter?

As I've had many tell me, them lowering it even a couple of hundred dollars, may make more sense for them financially - then us moving out due to not being able to afford it, and them having to wait for renters (which finding renters for this size home for what we are paying now or even $200 less would be difficult).

Thanks for reading .. Any help with the letter or thoughts on this are appreciated.
UberMama is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 05:32 AM
 
Maluhia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: in Paradise with my Papaya!
Posts: 4,981
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would ask for sure, and set a specific amount (say $300 so they can come down to $200) and a length of time before the next "renegotiation" - you don't want to say you promise to go back to this rate in a year in case the rates fall lower.

Good luck!

Your User Agreement here at MDC, read it and make it your friend and read the FAQ to answer all the questions of the (MDC) world.
Maluhia is offline  
#3 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 10:31 AM
 
sunflower.mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Boston suburbs
Posts: 689
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'd ask - as landlords they should have a feel for the market. If they loose you, and the market has tanked as you've stated, then not only will they have to find someone else but it will be for less rent.
The last time we were in an apt. the LLs raised the rent A LOT on 9/1/01. Guess what? A lot of us in the building broke our leases by 12/01. It just didn't make any sense to stay there and pay more than market. You don't even have a lease in force, so I'd DEF ask for a reduction. For all you know your LL's are taking home $ after paying their mortgage.

Katherine mother to DS 8/03 and DD1 9/06 and DD2 6/10
sunflower.mama is offline  
#4 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 10:49 AM
 
velochic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Dreaming of the Bavarian Alps
Posts: 8,198
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am not a landlord, but my father is. I think that it would certainly not hurt to ask. I know you said that your dh is off due to health, but can you barter some work for a reduction if they are not willing to simply lower it? Perhaps you could suggest to frugally do some fixing up on the house... things that take muscle, but not much money.
velochic is offline  
#5 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 10:52 AM
 
lolar2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 6,403
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Make sure your DH applies for social security, too.
lolar2 is offline  
#6 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 12:04 PM
 
SuzyLee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,542
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would ask, and I wouldn't put a 6 month time frame on it.

They might say no but if you are a good tenant and pay on time, I bet they lower it at least a little.

Suzan, mama to DS 9-18-07 and #2 EDD 3/4/10 GIRL!.
SuzyLee is offline  
#7 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 12:13 PM
 
SleeplessMommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 5,113
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyLee View Post
I would ask, and I wouldn't put a 6 month time frame on it.

They might say no but if you are a good tenant and pay on time, I bet they lower it at least a little.
Don't put the 6 month time frame on it - that suggests you might try to renegotiate with them in 6 mo... just ask for lower rent
SleeplessMommy is offline  
#8 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 01:52 PM
 
Leta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Ishpeming, MI
Posts: 3,458
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm not a landlord. BUT:

-my last job I worked for a couple who owned many, many rentals
-my neighbor/friend is a landlord
-DH and I have extensively investigated rental ownership

Bottom line: most of the time, it's not a great idea to rent out a house that you owe on. You don't get to write off the mortgage, your profit margin is usually razor thin, and it's really easy to wind up in foreclosure if the rental market changes and/or you can't find a tenant for a few months.

It's too bad that you asking for lower rent may hurt them financially, but, as callous as this might sound, that's the risk THEY took, not you. I agree with the pp who said they should have a feel for the market. I doubt they want to lose you as tenant, especially in this economy. I would write the note.

Trying to turn hearts and minds toward universal healthcare, one post at a time.
Leta is offline  
#9 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 02:28 PM
 
Softmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,008
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am a landlord.

I would definitely suggest you write the letter and ask. It can be hard to find tenets and really hard to find GOOD tenants. Give them the chance to keep you before you decide you can't afford it and move to something cheaper.
Softmama is offline  
#10 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 02:31 PM
 
ikesmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,168
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm not a landlord

I would ask in person..your panicky feeling might just work for you this time. If they see you vulnerable they might feel guilty to say no to your face. It will be hard for you though.
ikesmom is offline  
#11 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 02:48 PM
 
liberal_chick's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: California
Posts: 1,789
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Softmama View Post
I am a landlord.

