Seeking Advice on Renegotiating My Lease
I have lived in my current apartment in Orange County, CA for 2 years with my lease set to expire July 1. When my first lease expired last April, my rent was raised 8% ($120). I was told that the increase wasn't negotiable. I had complained about my upstairs neighbors on many occasions. They were dropping debris (including toe nail clippings and cigarette ashes) onto my patio table. Plus there were noise issues - heels on hardwood floors, treadmill, commode running continuously, etc. They are nice enough people and I haven't complained to them directly because I fear retaliation. I told the office I wanted to move into a townhome, but none were available at that time. They were supposed to keep me informed when ones came available, but they haven't. I saw some vacant and inquired and learned that the rent is no longer comparable to what mine was raised to ($1632) but are quite higher due to upgrades and out of my price range.
A few days ago I was talking to my next door neighbor and asked her if her upstairs neighbors were loud. She told me that her husband had gone to the office before they received their rent increase notice and complained about the noise. The manager reduced their rent by $20 to $1413. The neighbors they were complaining about (who did fight and yell) moved several months ago. Meanwhile, my upstairs neighbors (who have lived there 8 years) just signed a new lease for $1450. I feel like I'm paying for each of their rent increases!
Also, I am in a very popular floorplan that isn't available very often. There was one available last September that was renting for $1568.00 - at least on the day I called. The rents fluctuate like airplane tickets... It's crazy!
I could really use a rent decrease now because I've lost a large part of income from stock dividends. My roommate works for an auto dealership and he's been told they may be laying off soon. If I renegotiate a lease, should I mention that I know my neighbor was given a decrease? Should I mention that my income is drastically reduced? I'm afraid to do so because they might not renew my lease in July and it will be difficult to find another place without the income.
Thanks in advance for any advice you'd care to offer me!!