Syracuse realtor on what renters can do to best negotiate their leases – Spectrum News

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According to a recent report by Rent, a platform that works to help simplify the renting process for people, New York state has seen just over a 10% increase in rent prices over the last year, which is the 10th highest in the United States.
A realtor in Syracuse spoke about what renters can do to make sure they don’t get taken advantage of by their landlords.  
“Do your homework so that you don’t get taken advantage of," said Stephen Skinner, the owner of Skinner & Associates Realty in Syracuse.
Skinner believes the rise in rent is because of a very simple thing.
“What happens is it’s supply and demand," he said. "People keep raising the rent, people keep wanting to pay it. It becomes a very difficult challenge right now.”
Because of rising rent prices across the state, knowing how to negotiate your lease can be even more important. Skinner believes one of the best things renters can do is research. He says people need to know what they’re entitled to before they talk to landlords.
“Tenants need to understand their rights," Skinner said. "If not you’re going to deal with a landlord that may just want to abuse you [and] take additional money from you. If you don’t know what you don’t know, it’s your loss.”
This includes the right to a livable home and not being charged more than what is allowed by state law for a security deposit. Skinner says renters also need to look out for hidden fees some landlords will charge. There are local tenant networks across New York that is trying to help renters find the best person to work with.
“Check the background of a landlord, even type in their name to make sure, are you dealing with a fair person," he said. "You don’t want to deal with someone right off the bat that is going to be causing you harm.”
Larry Headd is a renter in Syracuse. He’s a semi-retired mechanic, but with rent rising he’s looking for more work to support himself. Headd says the unknown of when this is going to end concerns him.
"I love living in New York state and Syracuse, N.Y.,” he said. "I know there are nice places to live and I know there are cheaper places to live. But I don’t want to have to come to that extreme.”
Skinner says scams are very common. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, people lost around $350 million to real estate scams nationwide in 2021.
“Type in the address into Google, Zillow or whatever," said Skinner. "Most likely those scammers found it through usually, it’s for sale. I’m going to say 50% of my listings in the city are a part of scams."
Before you negotiate, Skinner says to make sure you’re prepared.
“Do your research before you sign anything knowing that then all of a sudden you have a binding agreement," he said. "Do your homework."


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