I would definitely suggest you write the letter and ask. It can be hard to find tenets and really hard to find GOOD tenants. Give them the chance to keep you before you decide you can't afford it and move to something cheaper.
ITA. We have some renters in our old house (we couldn't get it to sell) and they are wonderful. I'd certainly prefer to lower the rent by $100-200 than risk having to carry all $950 by ourselves (which we couldn't do, not even for a few months).

Wife to an amazing man love.gif, mommy to 3 wild dudes: ds1 (5/23/05 @ 30 weeks), ds2 (3/5/09) hbac.gif, and ds3 (9/26/10) hbac.gif. Part time librarianread.gif, full time mommysupermod.gif, occasional chef and maid.

liberal_chick is offline  
#12 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 03:06 PM
 
Ola_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,126
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I agree to asking in person - your nervousness will work to your advantage here, and it is harder to say no in person. I wouldn't put a time limit on it, just ask for the reduction and see what they say.
Ola_ is offline  
#13 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 03:15 PM
 
Chloe&Coop'sMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: I'm drowning here in the PNW!
Posts: 233
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think its worth asking. Three weeks ago, our landlord sprung it on us that she was putting the house on the market... that week. We had already paid October's rent and it has turned out to be a huge PITA to deal with realtors, showings and now an open house. We emailed and asked for a reduced rental price because it is time consuming for us and a major inconvience with two kiddos (not to mention that I'm quite pregnant...). Our landlord just ignored our request (it was in an email with some other stuff about showings) so we are giving notice and moving out by the end of the month. Hopefully your request goes better than ours.

Melonee, mom to Chloe 03/21/03 ribboncesarean.gif, Cooper 02/02/2007 vbac.gif, and Piper 12/27/09  vbac.gif
Chloe&Coop'sMom is offline  
#14 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
UberMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,328
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thank you all!

We never see them in person unless we have an issue with the house. So, last year, we saw them once (when the dryer went out and they had to bring us a new one). I thought about bartering, but they are major DIYers. They even got upset when we called a plumber to snake out our kitchen sink (terribly clogged up from the previous renters dumping grease down the drain), since we snaked it and got no where - but our LLs (which we didn't know this) are plumbers and could have done it for cheaper. They just ask that we contact them for anything and they will do whatever we want.

Anyway, thanks again. I think they will reply if we write them. I just feel ill doing this but ah, I have to suck it up, lol.
UberMama is offline  
#15 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 05:16 PM
 
zebra15's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: State of Confusion
Posts: 4,746
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
I dont know about the portland market but in phoenix rentals are literally a dime a dozen so if they cant lower the rent I'm sure you can find a home in the same school district in your price range. I'm at a point in my life where I dont feel guilty about other's financial issues. My checkbook is what I need to be concerned about and I need to make the best choices for my family. Your LL may not lower the rent, if they dont, you will need to decide if you want to stay or if you want to start looking for a less expensive place to live.

Mom to J and never-ending , 0/2014 items decluttered, 0/52 crafts crafts completed  crochetsmilie.gif homeschool.gif  reading.gif  modifiedartist.gif

Seeking zen in 2014.  Working on journaling and finding peace this year.  Spending my free time taking J to swimteam

zebra15 is online now  
#16 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 06:11 PM
 
Fuamami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,375
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We're landlords, and rental prices have dropped in our area since our renters moved in, too. If they start even considering moving out, I'm more than willing to drop the rent. It's 99% likely I'll have to drop it to attract new renters, and meanwhile I'm out the rent and the expense of advertising.

Mommy to kids

Fuamami is offline  
#17 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 06:27 PM
 
luv-my-boys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: stuck between baskets of laundry
Posts: 1,582
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I dont mean to seems callous or snarky, but right now your priority has to be your family. Your situation has changed and honestly if you simply cant afford your current rent you cant afford it. Digging yourself in debt isnt a good choice just to be *nice* to your LL. They may be good landlords but Im sure they rather have someone who can pay rent then suddenly be faced with a tenant who cant, kwim?

