real estate

Rent Now, Get a Free TV: The Strangest Apartment Perks Offered This Winter

New York, UNITED STATES: TO GO WITH AFP STORY AFPLifestyle-US-property,sched-FEATURE Traditional brownstone buildings on Clinton Street 05 February 2007, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. A general development and revival trend is taking place in Brooklyn. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo: STAN HONDA/2007 AFP

Winter is traditionally tricky for landlords; who wants to move in a blizzard? This year, though, the market is even softer than usual, so much so that behemoth rental firm Citi Habitats found that thirteen percent of leases signed last month included concessions from landlords, the highest in two years.

A free month or paid broker’s fees are standard, but Douglas Wagner of Bond New York says he’s had clients successfully negotiating for both. (Two months free on a one-year lease, or four months for two years, is definitely more generous than usual.) But Citi Habitats brokers also report that tenants are getting free parking, cable, or electricity, as well as gym memberships and movers’ fees. The add-ons get more creative from there.

Miron Properties founder Jeff Schleider says some landlords have covered expenses for building a wall to help divvy up space. This one’s offering a Kindle Fire. Or how about a “FREE 50 INCH FLATSCREEN THIS WEEK ONLY!!!!!” only if youRESPOND NOW!!!!!!!!!!!”? Already have a TV and a tablet? Try an AMEX gift card.

But there’s a limit to the generosity: There aren’t many actually slashing rents.

Landlords Offering Strange Perks This Winter