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Knowledge best tool when negotiating rental concessions

Landlords are usually unwilling to lower rents, but groups have room to seek rental abatements, improvement allowances

July 26, 2019

By Walt Williams

Associations seeking new office space in major markets generally don’t have much leeway when it comes to negotiating lease rates, but getting concessions from landlords is another matter.

“Landlords are loath to drop rents,” said Tom Fulcher, vice chairman and co-regional manager of the Washington, D.C., region for the real estate services firm Savills. “So instead of dropping rents, what they will do is try to increase the concessions.”

Concessions may come in the form of improvement allowances, rental abatements or other perks. But to receive them, associations need to negotiate, and that means they need to know the local market and put themselves in the strongest possible position from which to strike a deal.