How to Negotiate & Lower Your Apartment Rent Payment

How to Negotiate & Lower Your Apartment Rent Payment by

Most people see rental costs as an established amount of money they have to pay each month. To make things even worse, that amount of money usually takes up considerate chunk of a monthly budget. The remaining household costs, such as groceries and utilities are the most common objects of cut backs. Still, not a single rent is carved in stone, and there are ways to lower the monthly payments. The amount of leverage you will have in negotiations will depend on your references and the amount of time the apartment has been on the market. We will try to improve your odds with a few guidelines.

Investigate the Rental Market

Before you even start searching for an apartment, you will have to do your research about the current state of rental market. A well informed negotiator is a successful negotiator. That is why you should find out the average rents in the desired neighborhood. If you have found a specific building, ask the tenants how much they are paying. Use the opportunity to research whether the owner of the flat is willing to negotiate. Find out how long the apartment has been on the market. If it is a period longer than two months, the landlord will be more eager to lower the price.

Timing Is EverythingHow to Negotiate & Lower Your Apartment Rent Payment by

Renting an apartment during a busy season (e.g. beginning of college semester) will result with high rents that are usually non-negotiable. Landlords are less prone to lowering the prices when they know there are a lot of potential tenants willing to pay the established rent. The peak of the apartment renting season usually takes place between May and September, so the wiser choice would be to start your flat hunting during the winter. This way, you will be able to negotiate more favorable deals. Note that the landlords are more prone to make deals at the end of the month.

Promote Yourself as a Great Tenant

Set up an actual appointment with a landlord or a property manager. There is only so much an online research and email/phone inquiry can do. Face to face meetings demonstrate you are responsible and reliable. Dress for the meeting as you would for a job interview. You will give a better first impression and the apartment owner will take your questions and requests more seriously. Bring references, bank balances and pay stubs to prove you have sufficient income and a stable job. If you are in between jobs, arrange a cosigner. Ask recommendations from previous landlords.How to Negotiate & Lower Your Apartment Rent Payment by

Be Flexible, Creative and Persistent

There is no point in being confrontational. Start with the lower price than you are willing to pay, and see how it works. In the end, there are always great alternative amenities and discounts. If you choose to pay rent with credit card, you have the possibility of earning reward points for each dollar you spend. Some concessions you can make are renouncing the parking space (if you do not own a car), paying the first rent in advance, longer lease term, etc. You can, in return, ask for lower security deposit, included utilities, free cable or internet, etc. Offer to help with the maintenance of the building and the yard. If you are considering other apartments with lower rents, use that as your bargaining chip. That means you should be prepared to actually walk away if there are no chances for compromises. If, however, a deal is made and you have reduced your rental rate or achieved some sort of discount, make sure you have got the deal in writing. Verbal agreements can be annulled easily.

The possibility of negotiating lower rental rates is always open, regardless if you are searching for a new apartment or your lease term is near expiration date. Remember that it is in the best interest of both you and the landlord, for you to move in/stay in the apartment. So do not negotiate in the role of adversary, be an ally instead.


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