Setting rent in a declining market

Landlord hopes tenants don't leave seeking cheaper unit

Q: I am a landlord with a high-end rental property located in a very nice, older part of town. The rental is a 90-year-old home in good condition but without a lot of remodeling. It has 4 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths, two fireplaces, a spectacular view, a garden and a one-car garage. A little less than a year ago I rented the property for $4,800 per month. I thought that the rent was very reasonable at the time, as I had many prospective tenants. But this year the rental market has clearly softened and the tenants have already indicated that they may want to move just because other rental homes are more affordable. I am really hoping that they sign a new lease and would like to offer them a fair rental rate. Can you tell me by what percentage rentals of this type have come down since they originally signed the lease? I really want the current tenants to stay because they have kept up the property and not caused any problems, but this property is an investment and I need as much ...