Rent is one of those expenses that you incur in life because you must. However, just because it’s an obligation doesn’t mean that you cannot suggest your rate!
So is it possible to negotiate rent?
Absolutely! The majority of landlords make you believe that it’s not possible to negotiate rent, but that’s not always the case. So, how do you go about it?
Here are 6 easy tactics to know so you are strategic enough when negotiating rent for your apartment.
Understand the rental market
Doing prior research is the first step to negotiating your apartment’s rent. Get to know the current market rates of the surrounding apartments. Compare apples to apples!
Know and understand the amenities provided by your landlord and compare them with other units in the area. For instance, if you are looking for either unfurnished or furnished apartments – especially in major European cities like Paris, London, Berlin, etc.-, if the apartment building provides extra amenities like an interior gym, parking, and a pool, find out how they compare with neighboring apartments with similar offerings.
Look for a lower competing rate, and if possible get it in writing. Present this document to your current landlord. A lower rate in an apartment with similar amenities is an excellent tool for negotiating a lower rent for your apartment.
Present yourself as a good tenant
Do not underestimate the power of a positive personal appeal. A good personal letter and references can go a long way in helping you negotiate your rent.
Think of it as having a solid rental application. Provide proof that you are a good tenant. For instance, get reference letters from your neighbors, boss, and pastor that speak to your character. You can also provide bank statements to show proof of income.
Request that your previous landlords write you a letter confirming that you don’t cause problems and pay rent on time. You can also show pictures of how you maintained and decorated your former apartments.
Just like in job interviews, these personal letters and professional references can help convince your new potential landlord that you’re a worthy tenant, even at a reduced rate.
If you’re renewing your current lease and want your rent reduced, remind the landlord of anything positive that you have done such as paying rent on time, helping during emergencies, or apartment maintenance.
Exchange value for price
Besides paying rent, what are some of your strengths that provide tangible value to the landlord? Think of tasks that you would consider doing such as cleaning, maintenance, marketing, and administration that would make reducing your rent worthwhile. Assisting with such activities can help minimize the manager’s expenses and justify your requested reduction in price.
You can also bargain over rent using the amenities provided by your landlord. Are you willing to relinquish your parking space for a rent reduction? Think like a business person. Understand that there’s value to everything, and with the right push, you can reach a compromise.
Don’t hesitate to ask about what your landlord wants, because it is the only way that you can help each other.
Offer to extend your lease
Vacant units hurt the bottom line of the landlord. Every month that an apartment is empty, the owner loses income. This is because they continue to pay for the taxes, mortgage, and heat to prevent the pipes from freezing. The owner continues to incur maintenance and other related expenses, even if they are not receiving any rent.
Besides, looking for a new tenant to fill the vacant unit is not exactly what the landlord wants to do. The process requires money and time to show the unit to potential tenants, advertise, and vet the new tenants.
Every day a unit is vacant, the landlord continues to lose money. You can use this to your advantage; offer to extend your lease for a rent reduction. If it is annual, be willing to extend it to 2 years. It will save both you and the landlord a lot of valuable time and money.
Timing is everything
The rental industry is characterized by seasonal trends. Understand the broader demand and supply trends during the different seasons before trying to negotiate the rent.
For instance, vacancies are high at the end of the month, which means that the landlord may not be willing to listen to your offer. Winter, on the other hand, is a perfect time to broach the discussion because finding a new tenant during that time of year is difficult. The rental season peaks during the summer, with more people looking for rental spaces.
Make a reasonable offer
The rental industry is very competitive, and with the global pandemic negatively affecting the economy, it’s been tough for most landlords. If the number of available units outnumbers the prospective tenants, negotiating a rent reduction might be fruitful.
Even so, be sure to negotiate wisely. A fruitful negotiation requires both parties to feel the win. Consider paying several months’ rent right away. The owner will likely be happy to consider your rent reduction if you can begin paying rent immediately.
Have you tried negotiating rent before? Were you successful? How did the experience turn out? We’d like to hear your feedback in the comments below!
Image by Bente Jønsson from Pixabay
Guest Author Bio
Kyle Anderson is a Tech and Digital Marketing journalist whose typical day is spent scouring the web for the latest developments in the world of marketing and tech automation. He loves any type of new marketing software! For his pastimes, he is an avid lover of traveling, gadgets, and travel photography.
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