They are threatening to make you pay an absurdly high "rent" if you don't sign a new lease. If negotiations aren't going well, you can put them on the defensive by making some implicit threats of your own. You may borrow freely from these examples:

  1. "I really would prefer not to move but prices are lower at other nice buildings in the neighborhood."
  2. "I hear that the Attorney General is investigating companies like yours for false advertising."
  3. "I am cc'ing the president of our tenants association because she asked me to keep her in the loop."
  4. "You tricked me into signing that lease -- saying that the rent listed was 'just a formality.' My lawyer friends tell me that the lease is invalid and that you might get in a lot of trouble."
  5. "I see that  there are a lot of bad reviews of these apartments online -- a lot of complaints."
  6. "I hear the City Council is trying to put an end to this "concessions" scam."
  7. "Can I go up the chain? Who is your boss?"
  8. "I'd hate to have to take this to court."

NEXT: Tools you need -- rent calculator