Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Apartment Shopping: How To Know You’re Being Price Gouged.

June 28, 2019 by  
Filed under Money/Business, Weekly Columns

( When two strangers meet for the first time in order to settle a financial matter of some kind, trust has it’s own currency. Trust really is the most powerful tool anyone can use in a financial agreement. Sure it has to matter in legal terms, but just how you treat each other with your behavior and negotiations really does go a long way. It can either secure the deal, or it can break the deal. So when you’re looking for a new apartment, and you’re trying to lock down the price of the rent, the last thing you want is to be hoodwinked or squeezed. The sad thing is, most people don’t even realize they’re being taken advantage. Price gouging can be open and upfront or it can be elusive and subtle. Here are a few techniques you can use to sniff out the truth when you suspect you’re being taken for a ride when searching for an apartment.

Check the perimeter 

Have you zeroed in on an apartment you like? Okay, now check the perimeter i.e. the apartments for rent around the one you want. You can see this on many different websites that have maps showing locations and prices. If the prices in and around your apartment are clearly lower on average for the same size and quality, then you are potentially going to be paying too much. This can become apparent to you very quickly, as no apartment that is nothing special should be demanding a special price. This is a quick and easy technique to see when a landlord is pushing their luck and demanding too much.  You can also visit sites like’s website or similar to find your dream apartment and prices in different cities, before deciding on your next property.

A different city attitude

Some apartment landlords demand rent prices from tenants that would make you think they believe they’re in a different city. Small town Newark in New Jersey should not be boasting rent prices to that of Lower Manhattan in New York. You can use reports like this to find market rate for rentals in your city and notice when the rent prices you’re paying or would be paying are not akin to the location you’re in. Price gouging can therefore be easily spotted just by comparing average monthly rent rates in a city that is less economically prosperous and less prone to having high paying salary jobs.

A sweet little lie

Call the landlord of the apartment you’re interested in and when you start talking about money, do this is they are too concerned with your job. Use a different made up name and a made up salary. Phone them twice with two different made up profiles. If they are charging the high salary profile more money than the low salary profile, you should move on to another apartment. This landlord is not trustworthy and will take any opportunity to squeeze more money out of you if you become their tenant.

Price gouging is a very common occurrence among landlords these days. Fortunately the tenant is no longer defenceless as there is a wealth of knowledge and data at your disposal to make the right decisions. 

Staff Writer; Paul Parker

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