Whether you are looking for a new place or your property owner or is planning to raise the rent on your current apartment, there is always room to negotiate your rent. While this may sound intimidating, it is achievable with just a little bit of planning.
Most people are unaware of the fact that they can actually negotiate the rent price of an apartment or home. In this guide, we explain how to negotiate rent with a property owner:
1. Know What You Want
Before you start negotiating, make sure you have a number (the amount of rent you prefer) in mind. Otherwise, your property owner may end up finalizing a higher amount.
Decide on the exact rent price that would be viable for you. The number is likely to differ from person to person. Keep in mind, the location you choose to live in will also have a significant impact on the amount of rent your property owner will request.
Negotiating rent is not just about the amount of money you have to pay each month, you can also discuss other aspects, such as:
- Free parking
- Partially paid or free utilities
- Free garage or storage unit
- Waived pet fees
- Guest parking passes
- Security deposit
Even if you are unable to get the rent you want, you can still negotiate around these other aspects and save yourself some money. Once you’ve figured out what you want, you can communicate that to your property owner and let them know exactly why they should consider your terms.
2. Ask If the Amount is Open for Discussion
Start by politely asking your property owner if the rent amount is negotiable and when they might be available to talk it through. To negotiate your rent, it is vital to know who you are talking to. For instance, an independent property owner is more likely to alter prices as compared to a large property company.
On the other hand, if your property owner is demanding an increase in rent, it is best to start negotiating a month before your lease ends. This way, your property owner will have substantial time to consider your offer or you can change your plans if needed.
3. Offer Something in Return
Try to avoid demanding a reduction in rent without offering something in return. Think about what your property owner may gain from this deal. Here are a few things that might increase your chances of a successful rent negotiation:
- An extended lease
- Rent paid months in advance
- A parking space you may be able to sacrifice if you don’t own a car
- An extension of the termination notice from 30 days to 60 or 90 days
- An agreement not to keep pets, even if you are permitted to do so (this will help them save on cleaning expenses)
- Tenant referrals if they have low occupancy
If you have a good understanding of what you want and what they want, you will stand a better chance of negotiating successfully.
4. Highlight Your Strengths as a Tenant
If you are searching for a new place to rent, make sure you ask about concessions. These are benefits given by the property owner like move-in specials for example.
When faced with an increase in rent, you can negotiate by demonstrating your reliability and financial stability. You might also remind them of your history as a responsible tenant.
If you have always paid your rent punctually, kept the house in a good condition, and been courteous towards other tenants, make sure your property owner is aware of it. That may help your property owner recognize your value as a tenant and give them an incentive to consider your offer.
5. Know When to Negotiate
When negotiating your rent, timing is crucial. Like most commodities, rental housing goes through feast and famine periods. At times, it is a buyer’s market and property owners have several empty units available. On the other hand, there are times when each unit has several potential renters waiting in line.
Knowing the right time to negotiate your rent is important for getting your property owner to consider your offer. If you wish to negotiate a current lease, it is best to negotiate at least two or three months before your lease expires.
As the expiration date of your lease approaches, your property owner is likely to try their best to keep you as a tenant. This is an ideal time for you to begin negotiating your present rent.
If you are negotiating a new lease, starting during a winter month would be your best bet. This is because it is particularly difficult for property owners to find tenants in winter time due to the difficulty of dealing with ice and snow.
Before signing a lease, make sure you negotiate your rent so that you don’t end up breaking your budget. In most cases, signing a year-long lease is more affordable than a month-to-month lease. Alternatively, you can request other perks, such as free storage space or free parking space. Make sure you highlight your strengths as a tenant and choose the right time for negotiations.