11 Tricks for Negotiating Cheaper Rent

Katie Sweeney

In most cities these days, it’s a landlord’s market, so it can be daunting to think about finding an affordable apartment for rent. Plus, costs for renters are growing; that’s why it’s crucial to know how to negotiate the terms of your lease. According to a recent Money article, “knowing how to negotiate apartment rent will help you keep this cost as low as possible, even as rent affordability worsens.” The article goes on to recommend the following 11 important tricks.

  1. Just ask. When you’re checking out apartments, start a conversation with the property manager and see if they are willing to negotiate rent and address your concerns.
  2. Comparison shop similar apartments. “One of the most effective arguments for a rent decrease is to show that the asking price is too high for the local market,” writes Elyssa Kirkham.
  3. Check vacancy rates. The property management company may have many vacancies, and an abundance of listings is a sign that they are having trouble getting and keeping tenants.
  4. Negotiate when renewing your lease. If you’re on good terms with your landlord, try to get a lower rent or avoid a rent hike when renewing your lease.
  5. Prove you’re a perfect tenant. Make a great first impression and prove you'll be an ideal tenant; your landlord might lower rent.
  6. Get time on your side. Landlords drop prices by 10 to 15% at certain times of year (for example, between November and January). Summer months are busier and have lots of potential renters, so rental rates will be higher.
  7. Consider an extended lease. Offer something in return for lower rent. Guarantee you will be in the apartment for at least two years and the landlord may consider making you a deal.
  8. Offer to pay more up front. “Besides a longer lease, renters can also offer to pay several months of rent up front in exchange for a discounted rate.”
  9. Try to get other perks. Ask for an additional parking spot or a fresh coat of paint in the unit. Negotiate other aspects of the lease like a smaller deposit. 
  10. Pay more when it will pay off. If you can afford to offer more than the rent, you’ll ensure you get the apartment and get your landlord’s favor. 
  11. Know local rental laws. Educate yourself on your city and know your rights as a renter. “You’ll also be better equipped to save money and get more of your deposit back when the time comes to move out.”

Searching for a new apartment? Why not invest in a new sofa?

Have you ever negotiated your rent? What was your technique?

Opening image: At Home in Kansas

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