You don’t have to be born with the negotiator gene to negotiate a lower rent. Here are specific tips for negotiating rent.
You want to save a couple thousand dollars, don’t you? For Sophia, a student, whose rent was reduced by $200 a month when she indicated that she’d be willing to sign the lease for 24 months; that means she can now save $2,400 in a year. Don’t think it’s pointless. The amount taken off from your rent can be used to build an emergency fund or invested. So, if you think negotiating rent is impossible, you’re missing out on the benefits. Your rent is not fixed. You can negotiate a lower rental payment. Sure, there are adamant landlords who wouldn’t budge at first. Nevertheless, the key to rent negotiation is having something beneficial to offer. It’s not stomping your foot down and demanding that your rent be reduced ‘or else’. Sure, your landlords wants money but here are some other things they’ll happily lower rents for:
- Promise to prepay months in advance.
- Signing an extended lease.
- An offer to extend the termination notice from 30 days to 60 days or 90 days.
- Offer to give up the parking space if you don’t have a car.
- Promise not to smoke in the apartment.
- If they have low occupancy, you can make a deal for referrals.
Now that we know that rents can be reduced. Let’s explore some tips for negotiating rent.
1. Be well-prepared and confident: If you’re not a good negotiator, you can try practicing with a friend before meeting your landlord. You need to be well- prepared and confident to get points as a negotiator. You should go into negotiation knowing what you want and having a fixed amount in mind. However, don’t be rigid during negotiation. Strive to find a win-win solution.
2. Do research: Being well prepared and confident also means that you have a good idea of what takes place in the rental market. You want to get information regarding price of rents paid for similar properties to know if your request for lower rent is reasonable or not. You also want to know the demand for housing in your neighborhood. This will give you an idea of your landlord’s propensity to ignore or accept your deal. You can talk to residents or real estate agents to arm yourself with factual information for rent negotiation.
3. Right timing: The best time to approach your potential landlord if you’re looking to rent a new apartment is towards the end of the month. They’ll most likely not want to carry over any vacancies into the next month and hence would likely accept your offer if they’re finding it hard to get new tenants. If you’re getting close to renewing your lease, you can negotiate reduced rent a month prior to your lease expiry so your landlord knows you have enough time to seek out other options.
4. Be a good tenant: Bad tenants cost landlords a great deal of time and money. If you show your landlord the benefits of having you as a tenant, they may be willing to lower the cost for you. New tenants would need to prove to their potential landlords that they have a solid track record. Rental history, good credit score, references from previous landlords and ability to pay on time will get them points with the landlord.
You can lower your rent. Your landlord wants to minimize the expenses and hassles of finding a new tenant. All you need to do is negotiate, displaying assertiveness and a willingness to compromise for a win-win.