tenant speaking with caption 'negotiation tactic I learned from my landlord' 'renting an apartment from a corporate management system' (l) tenant speaking with caption 'negotiation tactic I learned from my landlord' 'Has actually taught me so much about the art of negotiation' (c) tenant speaking with caption 'negotiation tactic I learned from my landlord' 'and um we sent them an article about how prices in LA were dropping' (r)

@brittanyvanhorne/TikTok Remix by Caterina Cox

‘They would ultimately be saving money in the long run’: Tenant shares ‘negotiation tactic’ she learned from landlord to fight rent increase

'Back in the 80s, our apartment gave us LOWER rent for continuing our lease.'


Stacy Fernandez


Posted on Jun 29, 2023

A Los Angeles resident shared her recent struggle to negotiate a more reasonable rent increase with her building’s management company.

Writer Brittany Van Horne (@brittanyvanhorne) took to TikTok to explain the situation. She titled the video “negotiation tactic I learned from my landlord.”

In the minute-and-a-half-long clip, Brittany explains that renting from a corporate management company has taught her a lot about negotiation. The company in question wanted to raise Brittany’s rent by over $200, after already upping her cost by $170 the year before. Had she agreed to pay the second proposed rent hike, she’d be looking at a $400 rent increase in the span of two years.

“It was way too much,” the writer says in the clip.

@brittanyvanhorne #landlords #renting #rentingproblems #apartment ♬ original sound – Brittany Van Horne

She, and possibly a roommate or partner, approached the company explaining that they’d like to stay in their current home and are willing to pay an increase, but they need them to “meet us in the middle because this increase is way too much.”

Brittany even told them that the unit wasn’t worth what they were asking for and said that if they put it on the market at that price, they’ll have trouble finding renters. She even backed up her claim with articles about how rent prices were dropping in Los Angeles and were projected to keep going down during the year. Various outlets, including the LA Times, have reported on this trend.

They wanted to show they were “actually thinking about it” in a logical mindset based on the market. She also sent the prices of comparable homes in the area.

Brittany even pointed out that the company would lose money trying to find new tenants and repainting.

“They would ultimately be saving money in the long run,” she pointed out.

Despite all that, the company rejected their attempts and claimed the unit was worth even more than the increase and told Brittany she was getting a “deal.”

The place is now up for rent online, Brittany says, and the price has dropped under $100 of the rent she was offered due to a lack of interest.

“That is how I learned about the business negotiation tactic called taking an L,” Brittany says, concluding the video.

The TikTok has more than 20,000 views and dozens of comments. Brittany is a comedy writer and is currently the head writer for Good Mythical Morning, a popular daily YouTube show.

“Back in the late 80s, our apartment gave us LOWER rent for continuing our lease,” the most popular comment on her video read.

Several commenters also shared how they would have approached the situation.

“I would have applied for the dropped price just out of spite,” a person said.

“Listen I’m petty, why not set up a few dozen emails and be reaching out to them if they would be willing to reduce the rent by another $400 or more,” another wrote.

One commenter urged Brittany that the apartment management would bend to her will after considering the financial loss of having to replace the tenants. “Unless there’s crazy demand for your building, leaving means they have to fill it, which could take months, meaning like $10k lost. They’ll fold,” they claimed.

“They didn’t!” Brittany responded in a comment. “We fought for like 3 months until it was time to give my notice. They only go by their stupid software.”

“They use software like real page/one site that takes prices from across the country and keeps them inflated across markets. There is a lawsuit,” one viewer stated.

Last year, ProPublica investigated RealPages’s property management software that helps landlords push rent as high as possible using a “mysterious algorithm.” The reporting found that in some of the country’s most expensive markets, virtually every apartment was priced using RealPage’s software.

The company pushes apartment building managers to not negotiate with renters and instead accept lower occupancy rates over lowering rent.

“One of the algorithm’s developers told ProPublica that leasing agents had ‘too much empathy’ compared to computer-generated pricing,” the article read.

And while Los Angeles continues to have among the highest rental markets in the United States, rent hikes are growing at less than half the pace compared to the first quarter of last year, the LA Times reported using RealPage data.

The Daily Dot reached out to Brittany for comment via email.

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*First Published: Jun 29, 2023, 1:16 pm CDT