Jul 13, 2022 - Real Estate

How to negotiate rent as Atlanta's market soars

Illustration of apartment doorbells with an intercom shaped like a dollar sign.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The average monthly rent in Atlanta was $1,946 last month, a 14.9% increase since June 2021, according to Zillow's Observed Rent Index.

The red-hot rental market means that landlords often have the upper hand, but that doesn't mean you should give up on negotiating.

What they're saying: "Your best bet to minimize any increase in your monthly payment is to negotiate a more favorable renewal rate with your current landlord, who has an incentive to keep a good existing tenant," Taylor Marr, the deputy chief economist for Redfin, told Axios Austin's Nicole Cobler.

Here are a few tips for those of you dreading your renewal notice:

  • Understand the local rental market and rent prices at nearby properties, including the amenities at surrounding apartment complexes. If there's a discrepancy, make a note of that to your property owner.
  • Sell yourself as a valuable tenant. Landlords want someone who's quiet, pays their rent on time and maintains their space.
  • Make a note of the things going on around you and use that to your advantage. Are there a lot of vacancies in your building? Loud construction nearby? Frequent issues with neighbors or the property?
  • Remind your landlord how costly it is to turn over a rental unit: "If they want to charge the market rate for new asking rents, it will likely cost them one to two months rent by the time they clean and spruce up a unit, fix any issues, and advertise for and find a new tenant," Marr said.
  • Consider offering to shorten or extend your lease so that your move-out date is in the summer months, which may be more attractive to the property owner.
  • If you can't negotiate down the rent, ask for other concessions like updated appliances or a fresh coat of paint on your walls.
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