Renting is a significantly common practice nowadays. This trend occurs due to the state of the real estate market, where many consider it more affordable to rent their homes instead. Another factor is that large cities are packed full of apartment renters, while many homeowners live on the outskirts in the suburbs. For those with city jobs, they find it more convenient to live in apartment rentals instead.
What most renters don’t realize is that apartment rent can be negotiable. Of course, landlords aren’t likely to give a deal for no reason. You’re going to have to give something in return. To do that, you have to think like a landlord. What might landlords cherish that could be worth actual money in their eyes? This could be anything that will save them time, hassle, or stress, or money.
The following are some conditions that you can use to negotiate your apartment rent:
Being a negotiator
Whether you’re a new tenant or an existing tenant, there are some basic negotiation tactics you should have to make sure you get what you want out of the deal. For starters, don’t negotiate over the phone or via email or text. This is an easy copout for landlords, who will not give in to your demands. Instead, go in person and get what you want.
A good negotiator is always positive of the exact outcome they are looking for, and they must be prepared with their alternatives as well. A perfect negotiation does not have a winner and a loser, but rather has two winners. It should be the solution with the best possible outcome for both parties. In order for that to occur, you must have a deep understanding of what you will accept and will not accept during the negotiation.
Know your facts
During the negotiation process, come prepared with numbers and documents. You need to have a leg to stand on if you’re going to try to get money out of your landlord. Remember, this is a business for them as much as it is an expense for you. You need to prove to them why you deserve the rent decrease or rent freeze that you’re asking for.
Have statistics from the area, along with the rent rates of comparable units nearby. Know your own credit score, get references from your previous landlords, and obtain copies of your rent payment record. Compile any other information you can find to solidify your case.
Offer several months upfront
If you’re able to pay several months of rent upfront, the landlord might be happy to have the hassle of your rent cheque off their back. As a result, they might reduce the cost of your rent. Remember that it’s a negotiation. You will provide several months (three or six, for instance) in return for a discount on your rent. Otherwise, you will provide rent on the first of the month like everyone else.
In apartments that allow pets, they may have included a pet incident fee in the rent. But if you don’t have a pet, then you could argue that you should be exempt from such a fee, as you are essentially ensuring that their apartment is safe from any pet-related damage.
Come up with a number that you think is fair. The landlord may say no outright, but they may negotiate a slightly lower amount instead, which will likely still be worth it. Don’t be afraid to counteroffer though. If you think it’s worth $75 and they offer $25, see what they say about $50.
If you don’t own a car but are entitled a parking spot, you could rent your spot back to your landlord for decreased rent rate. The landlord can then charge someone else who may need the extra spot, and you get a discount on your rent.
Alternatively, your landlord my prefer to have you do the deal directly with the other tenant. As long as they allow you to charge a fee for the parking spot, you’re winning. If you would rather not have the hassle, suggest to your landlord that he could rent your spot out for more than you are asking off your rent. This may speak to their greedy side and get you out of having to be a part of the deal.
If you think you could get your friends to move into the same building or complex, mention it to your landlord. See if you can get a credit on a portion of one month’s rent for each successful referral. It may not be a long-term solution, but it could end up putting a little extra cash in your pocket.