03 July 2009

My kind of lease renewal

I moved into my apartment in August of 2007 and signed a lease agreeing to pay a rent of [large sum]. In August of 2008 my lease came up for renewal and I thought I'd be looking at a rent of [large sum + $100]. So I was pleased to get a letter from the management company saying that, as I am a valued tenant*, they would like to renew my lease at a rent of [large sum + $85]. Oh, how nice! I promptly signed it and turned it in.

A few months later the prices of everything were exploding, so we got a note informing us that rents would have to be raised to compensate, at which point my rent became [large sum + $85 + $35]. Well, less nice, but oh well.

In all the time that I have lived here the building has never been full, so as the time for my lease renewal approached and I steeled myself to see [large sum + ($85 + $35) + $100]** on the lease renewal letter, I decided to ask my Boss for some help.

Before he (for his sins) became my Boss, he was, among other things, an accountant and an investment banker. Now he is the CFO of a medium-sized*** engineering firm, so he knows a bit about markets and negotiations. I figured that he could give me some guidance on how to ask for certain concessions in exchange for the rent increase. Maybe one of the covered parking spaces ($30/month) at no charge or something.

But before he and I could sit down and map out a Rent Concession Strategy for Someone Who is Too Nice for Her Own Good, I got this year's lease renewal letter.

Dear Resident:

Due to the increasing costs of maintaining the community, it is necessary for your rental rate to increase effective 9/1/2009.

As required by Section 29-54 of the Montgomery County Landlord/Tenant Code and other applicable provisions**** of law, this letter is to provide you with sixty (60) days noticed of your rent increase. The voluntary rent guideline set by Montgomery County of 4.4%.


We look forward to your continued residency with [building name]. Below you will find your renewal lease options. Please mark your choice for renewal and return this form to the office by August 10, 2009.

___ Yes, I/we wish to renew my/our lease agreement for one year at the rental rate of $[exactly what I'm paying now], a 0.00% increase. You are currently renting at the rate of $[large sum + etc].

What? I re-read that paragraph.

___ Yes, I/we wish to renew my/our lease agreement for one year at the rental rate of $[exactly what I'm paying now], a 0.00% increase. You are currently renting at the rate of $[large sum + etc].

Yup, that's what it said. Moving on.

___ Yes, I/we wish to renew my/our lease agreement on a month to month basis at the rental rate of [large sum + ($85 + $35) + $100] a 6.49% increase. You are currently renting at the rate of [my current rent].

If you feel this is excessive, you may request the Montgomery County Department of Housing & Community Affairs to review this matter.

Whoo-hoo. My Boss and I agreed that my best choice is to leave this sleeping dog slumbering happily in place, so I have signed that puppy pretty quick and will be dropping it off at the office at my first opportunity.

*Which I am assuming means that I pay my rent on time. But I don't discount that I am relatively clean, quiet, and cooperative. And they would really value me if they knew that I am typing this with the air conditioning off and the windows open. No point in using all that store-bought air when it's so nice out right now.

**Huh. Someone who didn't know me who read that might be lead to think that I am not as much of a math imcompetant as I sometimes am.

***Read that as "small-sized" if you represent the Small Business Administration, please.

****It actually says "provisiions," but let that pass. Let she who is without typo ...


Michael Clark said...

Way back when we first moved to the DC area (June 1999), we were renting an apartment in Falls Church. After 10 months or so we got the renewal letter, which would have increased our rent by about 20%/month. So we ran the numbers and decided it would be cheaper to buy. So we took the (even more) expensive option to go month-to-month after our year-long lease was up. And luckily only had to pay that jacked up rate for about 6 weeks. And that's how we ended up in Woodbridge, about 1 year before housing prices exploded.

Hjalti said...

There are reasons for their good will.