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Negotiating Your Rent: A Guide

Is it okay to negotiate rent on an apartment?

Whether you are looking for a new apartment or your landlord is planning to raise the rent on your current rental, there is always room for negotiation. 

Many people are unaware that rent prices are negotiable. Renters can negotiate directly with the landlord or property manager to find a monthly rent price or lease terms that works best for all parties.

Even though in 2022, it’s a landlord’s market and rentals are in high demand, don’t let the headwinds deter you from negotiating. Yes, new renters face rising rent due to inflation, rather than being in positions to save money. But it doesn’t hurt to see where the wiggle room is with a potential, or existing, landlord. 

Tips for negotiating rent

1. Know what you want

Before you start negotiating, decide on the rent payment that is viable for you based on location and what type of rental property you’re looking for. 

Negotiating rent is not just about the rent price, you can also negotiate other aspects, such as free parking, storage units, waived pet fees, and security deposits.

2. Ask if the rent price is open for discussion

Start by asking the landlord politely if the rent price is negotiable. Before diving into negotiations, get an idea of what type of landlord you will be working with. For example, an individual landlord is more likely to adjust rent prices compared to a property company managing an apartment complex to a budget. 

If your property manager is demanding an increase in rent, it is best to start negotiating two to three months before your lease expires. This will give them time to consider your offer and decide on cheaper rent.

While many people don’t negotiate their rent, it is still well within your right as a tenant to do so. It is not rude to negotiate your rent price or lease terms.

3. Offer something in return

Avoid demanding a reduction in rent without offering something in return. Consider what your landlord may gain from negotiating a lower rent. It’s important to know what is important to the landlord or property manager in order to provide value in the negotiation. There are a few things that might increase your chances of a successful rent negotiation:

  • A longer lease
  • Rent paid months in advance
  • Not utilizing a valuable parking space
  • 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

4. Highlight your strengths as a tenant 

Looking to negotiate with your current apartment? It helps to have a good relationship with your landlord. When faced with an increase in rent from your current landlord, you can negotiate by demonstrating your reliability and financial stability. Landlords are much more likely to negotiate rent if you’ve been a good tenant.

Similarly, if you’re attempting to get lower rent as a new tenant, share personal references and your rental history with your property manager to showcase your reliability and responsibility.

Longevity helps, too. If you’ve consistently signed a 12-month lease, perhaps offer to sign a two-year lease with a rent reduction or frozen rent rate.

5. Know when to negotiate

If renters wish to negotiate a current lease, it is best to negotiate at least two or three months before your lease term expires. As the expiration date of your lease approaches, your property manager is likely to try their best to keep you as a tenant. This is an ideal time for you to begin negotiating for a lower rent. 

If the landlord or property manager refuses, it’s up to you as the renter to decide whether you want to concede on your rent negotiation. If you feel that you can find a better rent price within your real estate rental market, you can certainly walk away from the lease agreement to find a lower price. 

Looking for a great new apartment? Dwellsy can help

Ultimately, you might move out or move on to a new lease somewhere else. Dwellsy has over 13 million rental properties to choose from and because it’s a free platform, you won’t need to sift through sponsored listings to find the right rental for you. Contact us today to start your renting search.

For more renting advice, check out our other incredible blog posts here.

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