When my building decided to raise my rent 3.5%, I let them know that they were in denial on the current state of the Seattle rental market. This is not 2008. Rents are falling everywhere in Seattle. I told my building that if they want to keep me, they would have to return with a lower offer.
Yesterday they came back to me with a 5% drop from my current rate. Not enough. I gave notice.
Once again I’ll be moving. The Moving Scorecard will soon reflect 19 addresses in 21 years.
Landlords are betting that the hassle of moving is enough to keep their good tenants from leaving. They are keeping rents above market rate. When it comes time to renew your lease, go to your landlord armed with data and tell them you expect a lower rate and that you will move if you have to. There are too many vacant units out there. Many are offering sweet deals to new tenants.
I’m going to start looking on Monday.
UPDATE (4/16/2009): Move called off. I accepted this offer.