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:
- "I really would prefer not to move but prices are lower at other nice buildings in the neighborhood."
- "I hear that the Attorney General is investigating companies like yours for false advertising."
- "I am cc'ing the president of our tenants association because she asked me to keep her in the loop."
- "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."
- "I see that there are a lot of bad reviews of these apartments online -- a lot of complaints."
- "I hear the City Council is trying to put an end to this "concessions" scam."
- "Can I go up the chain? Who is your boss?"
- "I'd hate to have to take this to court."