Yes, Sometimes, You Can Negotiate Rent.
Rent may be one of the most expensive bills you have, but you may not have to pay full price — especially if you know how and when to negotiate rent.
Although it can take some skill and practice, negotiating rent can save you a lot of money. It can also help you get the best deal on your next apartment.
When Can I Negotiate Rent?
You can always try to negotiate rent, but there are certainly times when you’ll have better chances of winning those negotiations. Specifically, you’ll likely be in a stronger position to negotiate rent if or when:
- You’re looking at a smaller or unconventional rental: In other words, it can be more challenging to get a deal on rent if the landlord has 800 other units filled with tenants who are willing to pay the rent that the landlord is requesting.
- You’re dealing directly with an owner: The apartment owner will have far more leeway than a property management company when it comes to cutting deals on rent.
- You’re renewing a lease: If you already live in an apartment and you’ve been a good tenant, paying rent on time, your landlord is probably going to want to keep you — and they will likely be more open to cutting you a deal on rent if you choose to stay and renew your lease.
- The apartment isn’t in top condition: If certain amenities aren’t available or there’s construction going on in the complex, these circumstances can create some leverage to try to negotiate lower monthly rent prices.
How Much Should I Try to Get Cut Off My Rent?
This is tricky because you could blow up the negotiations if you ask for an outrageous discount.
So, what’s “fair”?
It depends on your situation, the condition of the apartment, and what you have to offer.
That said, it’s usually wise to shave off somewhere between $50 and $200 off the asking pricing when you’re negotiating monthly rent rates.
How to Negotiate Rent: 4 Tips
Next time you’re negotiating rent prices with a landlord or leasing company, here are some tips that can help you out:
- Do your homework: You need to be prepared to talk prices, so check out rental rates in the area for comparable apartments. If there are nearby rentals with lower rates, that can be effective leverage for negotiating lower rent.
- Sell yourself: Be ready to make a case for yourself as a great tenant, pointing to things like on-time rent payments, no complaints from neighbors, good credit scores, and stellar rental histories. If landlords have been sitting on vacancies for some time, they may be open to reducing rent in order to get a great tenant in their unit ASAP.
- Offer something: Could you sign a longer lease and get the rent lowered? Ask about one- or two-year leases, offering to “lock in” for a longer period of time if you can do so at a lower rental rate. Similarly, you may be able to do some work on the unit in return for a reduced rent. Depending on the condition of the apartment and what you bring to the table, that could be a win-win for you and the landlord.
- Ask about fees waivers: Outside of monthly rent rates, your landlord may charge you fees for all sorts of items, services, or extras, from the application screening, credit check, and deposit to parking spaces, pets, and more. So, see what fees you can get waived and ask about the extras you can get for free. Even if your landlord won’t budge on the monthly rent rate, they may be willing to overlook the fees and charges for other things.
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