Like the changing of the seasons, rent increases seem to happen on a yearly basis, and for anyone who isn’t lucky enough to live with rent control, keeping expenses affordable often includes ensuring rent is affordable. Affordable rent, however, may start to disappear after a few years of residency.
Being stuck with a higher rental payment isn’t always necessary, however, and with a little negotiation it’s possible to get those rental increases thrown out and start saving money by enjoying a lower monthly payment. Consider the following methods for lowering monthly rent:
1. Offer to sign a long lease.
Leases for apartments and houses vary in length, but the traditional timeframe for a lease is one year. A renter must often pay a premium for a month-to-month arrangement or leases of less than a year, but the opposite is often true for leases of extraordinary length. Making an offer to sign a two year lease offers strong bargaining power for a reduced rental payment.
2. Check what the neighbors pay.
Most landlords base rent off what similar properties cost in the vicinity, but sometimes a rental rate might be a little higher than is necessary. If someone down the street is paying $1000 dollars for a comparable residence, there’s no reason that a renter needs to put up with paying $1050 for the same type of space.
3. Use problems as bargaining chips.
A noisy dog, construction noise, lack of parking, or a busy street are all problems that could cause a tenant to move out of his or her residence. Bringing these issues to the attention of the management company or landlord is a good way to begin negotiations for lower rent.
4. Talk about positive history.
A quiet tenant that always pays rent on time and who is a considerate neighbor is a great find for any landlord. After a few years of residency, it’s appropriate to highlight these optimistic characteristics and try to negotiate lower rent. A positive rental history may offer an incentive to a landlord to reduce rent.
5. Pay early and in bulk.
Although gathering enough rent to make double or triple payments isn’t possible on every budget, for individuals who can pay a few months in advance, it’s possible to discuss a lower rate when offering this convenience to the landlord.
6. Work for the landlord.
For large apartment complexes that have a front office, clerical employees and rental agents are regularly hired. Even if a tenant doesn’t have experience working as a leasing representative, some work might be available. Employees of the property often enjoy saving money on reduced rent.
7. Threaten to move.
Although threatening to move to another property is usually an option best left as a last resort, it’s still something to consider—but only if you are prepared to do it. Creating a highly diplomatic argument when negotiating lower rent before threatening to leave the property offers the best chance for success with this method.
Although some apartment complexes require a little more intense negotiation than others, a little haggling with the landlord or management company might go a long way in helping to lower the monthly cost of an apartment or house.