Whether you’re apartment hunting and the ideal unit is slightly out of your budget range, or your landlord is increasing the rent on your current rental, you have the choice to try to negotiate the rent. Remember, the landlord might want you to think that there’s no room for negotiating, but this isn’t the case.
Actually, one of the reasons renters don’t routinely attempt to negotiate their rent is that they aren’t aware that they can try. While it might sound intimidating, you might just win over your landlord with some strategy. Here’s a list of tactics you could try.
Inquire Whether Rent Cost is Open to Discussion
Inquire politely whether the landlord is ready to discuss rent costs and when the ideal time would be. If you’re negotiating rent for a new unit, it’s imperative to know who you’re talking to. A huge property company is unlikely to negotiate terms while an independent landlord has more freedom to change costs.
If you’re experiencing a rent increase, begin the conversation at least one month before the lease ends, giving your landlord sufficient time to consider your offer, or if necessary, give you time to make other plans.
Consider an Extended Lease
Most leases are for a year, but if you don’t intend to move in the immediate future, perhaps you should consider a two-year lease if the landlord is open to the idea. Landlords are likely to give renters a break if they commit to an extended agreement.
If you offer an extended lease, the assurance that the rental won’t remain vacant is appealing. In the event that you’re renewing, your track record as a good renter can be a bargaining tool for property owners who wouldn’t want to risk losing you or cover the cost of finding a new renter if they’re incurring a broker’s fee.
Research Your Area’s Real Estate Market
It’s imperative you conduct research before meeting with the landlord. Take some time to document the cost of comparable units in your neighborhood using tools such as Zillow and Craigslist to determine a suitable price range for the negotiations.
If the price is too low, you don’t stand a chance of securing a deal. However, if you’re constantly locating comparable rentals in your area for a lower cost than what the landlord is seeking, you have a stronger case.
Bear in mind that “similar” doesn’t merely imply the same number of bathrooms and bedrooms. You must consider other less prominent elements of your rental, for instance, the building’s age, kitchen size, and apartment amenities such as pools and gyms.
Offer to Do Minor Repairs or Help with Maintenance
You can offer to replace or repair items in return for decreased rent. You’ll discover you can handle some simple repairs. For instance, you can accept the rental as it is and agree to tackle the paint job yourself.
Just ensure you document what needs repair when you move in so that you aren’t held liable for the damage or breakage. Landlords usually expect a damage deposit and you shouldn’t pay for an issue you aren’t responsible for.
If you’re moving into a new rental and need to stay within budget, you can employ these tactics to score a better deal on your rental.
For more information on how to negotiate rent before signing a lease, contact us at Apartment Agents or leave a comment.