I would write the letter. Simply stating that your husband is no longer working and although you appreciate that they have been deligent LL to you you simply can not afford your rent and suggest a amt you could. They can do either reduce or re rent to another couple. If you were good tenants honestly it may be easier just to keep you, good tenants are hard to find and the cost of floating the house until they get another tenant might not be feasible to them. good luck
luv-my-boys is offline  
#18 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 06:41 PM
 
ASusan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Midwest
Posts: 4,839
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
As a (former) landlord, I say go ahead and ask. I would much rather have a lower rent from good tenants than go through the hassle of getting new tenants. (although if this is the first time they've rented, they may not realize how much a PITA turnover is)

And it can't hurt to preface your letter with a statement about how much you like the house or something similar.

DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

ASusan is offline  
#19 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
UberMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,328
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post
I dont know about the portland market but in phoenix rentals are literally a dime a dozen so if they cant lower the rent I'm sure you can find a home in the same school district in your price range. I'm at a point in my life where I dont feel guilty about other's financial issues. My checkbook is what I need to be concerned about and I need to make the best choices for my family. Your LL may not lower the rent, if they dont, you will need to decide if you want to stay or if you want to start looking for a less expensive place to live.
I'm not trying to get them to feel sorry for me. It was just suggested, as I've said, to ask them to lower our rent a bit. I am still not keen on the idea. Why make them suffer (well, maybe they won't, it's hard to say) because of our situation? :/ Yes, my family comes first, but moving isn't the easiest option for us either (see below).

Quote:
Originally Posted by luv-my-boys View Post
I dont mean to seems callous or snarky, but right now your priority has to be your family. Your situation has changed and honestly if you simply cant afford your current rent you cant afford it. Digging yourself in debt isnt a good choice just to be *nice* to your LL. They may be good landlords but Im sure they rather have someone who can pay rent then suddenly be faced with a tenant who cant, kwim?
I'm not trying to be nice to our LL, I was wanting to abide by what we had agreed upon initially. And just moving isn't the easiest option by far as it'd cost us easily 2-3k (first and last months rent on new place, deposits, etc.). And then we'd only be moving to a place that'd save us $200 a month or so probably. So it'd take around a year to in a way make up the moving costs, if that makes sense. Plus, we don't have 2-3k to move anyway.

Rent comes first for us. We had never been late on a bill of any kind (ever!), etc. until recently. We had never overdrafted our bank acct either until.. this year. I am doing what I can, rent has always been on time and will continue to be on time. But obviously I am doing what I can now to make this work, until I figure out a better option. In the end, we may be moving in with my ILs, it looks like.

I was just tossing out an idea that had been given to me time and time again. Sorry, but I am a bit sensitive as I have a LOT on my shoulders right now. With a very sick DH and three kids in kindergarten on top of the first tri pregnancy exhaustion, I am tired. I apologize but it's the truth.

Thanks for the suggestions. And don't worry, I won't turn into a non-paying renter who has to be evicted. :/
UberMama is offline  
#20 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 10:06 PM
 
Thystle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 2,423
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ASusan View Post
As a (former) landlord, I say go ahead and ask. I would much rather have a lower rent from good tenants than go through the hassle of getting new tenants. (although if this is the first time they've rented, they may not realize how much a PITA turnover is)

And it can't hurt to preface your letter with a statement about how much you like the house or something similar.


Do you know if this is the first time they have rented out a place?

Resistance is futile Matey
Thystle is offline  
#21 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 10:11 PM
 
Sarah W's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Dupont, WA
Posts: 1,088
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuamami View Post
We're landlords, and rental prices have dropped in our area since our renters moved in, too. If they start even considering moving out, I'm more than willing to drop the rent. It's 99% likely I'll have to drop it to attract new renters, and meanwhile I'm out the rent and the expense of advertising.
Agreed. We own a rental and I'd renegotiate a couple hundred $$ before I'd deal with getting a new tenant.
Sarah W is offline  
#22 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 10:23 PM
 
