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Client Questions: Can I Haggle on Price with Rental Buildings?

How to get Concessions

The short answer is no. Rental buildings are bound by law to offer the same price to everyone that walks through the door. It's kind of similar to when happy hour didn't exist in Chicago (remember that?) Bars had to charge the same price for their drinks no matter what time of day it was. So if you're thinking about putting in a lower offer to management you can save your breath.

However, that doesn't mean that they won't offer you some nice concessions like a month of free rent or waived fees. To give you some perspective:

  • At $250 per month, six months of free parking will save you $1500 over the course of your lease
  • A waived admin fee will save you about $450 up front
  • A waived dog fee will save you about $500 up front
  • A free month of rent will save you about $2200-$2500 on your typical River North 1bed

Keep in mind that these concessions do not last forever. Some buildings re-evaluate concessions on a weekly basis with ownership. Others have preset goals for their concessions. Once they hit these goals, the concessions will disappear. For example, ownership may tell building management that the next ten rentals get a month free. So, if the tenth rental happens to be putting in an application in the room next to you, say goodbye to your month free.

Pricing at many buildings fluctuates on a daily basis and is largely based on market conditions. To get the best deal, make sure you're using an agent who knows the market and can tell you whether you're getting a good deal or not.