In addition to being a full time realtor for sales, I also have rental properties myself, and help a few clients rent out their investment properties. Right now rentals in the Silicon Valley are hard to come by. There are many more potential renters than there are available homes. Rentals that allow pets, or that are close to universities are especially popular. So if you are trying to rent one of these properties here is a little hint: Don't try to get the price lowered when you can see that you are in competition with many other parties.
I have a rental property in Santa Cruz that is close to the university. The students who had been there for 3 years left and so I had a rare opening. 1 day on Craigslist produced 6 potential groups of students who wanted to rent. One of the groups included 2 very cute and obviously bright female students. After viewing the home they asked me to lower the rent by $200 a month. I politely declined and rented it to another group.
The next day they got back to me and asked if it was still available. This was probably their first time looking for rentals and I hope they learned a lesson. It may be ok to bargain for a commodity that is in overabundance, but don't do it when the product is scarce.
Keller Williams Realty