Sarah W's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Dupont, WA
Posts: 1,088
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leta View Post
Bottom line: most of the time, it's not a great idea to rent out a house that you owe on. You don't get to write off the mortgage, your profit margin is usually razor thin, and it's really easy to wind up in foreclosure if the rental market changes and/or you can't find a tenant for a few months.
.
Actually, I've found the opposite to be true. I can deduct my mortgage interest from the income generated by my rental property. I only end up paying taxes on about $5k of my rental income. It's an awesome way to double dip. Then, I take a standard deduction against my regular income. Plus, someone is paying my mortgage.
Sarah W is offline  
#23 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
UberMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,328
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thystle View Post
Do you know if this is the first time they have rented out a place?
I didn't even see what she had said there until you bolded it. To answer the question, though it was directed at her a bit, they own a property management company. As I said, they have a few other homes in the area, and I believe they own some commercial property as well. This is definitely not the first home they bought with the intention to turn around and rent.
UberMama is offline  
#24 of 47 Old 11-03-2009, 12:28 AM
 
UrbanSimplicity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 940
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You do not have to feel bad. ask. If it is a terrible hardship for them, they can say no. But think of it this way: if you were renting in a building worth $500,000 2 years ago and now it's only worth $460,000 that should be reflected in your rent. Ask. Good luck and let us know what happenes!

mama to : my spirited star 2/06, my sweet love 5/08, and a little lovey 5/12

UrbanSimplicity is offline  
#25 of 47 Old 11-03-2009, 02:51 AM
 
PenelopeJune's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Wonderland
Posts: 1,109
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The only thing they can do is say no. REPEAT: The only thing they can do is say no.

I once read something that says if you get everything you are asking for, you aren't asking for enough.

So just ask! It certainly won't hurt anything. If they can't financially swing it, they won't go for it. Just call/ask in person/write a letter/send smoke signals, but ask. And ask for more than you want, that way they can negotiate.
PenelopeJune is offline  
#26 of 47 Old 12-05-2009, 06:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
UberMama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,328
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Update: The only thing they can do is.. ignore me! Apparently. :/

I called and left a message, called again a few days later and no answer (didn't want to leave another voicemail).

A week later, nothing, so with rent I sent a letter - a couple of weeks since then and nothing. It's odd because anything else I've called on (the only thing since moving in 2.5 years ago - dryer went out early this summer), they are calling back that night and were out the following day with a brand new dryer. So, I am guessing their answer was/is "no" but they don't have it in them to deny me.

Oh well. Looks like we're moving in with my ILs as we just can't keep up the amount of rent we're paying, so my landlord will get a 30 day notice at the end of December. :/

Thanks for the replies.
UberMama is offline  
#27 of 47 Old 12-05-2009, 07:24 AM
 
bjorker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 4,067
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Aww, what a bummer! At least you tried, so you won't be left wondering "what if".

Best of luck in the coming months. Hey, maybe now that you wrote that here, they'll turn around and call you tomorrow.

Weirdo Mama to amazing Aurelia, age 9 & Ember Roslyn, age 3!
bjorker is offline  
#28 of 47 Old 12-05-2009, 12:16 PM
 
Softmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,008
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
good for you for trying, I know that took a lot of guts on your part.
I wonder if they will get back in touch with you to lower rent once they receive your 30 day notice??
Either way, you've done what you can do.
Softmama is offline  
#29 of 47 Old 12-05-2009, 03:40 PM
 
cappuccinosmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: SW Pennsylvania
Posts: 5,447
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Too bad. I'm glad you asked though. Sometimes it is worth it.

We have two houses with struggling tenants. Because of the areas, and the houses being small, getting tenants in there, is hard, and leaving the houses empty would be a problem. So, we've been more than willing to give them a grace period, and let them split their payments and such.
cappuccinosmom is offline  
#30 of 47 Old 12-05-2009, 03:42 PM
 
tinuviel_k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,290
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wow! How disappointing that they just ignored you. I can't believe they did not even have the courtesy to say "yes," "no," or even "let me get back to you on that in a few weeks.'
tinuviel_k is offline  
Reply

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off