Author Topic: Renting Condo w Gym Access (Closed) - Demand Rent Credit?  (Read 879 times)

Offline LAX_Esq

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Renting Condo w Gym Access (Closed) - Demand Rent Credit?
« on: March 30, 2020, 12:41:48 PM »
Hi, we moved into a condo just before the Coronavirus stuff got out of control. We rent from the owner of the condo unit. The condo complex has a nice gym. We work out every day except shabbos, and the gym was a significant factor in our decision to rent in this building. And since we'd otherwise have to buy gym memberships, we see the gym membership as a definable portion of the rent.

The gym has been closed down because of the Coronavirus situation, and I feel like we should be entitled to some sort of a discount on our rent (corresponding to the value of the gym membership). If we had a gym membership at an actual gym, they wouldn't be charging us.

I think I'm going to tell the landlord in writing that we'll pay in full for now, but we reserve all rights to demand a credit if this goes on for a while.

Thoughts?

Offline whacked1

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Re: Renting Condo w Gym Access (Closed) - Demand Rent Credit?
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2020, 02:42:57 PM »
is this the owners only unit? You would probably have better luck writing and asking for a rent break due to the current circumstances rather then demand. I know when a tenant demands from me, that demand gets placed in a circular filing cabinet and more often than not they will in return receive a demand from me . (That actually means something) .

Offline LAX_Esq

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Re: Renting Condo w Gym Access (Closed) - Demand Rent Credit?
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2020, 03:21:07 PM »
is this the owners only unit? You would probably have better luck writing and asking for a rent break due to the current circumstances rather then demand. I know when a tenant demands from me, that demand gets placed in a circular filing cabinet and more often than not they will in return receive a demand from me . (That actually means something) .

The owner is an unsophisticated guy who owns perhaps 2-3 condo units.

Yeah, I wouldn't DEMAND a rent credit. I'd tell him politely that I'd think it's only fair that he give us a rent credit.

Are you suggesting to request a rent break on the grounds that the market has gone down (we're obviously overpaying, and he's lucky he has tenants at all and that he found us prior to the situation), or on the basis or our specific financial situation (we're not in a financial position where we literally can't pay the rent)?

Online Ergel

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Re: Renting Condo w Gym Access (Closed) - Demand Rent Credit?
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2020, 03:27:10 PM »
I would write a him a letter explaining nicely that part of the reason you rented the apartment was due to the gym access and you would like a credit based on that not being available. I don't think you are truly entitled to anything though
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Offline whacked1

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Re: Renting Condo w Gym Access (Closed) - Demand Rent Credit?
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2020, 03:30:25 PM »
The owner is an unsophisticated guy who owns perhaps 2-3 condo units.

Yeah, I wouldn't DEMAND a rent credit. I'd tell him politely that I'd think it's only fair that he give us a rent credit.

Are you suggesting to request a rent break on the grounds that the market has gone down (we're obviously overpaying, and he's lucky he has tenants at all and that he found us prior to the situation), or on the basis or our specific financial situation (we're not in a financial position where we literally can't pay the rent)?
Then dont nickle and dime him. Have the HOA fees been waived? Side note, he hasnt closed the gym, the city has. If you are able to pay the rent. Pay and daven this will pass so you can continue to work out. :)

Offline LAX_Esq

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Re: Renting Condo w Gym Access (Closed) - Demand Rent Credit?
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2020, 04:06:01 PM »
Then dont nickle and dime him. Have the HOA fees been waived? Side note, he hasnt closed the gym, the city has. If you are able to pay the rent. Pay and daven this will pass so you can continue to work out. :)

I wouldn't be nickel and dime him just to nickel and dime him; while we are fortunate enough that we can still pay rent and that we have savings, business is a little slow and we're looking to save where we can -- especially not paying for things we don't need (e.g., a gym membership we can't use).

I realize he hasn't closed the gym. I don't know what the law would say, but my instinct based on what's fair/just is that landlord -- not the tenant -- should bear the loss here since he's not providing something that was supposed to be provided.

I have no idea if his HOA fees have been waived / reduced, but that's between him and the HOA and there's nothing I can do about it. IMHO, his fees *should* be reduced and if I were an owner in this building, I'd certainly be demanding that the HOA reduce my fees. Unless he has to give us a discount, he has no incentive to ask the HOA for a fee reduction. As far as I'm concerned, it's his problem and he is in the best position to seek a credit from the HOA.

Offline lubaby

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Re: Renting Condo w Gym Access (Closed) - Demand Rent Credit?
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2020, 04:15:08 PM »
Planet Fitness starts at $10 a month (if he agrees to a credit, why can't he base off that?).

How long does the closure need to be going on for in order for that to be worth your time / energy to fight for?
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Offline zh cohen

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Re: Renting Condo w Gym Access (Closed) - Demand Rent Credit?
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2020, 04:21:57 PM »
How much money are you talking about? I think you should consider how this request will impact your relationship with him and decide if it's worth the $50...

Offline whacked1

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Re: Renting Condo w Gym Access (Closed) - Demand Rent Credit?
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2020, 05:03:55 PM »
I wouldn't be nickel and dime him just to nickel and dime him; while we are fortunate enough that we can still pay rent and that we have savings, business is a little slow and we're looking to save where we can -- especially not paying for things we don't need (e.g., a gym membership we can't use).

I realize he hasn't closed the gym. I don't know what the law would say, but my instinct based on what's fair/just is that landlord -- not the tenant -- should bear the loss here since he's not providing something that was supposed to be provided.

