locking in for one more year

Last week, I called my apartment complex’s main office in an attempt to schedule an appointment to discuss the idea of me signing another year lease. I talked with Jessica and she said I could come in anytime on Tuesday between 9 and 6. So, after my physical therapy appointment today, I walked in around 12:30 to pick up my new digital camera and do the lease-signing. Except someone else came bopping out of the back office to let me know Jessica didn’t have my lease ready because she didn’t know I was coming. Huh. Really?

So, she’s going to call me when it’s ready. If it weren’t so a pain in the ass to move, I’d probably go in, tear the lease up in their face and quite possibly light it on fire. And no, it’s not just because of today. It’s more about the multiple times my bathroom drain has backed up all over my floor and the smell of shit that’s still lingering every time I open the bathroom door. I’m going to be sure to bring that up when we discuss the terms of my lease.
But unless I buy something, which I’m absolutely not ready to do, it looks like it’s a few more years of complaining about landlords… And, you know, considering the last few places I’ve lived, this is by far the best landlord situation I could imagine.

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  1. Don’t be afraid to negotiate when you go in, especially considering the poor experiences you’ve had.

    I was at my old apartment for 3.5 years, each year I would do a bit of research, figure out what price they were renting “new” tenants at for a comparable apartment. When they offered me my new lease terms, I would compare the amount to the “new” tenant amount and decide how much of a discount I thought I should receive. (For example, each year I stayed was one less “turn” they had to do, they didn’t have to pay out for listing/finders fees, etc) Each year they offered me a lease that was higher than the previous, and each year I came out in the end either paying the same or less. (One year I talked them down over 5%)

    All that and, honestly, they were always speedy to fix things and very helpful. Not nearly the experience you’re having…certain never hurts to ask, and sometimes even pull the threatening “I’ll sign if you lower it, otherwise I’ll go month-to-month until I find someplace new” and watch them give a little in order to keep you.

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