Don't be afraid to ask for rent concessions in New York but they may not be worth it

- Here is something you probably haven't heard in a while: it is a good time to lease an apartment in New York. The city's rent is in its first slowdown since the financial crisis, bringing a long-awaited relief to apartment hunters in one of the country's most expensive cities.

StreetEasy senior economist Grant Long says that landlords don't like to cut rents so instead they offer rental gimmicks, formally known as concessions, to fill inventory. the website found that advertised concessions shot up 15 percent over the winter -- the highest it's ever been.

Long says landlords needing to fill hundreds of units have to add something to a lease to incentivize would-be tenants to look at their buildings.

One gimmick is shaving off first and last month's rent. Long says you pay less than you would otherwise, but you'll pay a lot more when the concession expires.

So some landlords have gotten creative with their offers, such as Uber credits, Netflix subscriptions, even gift cards, Long says.

While all of that does seem tempting, long says those concessions are not really worth your while unless you were already planning on leasing from the offering landlord. He also says that even if a concession isn't initially offered, ask anyway because the worst thing that can happen is the landlord just says no.

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