This Wall Street Journal article looks at rent trends for some mega landlords.

Denver-based UDR is offering renewing tenants a flat-screen TV, new carpet, kitchen upgrade or, $300 in cash. The money is the most popular choice, said Chief Executive Thomas Toomey,

Mr. Neithercut said Equity Residential doesn’t initially offer rent cuts to existing tenants to persuade them to renew. But if the tenant plays hardball, the company asks: “What can we do to keep you?” he said.

One problem for landlords is that existing tenants can easily check the Web to see what deals new tenants are being offered. And new tenants are getting incentives like a waived pet deposit or two months’ free rent.

Some landlords have also become more open-minded about tenants with credit issues involving home foreclosures. In the past, a foreclosure on a credit record could have meant an automatic denial. Now such blemishes are so commonplace that the stigma is easing. Equity Residential looks for reasonable credit history “outside of a problem that they’ve had with a single-family home,” Mr. Neithercut said.