I have no idea if his HOA fees have been waived / reduced, but that's between him and the HOA and there's nothing I can do about it. IMHO, his fees *should* be reduced and if I were an owner in this building, I'd certainly be demanding that the HOA reduce my fees. Unless he has to give us a discount, he has no incentive to ask the HOA for a fee reduction. As far as I'm concerned, it's his problem and he is in the best position to seek a credit from the HOA.
I'm assuming you are in nyc. So you arent stabilized. Dont forget on your renewal he wont forget this... If you were my tenant i'd tell you to kish mich.

Offline A3

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Re: Renting Condo w Gym Access (Closed) - Demand Rent Credit?
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2020, 05:33:05 PM »
HOA fees are not being lowered. Neither is rent. Good luck on your renewal

Offline LAX_Esq

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Re: Renting Condo w Gym Access (Closed) - Demand Rent Credit?
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2020, 08:33:53 PM »
Planet Fitness starts at $10 a month (if he agrees to a credit, why can't he base off that?).

How long does the closure need to be going on for in order for that to be worth your time / energy to fight for?

How much money are you talking about? I think you should consider how this request will impact your relationship with him and decide if it's worth the $50...

Certainly, it's a interesting question how one would value the gym. The only nearby gym -- and the one that we'd join if we didn't have the on-site gym -- is $30-40 / person, as we checked it out when we looked for housing. I'd argue that somewhere in that range might be starting point, as we were willing to pay $50-100 extra for a place with a decent on-site gym and have the convenience of it being at our doorstep. Double $30-40 / pp, and if this goes on for several months, this isn't exactly pennies. Economists value things much more big complicated than on-site gyms, so I'm sure it can't be that complicated to come up with a reasonable value on the gym.

I'm assuming you are in nyc. So you arent stabilized. Dont forget on your renewal he wont forget this... If you were my tenant i'd tell you to kish mich.

HOA fees are not being lowered. Neither is rent. Good luck on your renewal

Not NYC, and we aren't stabilized, but we're moving at the end of this lease so renewal isn't an issue. Of course, staying on good terms with the landlord is important in any event.

Like it or not, my guess is that at least some rents are going to be lowered. Landlords with poor tenants or with tenants in financial trouble will be forced to accept lower rents because it's better than nothing. Eviction courts in liberal states are slow as it is, and they're closed now. And decent tenants are going to have leverage to negotiate lower rents, knowing that landlords will never be able to re-let the units if decent tenants leave. But that's another debate for another day...

Offline ckmk47

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Re: Renting Condo w Gym Access (Closed) - Demand Rent Credit?
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2020, 08:45:05 PM »
I think a polite explanation and request is the way to go. Be specific with how much you want rebated.  Or how long you'll wait for the gym to reopen.

Offline whacked1

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Re: Renting Condo w Gym Access (Closed) - Demand Rent Credit?
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2020, 08:45:32 PM »
if you are leaving anyways, he gains nothing by pleasing you. Withhold rent and he'll deduct from your security at the end of the term. Dont pay last month, and he'll commence a collection case on you. Dont take advantage of a situation. If the landlord did something that caused the gym to close, i would agree with you (somewhat). But that is not the case.

Offline LAX_Esq

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Re: Renting Condo w Gym Access (Closed) - Demand Rent Credit?
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2020, 09:43:36 AM »
Dont take advantage of a situation. If the landlord did something that caused the gym to close, i would agree with you (somewhat). But that is not the case.

This is a very "landlord-centric" view of the world, and I'm not sure it's appropriate. As a matter of fairness / justice / what's right, why is the loss on the tenant unless the landlord "did something"? Why not the opposite -- why isn't the loss on the landlord unless the tenant "did something"? Why aren't they required to share in the loss and compromise? Why do you feel that a tenant who is experiencing some economic hardship himself is "taking advantage" of a situation by seeking not to pay for a service he can't use?

And, again, the landlord -- along with all the other homeowners -- are in the best position to "do something" about the problem, i.e., protest to their HOA that they're being charged fees for services they can't use when no money needs to be spent on cleaning, mantanance, etc.

Of course, we have laws and contracts to resolve most of these questions, so we theoretically get to avoid the "moral" side of these questions. But for one, we're in a new and unprecedented situation that might not be so easily resolved by laws and contracts, and the "moral" side is highly relevant. And the relevant decisionmakers, for better or worse, don't necessarily care about the letter of the law and will operate on their personal sense of fairness and justice.

Quote
if you are leaving anyways, he gains nothing by pleasing you. Withhold rent and he'll deduct from your security at the end of the term. Dont pay last month, and he'll commence a collection case on you.

Also, I'm not AT ALL saying we're going to do that, but just to address your if we unilaterally withheld a total of a couple hundred bucks and didn't pay last month so as to avoid him deducting it from our security deposit, the idea that "he'll commence a collection case on you" is highly farfetched. He first has to file a lawsuit, win the lawsuit, and get a judgment before he can collect anything. The landlord is unsophisticated; he's not going to hire a lawyer, pay a $500 filing fee, deal with an aggressive tenant who will fight the lawsuit, etc. over a couple hundred dollars in a lawsuit where there are decent arguments to be made on both sides.

Lastly, how would he know we're leaving? He doesn't.

Online Ergel

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Re: Renting Condo w Gym Access (Closed) - Demand Rent Credit?
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2020, 10:01:05 AM »
Not sure why you need to be so confrontational. Just write a nice letter explaining your side and see what happens
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