Requested Rent Reduction -Realestate Agent Avoiding Me Ever since and I Feel Like My Request Has Not Been Passed to The Owner

I was curious about current rental market with the ongoing situation and did some research and found out that most vacant places in my suburb are ranging between $40- $90 per week cheaper than my current rent.This includes 3 units in my current residential block.

i contacted my realestate agent and asked to negotiate for a rent reduction and gave her the details of the 3 similar units in my block (which i have inspected already) and are at least $50 per week cheaper.

I was advised that it will be forwarded to the owner. A week later i checked back and was told the owner has not replied yet, checked back a few days after..same thing.
2 weeks later checked back again and was told same thing, "try calling the owner but no answer, left 2 voicemails and an email"

i am finding this situation a bit ridiculous and dont know what to make of it?

Is the realestate agent been incompetent at their work?
is the landlord avoiding us?

i dont think the landlord would want to lose a tenant during these times, i have seen the other units been vacant for over 3-4 months already.

i could move to one of the other units as my lease is now month to month, but dont want to go for the hassle.
i dont know what to do apart from sending emails everyday asking for an update.

any suggestions on how to approach the matter?

Comments

  • +18

    move to new place, either they are ignoring you, or useless.
    they likely think you wont bother as costs money to move, so its your call. just dont sign new lease.

    • +15

      Really poor advice on not paying rent. Please don't do this. It stays on your rental record and could harm future applications…..

  • +13

    If you're wanting a rent reduction solely because other near places are cheaper, I'd say move out. It's different if you actually had financial difficulties due to Covid. Would you be happy with a rent increase if those other properties were also higher, but you got a bargain?

    You signed up to that lease knowing what the price was.

    I'd say when the month ends, you can either leave or continue as is particularly if the landlord doesn't respond or refuses the request.

    You don't know the landlord's financial position to be thinking that they need you more then you needing them.

    • +2

      Me and partner both affected by covid-19, but we have some savings to pull thru.The rent pretty much always increases every year in melbourne and i think this is one of the very rare ocassion that it went down.
      and i think it is a fair request.

      • +2

        Interesting observation, my rent hasn't changed since 2017 but I am a very good tenant that keeps their place very clean for inspections.

        • +1

          lol, yes, I like your honesty.. 'very clean for inspections'.. guessing its a bit of a mess the rest of the time?..

          • +2

            @elgrande: Just the usual 'looks like someone actually lives here'. Not actually filthy.

  • +20

    I was in a similar situation. Felt like we were overpaying on our periodic contract (signed Jan19, periodic since Jan 20) relative to current market prices.

    I put in applications for properties that were $100-150pw cheaper (similar size/quality/location) and had them accepted.

    I then emailed my REA titled "URGENT - Contract Extension Request." I explained I had 2 accepted applications at $XXX and $XXX and would be looking to terminate my periodic lease under the 21 days notice required. Would they therefore urgently reconsider an extension at the reduced price to prevent the unit becoming unoccupied.

    I wouldn't threaten to leave unless you do actually have legitimate confirmed options. Get those in place then you have greater control.

    • So what happened? Did they come to the party?

      • +2

        They responded within a couple of hours (having previously dismissed my softer requests for renegotiation a few weeks earlier) and agreed a 6 month extension at $100pw discount from the previous price. Signed the agreement, withdrew my other applications, problem solved.

        If your fixed term has ended, you're well within your rights to negotiate that contract to market rate or leave. Agents will do their best to rinse you, but the possibility (i.e. prove you have other offers accepted!) of having unoccupied property in this market will scare them.

    • +1

      This is the right way to do it. The threat of leaving in the current climate will get them off their asses. And being a legitimised threat, by having offers accepted at other places, means even more to them.

    • +1

      Be wary of putting in multiple offers on something that might be considered an official contract. You might be locked into associated liabilities.

      • Poor understanding of contract law.

        Nothing is legally binding until you sign a rental agreement. That being said, don't put down any deposits / holding fees if you're going to do this as you may find they're non refundable.

  • +9

    $60 per week equates to $3000 per year. If the cost and hassle of moving is lot less = do it.

    It costs landlord also to find a new tenant - they will consider this once you are sure you are prepared to move out.

