For most people, the monthly rent is one of the biggest expenses in their budgets. If there is a way to lower this, it will be easier for you to pay your monthly dues on time. Surprisingly, there are several ways to have your rent lowered, especially if the rent is too high for your budget. You might not even need to move to a cheaper place. Here are some pointers to consider decreasing your rental payments while staying put.
For this, you need some diplomacy and tact. Putting your foot down then demanding what you want in a confrontational way won’t get you what you want. Instead, negotiate with your landlord in a polite and respectful manner. Remember that the most successful negotiations come from finding a middle ground. Generally, rent negotiations start with a clear understanding of each other’s intentions. Then you would present your offer in a manner that will also benefit your landlord. Here are some tips to help you negotiate wisely:
- Determine what you want before you set a meeting with your landlord.
- Offer something to your landlord in return for lowering your rent
- Prepare a script to guide you
- Inform your landlord that you don’t want to move, but it’s too expensive, and you’re thinking about finding a new place.
- Offer to sign a longer lease. Tell your landlord they don’t have to worry about looking for a tenant if they agree to lower the rental price.
- If you live in a building, inquire if referral fees can bring your rent down.
Give your landlord a reason for why you want a decrease in your rent
Apart from wanting to lower your rents because it affects your living costs, there are other situations that you can present to your landlord so they will consider lowering your rent:
- Financial issues
During these times, people often fall into financial hardships that they have never experienced before. It may be due to the loss of employment, contracting a deadly disease, or getting unexpected medical bills due to an accident. Your landlord can consider any of these reasons to provide you with some relief. Just try to emphasize that you’re a responsible person and that you didn’t plan the situation you are in now.
- The competition offers lower rental prices
Often, the main reason why rentals increase is to keep up with the market. If similar properties around you have lower rental prices, you can use this as a bargaining chip to negotiate your rent. Use this information as leverage in your rent reduction letter. State that you can move out of the place you’re currently renting, and into a more affordable property if you need to. Just make sure to word your letter in a polite way.
- Not enough amenities
Not all rental properties have complete amenities. For instance, the cost of visiting a laundromat or having to pay for a gym. If your current place doesn’t have these amenities that similarly-priced properties in your area offer, bring this to your property manager’s attention. They can either add these amenities or reduce your rental price.
Tell your landlord that you’re willing to pay earlier
Late payments are very frustrating for landlords, especially for those who have large mortgage payments and other financial obligations. You can use the early payment tactic to negotiate with your landlord to lower your rent.
Tell your landlord that if they lower your rent, you will give them the assurance that they will get every single payment on or before the first day of each month. If you fail to pay the rent early as agreed upon, your landlord may bring back your original rent. Another alternative is to make rent payments twice a month that corresponds to when you receive your salary. One good benefit of this is a more effective budget that may result in lowering your regular expenses.
Offer to do some chores
There are many cases where property managers are usually underpaid but overworked. This can be an opportunity for you to lower your rent. Ask the property manager if they need help. Most of them usually have full-time jobs too. If your landlord or property manager cannot lower your rent upright, doing some chores around the apartment complex can be a way for you to earn a rent reduction.
Of course, doing yard work, showing empty units to prospective renters, doing chores for other tenants, or shoveling snow during winter aren’t glamorous tasks, but they can save you some money. If you are especially good at DIY projects, ask your property manager if they need an extra pair of hands for repairs. Your specific skills may prove valuable to help you lower your rent too.
Find the right time
When it comes to rent negotiations, timing matters. Like any other commodities, renting apartments goes through bad and good times. There are times when it’s a “buyer’s market” where landlords find themselves with plenty of unoccupied apartments that they need to rent out. Then there also times where renters are literally flocking to find apartments to rent.
Timing the negotiation of your rent is essential if you want your landlord to agree to what you want. If you want to negotiate an existing lease, you should start negotiations 2 to 3 months before the expiry of that lease. Remember that your landlord will already look at the bottom line. Most landlords would rather keep their existing tenants instead of having to spend money, effort, and time looking for another tenant to rent the unit.
Generally, landlords will do almost anything to keep good tenants when the expiration date leases approach. This is the perfect time to negotiate your rent. If you’re negotiating for a new lease, do this during the winter months as this usually is the time landlords find it extremely difficult to find renters. The worst time to negotiate is during early fall and summer. These are not the best times to look for apartments either. Keep this in mind if you have chosen to move out and find a new place.