When apartment hunting, most people usually think that what they see is what they get. In fact, you’re likely to take a lease’s terms at face value if you’re out of time. Bear in mind that lease negotiation is an option and actually takes place more often than you probably think.
With some legal knowledge, you’ll be in a position to establish whether the lease’s terms and conditions are illegal or legal, negotiable or not. Here’s what you need to know about negotiating your apartment lease.
Establishing whether or how to negotiate with the proprietor over a clause will depend on the category into which the issue fits. The different lease clauses include:
Restatement of assured legal privileges
Numerous states have passed tenant-friendly decrees covering major areas such as the proprietor’s access to the rental, the use and amount of security deposit, and the right to an inhabitable home.
Additionally, significant legal rights may exist under federal law (especially when it concerns discrimination) and local law (particularly if rent control exists in your community).
The landlord can’t diminish these rights legally and can’t request you to waive them). You don’t need to negotiate guaranteed legal rights under state, local, or federal law.
A deviation of a flexible local or state law
Not every tenant-protection law is off-limits to landlord meddling. For instance, in some states, a tenant and landlord may agree that the legal notice periods for ending or changing a tenancy may be reduced if both agree.
If you notice a clause that limits rights given by a local or state statute, you’ll clearly want to know whether the limitation is permitted in your state.
Things You can negotiate
In the event that the security deposit prerequisite seems unreasonable, counter with a more rational figure. You may be able to bargain a lower figure, especially if you can provide references and a record of responsible maintenance while taking into account limits set by law in a number of jurisdictions.
Duration of the lease
While most leases are for a year, there’s no rule that they must last for this duration. In the event that you wish to sign a longer lease, request the landlord. Bear in mind that property owners are more eager to negotiate longer terms than shorter ones.
If the building has some amenities, for instance a pool, gym, or onsite wellness center that needs extra monthly fees, you may negotiate for the inclusion of these in the monthly rent cost.
Similar with security deposits, you gain leverage by demonstrating a record of timely payments and offering a list of former landlords eager to vouch for your consistency and predictability. Furthermore, you may gain from negotiating with the property owner for the integration of amenities for the new term.
If you recognize that the rental doesn’t permit pets but you have one that you consider a part of the family, establish why a no-pet clause exists in the lease. If you establish that the landlord has previously had a bad experience, you can offer reassurance and could offer to pay extra in monthly rent or a non-refundable fee.
Your rental agreement or lease probably has numerous clauses to maximize the proprietor’s rights and decrease yours. This is because lawyers hired by trade associations or landlords typically write the rental documents. Fortunately, this guide will offer a great starting point on how to negotiate your lease.
For more information on how to negotiate your apartment lease, contact us at Apartment Agents or leave a comment.