  • Best off getting a new lease in place first otherwise they may give you a bad reference so you can't leave.

    • I dont think so they can do that if your rental payment history is on point and you keptthe house in a proper condition.

      • +1

        True, but don't count on it.

  • It sounds like the landlord doesn’t want to renegotiate the rent. There isn’t much the REA can do about that.

    • This is what i find weird, why wouldnot the landlord take a $150-200 rent reduction instead of having to lose the tentant and face the possiblity of having the place sit vacant for a long time due to current situation.

      • +3

        They’re banking on two reasons. 1. You’re not going to move out for what ever reason. 2. Negative gearing.

        • +3

          Negative gearing has no impact to the owner’s decision here. A loss of rental income is bad, and negative gearing only reduces the extent of the loss after tax. You don’t seem to understand what it actually is, and subscribe to the misconceived view that a tax deduction leaves one better off?

          • +3

            @kipps: Which might be the misapprehension the landlord is under too!

      • +2

        As I mentioned earlier, you don't know what the landlords financial position to be saying that they need you.

        Could easily be that the unit has been paid off, or they want to move in, or want to get rid of you etc etc.

        Or could be that the landlord simply has not had time to review your request for various reasons.

      • +1

        They might be already underwater with the loan. And can't go any further.

      • -3

        There are queues of people looking for places to rent… if you dont pay it —>> person over here will

        • +4

          Yeah….nah, not at the moment, plenty of places to rent.

  • +4

    i could move to one of the other units as my lease is now month to month, but dont want to go for the hassle.

    Thats the way I did it, I basically sent an email saying hay, I found these places, I want to stay as its my preference but if you can't match the other places prices, then I'm leaving.

    Agent and landlord got back to me within the day, they tried to negotiate a little but I said no, this is the maximum, otherwise I'd rather just move. And they accepted it pretty easy because they wanted me to stay.

    Then again it wasn't a bluff or anything, for me it was definitely worth moving if they couldn't match it.

    • I am in the same position, i literally have to move my stuff up a set of stairs if i were to move, already spoken to realestate agent for the new place and she seems very keen on having us , as i think that place been vacant for 3 months plus.

      • I thought you couldn't move home while it's stage 4

        • +6

          I reckon if it's in the same building then it should pretty much ok.

        • you can move, you just can't 'inspect' places to buy etc.

      • +2

        as i think that place been vacant for 3 months plus.

        Then put in a even lower offer on the place than asking and tell them you'll sign tomorrow.

  • +1

    One time where it wasnt the real estate agents fault

  • +1

    You could do what neighbor did, he went and watched the agent turn up for the day, and sat in the Office until the bloke showed his face. Took a couple of hours.

  • +4

    any suggestions on how to approach the matter?

    As you're month to month, send the agent a message asking for a answer to your rent reduction. If one isn't received in 3 business days, then you will start looking elsewhere for rent.

    Honestly maybe don't even bother with your agent. Hit up the other 3 units in your complex and low ball them all for rent playing each other off, oh there are two others for rent etc and see what nibbles you get.

    They might even come down a extra $50, so thats $100 cheaper for you. Worth the hassle of moving I guess.

  • +2

    It sounds like they're avoiding you so that they don't have to talk about it with you.
    Why not send a termination notice, citing rent price as a reason for wanting to move? It will at least get their attention and show you are serious about the potential of moving out.

  • -2

    Keep all your correspondences and details of neighbouring properties.

    You initiate a Case with the Tribunal stating that the realestate are placing you in undue stress by ignoring repeated request for assistance.

    Have Tribunal decide the issue.

  • Are you struggling? Have you had a loss of income?

    • +2

      It's a case of re-aligning to market rates, not requesting some kind of concession.

      Imagine your 12 month phone contract expired and it now continues at the same price with no fixed term. When you look at all the other operators, they offer the same GB, Calls, Texts, network coverage etc for $10 a month less than your rolling contract. You'd therefore either look to re-negotiate with your existing provider or switch to the comparable service at the lower price.

    • +1

      Are you struggling? Have you had a loss of income?

      market rates have come down, OP is now overpaying by $2500/yr or even $5000/yr if they haggle, its worth asking!