I don't care what the Wall Street Journal says about rents across the nation going down, there are still enough people out here in Orange County, California who are in complete denial about the marketplace conditions and the housing crash.
Some of those people happen to be landlords.
Typically when facing times of almost certain and severe economic recession, given the choice between earning top dollar rent from occupants and just maintaining occupancy, most reasonable landlords will choose the latter. It's much better to keep what you have rather than hold on to an empty home and go through the painstaking rigamarole of finding a new occupant who has acceptable references, doesn't have cats or dogs, pays on time, doesn't disrupt the neighborhood and, in general, doesn't fuck the place up royally.
My own monthly rent is up for review this month. I'm not confident at all there won't be an increase this year.
In my case, I suppose my landlord should get down on his knees and thank Christ or Zeus that I'm not an aspiring rap-artist with late night jacuzzi parties, or that I'm not a "hobby realtor", or worse, that I haven't lost my job after working for some fucked up national mortgage business like Countrywide. Actually, those are all things for which to be very thankful.
Last year? No increase in the rent. In fact, I convince the landlord to pony up some dough for a new sprinkler system for the lawn
But dammit, from what I can see online, the Lake Forest, CA market is not exactly flooded with single family homes for rent.
I'll remain cautious and post the developments following negotiations with said landlord. It should be interesting to observe, in microcosm at least, how the landlordial view of the world may have changed in little old Lake Forest, CA.