Most people don’t realize that negotiating your rent is an option. Believe it or not, it is possible to talk your way into a deal. So, why not try to lower your rent price? Your landlord or complex manager will want to find a balance of happiness for their client and themselves. Many people might feel a little uncomfortable about the idea and not think it is worth it, as it may be a big step out of your comfort zone.
Results will vary and be dependent upon many different factors such as location and the specific unit. However, most likely, it will be worth your while to see what you can do. What you spend on rent probably makes up most of your expenses. Cutting even a small percentage off can save you thousands of dollars a year. This savings can open up so many opportunities, such as putting it towards retirement, saving for a down payment on a house, paying off some debt, or getting something you’ve always wanted.
Negotiations may not feel comfortable, and you might not have much experience bargaining, but if you remain confident, stay realistic with your expectations, and respect your landlord throughout the process, you can build an offer together where everybody wins.
How to go About Negotiating Rent
The key to negotiating your rent is to make the other person believe they are also winning. Contrary to popular belief, negotiation does not have to be about wheeling and dealing or hustling the other side out of money. Consider what your landlord would value in return for offering you a reduced rent. A few ideas:
Most landlords hate the thought of chasing late rent payments. If you can pay a few months upfront, they may want to offer you a monthly discount.
Are you planning on staying there for a while? If it defaults to a 12-month lease, ask if they’d be willing to drop the monthly rate if you were to sign an 18-month or 2-year lease.
Cleaner and Easier Tenant
If the complex allows pets and you don’t have a pet, see if you can use that to bargain, since cleaning a unit after a pet-owning resident moves out naturally costs the landlord extra time and money. Or, if you have a designated parking spot that you can give up, they may want to give the extra spot to another tenant and offer you a discount in return.
If the complex had many empty units, the landlord might be willing to make a deal for sending referrals. Word of mouth marketing is very valuable, so you can suggest a referral bonus for cheaper rent.
Tips for Negotiating Rent for Current Residents
If you already live in the apartment, negotiating rent can be a bit trickier but not impossible. It may be challenging to overcome the lack of leverage, so you will need to frame the negotiation just right. It would be much easier for them if you stayed. Assuming you’ve been a good tenant, your landlord will likely want to keep you around. Therefore, it is in their best interest to come to an agreement.
First, check out what the rent is going for comparable apartments in your area. If other places in your area rent for less, you should start making a list of examples. The more data you have to show them, the better.
Timing is key
You will want to negotiate before the current lease expiring (Maybe about three or four months). This will also give you time to find a place and shop around. Also, it is best to negotiate during a slower time of year. Since winter is usually a quieter time for landlords, they will be much more willing to hear you out and consider your points instead of during a moving rush.
Do your negotiating in person, as it’s much harder to deny someone who’s sitting across from you than over the phone or through email. Have all your documents handy. Bringing prices for other units, your previous rent payment record, references from prior landlords, your credit score, and whatever else you need to build your case can make you break your deal. Before you go to talk to them, be very clear of your game plan and know exactly what you want, whether it’s amenities, a rate reduction, or both, and aim for more than you expect to receive so you can meet somewhere in the middle.
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