Can you negotiate lower rent?
Most people don’t think that negotiating lower rent is possible. But the truth is that it’s not only totally normal to negotiate rent, it’s also something you absolutely need to go every time you’re about to sign a new lease agreement or extend your existing lease. Sure, you may not always get the desired outcome in your negotiations or it could be tough to negotiate rent if you want to rent from a company and not from an individual, but you should always ask because no landlord in the world will offer you lower rent on his own. So how do you negotiate lower rent?
Become acquainted with the rental market
The best tool you have in negotiating lower rent is having information about an available apartment with similar amenities and in a similar neighborhood but with lower rent. It’s best to get this offer and writing and bring it to the meeting with the property manager or the landlord - this way it will be hard for them to argue. In general, you should get to know the market in your neighborhood, the amenities offered and rent prices when planning your rent negotiation strategy.
Think about the timing
Property renting is a highly seasonal business and property managers are acutely aware of it. For instance, if you live close to a university, end of spring and beginning of summer will be the best time to negotiate your rent, as a lof of tenants usually leave at that time and there are tons of vacancies and very few new tenants - if you leave, the manager likely won’t find a new tenant until fall. If there are no colleges around, winter is usually the best time to negotiate rent, as few people look for housing during this season. Additionally, it’s always best to negotiate at the end of the month when the manager already has a new empty units and he wouldn’t want to lose another tenant. This only works if you’re willing to leave the rental property, of course.
Offer alternative rent terms
If the above strategies didn’t work, consider different lease terms. For instance, if you like your current home, you could offer the landlord to extend your lease for a longer period of time or to change the end date of the lease so it neds at a more favorable time for the property manager. Alternatively, if you have some extra cash, you can offer your landlord to pay several months’ worth of your rent upfront in exchange for a discount.
Show yourself to be a good tenant
Most property managers really value good tenants, so if you’re renewing your lease, it’s a good idea to remind your landlord that you’ve never caused any issues and always paid your rent on time, which is not often the case with some renters. If you’re trying to rent an apartment at a new apartment complex, obtain a few letters of recommendation from your previous landlord, from your boss, neighbor and so on. Proving your good character as a renter can go a long way in negotiating rent.