Before you sign on the dotted line for your new lease, take a step back and consider the possibility of paying less for your rental unit each month. If you're thinking, "Why should I even negotiate rent in the first place?", the answer is pretty simple. Whether you’re saving $20 a month or $100’s, every little bit adds up and could be a great opportunity to save up some cash.
Is it possible to pay reduced rent? Yes. How can you find out if this is a possibility for the property you’re living in? Ask. Your landlord or property management company is the only one who can make these decisions and you truly won’t know until you ask. Now, don’t head into this meeting expecting to come out getting rent at half-price. This is a negotiation after all.
So, what are the secrets to saving? What can you do to get your rental cost cut to pocket a little extra cash each month?
Let’s take a look at a few simple yet significant tips for saving on your monthly rent.
1. Timing is Key
Timing is one of the most important keys in a successful negotiation. If you don't time it right, you could possibly walk away with a firm “no” from your landlord or property management company. So when is the best time to schedule a meeting to discuss?
- Meet at the End of the Month: More tenants will be moving out at the end of the month so this is an ideal time to show your landlord or property management company that you’d like to stick around if the price is right.
- Schedule a Time With a Few Months Left in Your Current Lease: Scheduling a time with just a few months left if your current lease will give your landlord or property management company time to think about offering you a new lease at a cheaper rate.
- Express How Long You’d Like to Extend Your Lease: The best way to negotiate a cheaper rental price? Express to your landlord or property management company that you want to stay a tenant for the long-run. The longer the better. Landlords and property management companies love to see long-term tenants because they know that they’re quality tenants who pay their rent.
- Negotiate During the Winter Months: If you live in a colder climate, try to negotiate your rent during winter months. Why? Renters are far less likely to be moving in empty apartments during this time of year which means you sticking around and paying rent to occupy a unit is important to your landlord or property management company.
2. Think Outside of the Box
As much as saving x amount of dollars per month on your rent would be great, keep an open mind. If your landlord or property management company can’t offer cash off of your monthly rent, ask for other options that will still save you some cash.
- Free Parking
- Free Gym Membership
- Any other extra monthly expenses other than rent and utilities
This is an excellent way to ask for money off of your monthly rent without actually asking for money off of your rent. You as a renter are physically saving cash while your property management company or landlord don’t see it as such a big loss to them since they are still seeing you pay the full amount of rent each month. Free parking spot and gym membership? Count us in!
3. Offer Your Services
Perhaps your landlord isn’t ready to just give you a discounted rate on your apartment because everyone else in the building is paying the same flat rate. Offer an incentive to your landlord showing how you can contribute something to the property and in return you will receive a discount of your rental rate. For example, if you have some free time on the weekend, offer to take care of the landscaping of the property. Do you have experience with plumbing or electrical work? Let your landlord know that you’d like to offer your services when needed and in return get a sweet discount off your rent. It doesn’t hurt to ask and can turn into a create landlord and renter relationship.
4. Don’t Give Up
As hard as it is just waive your white flag and accept that your landlord is holding on his pocketbook extra tight, don’t give up. Instead, take some time away from the situation and come back to it at a later date. Be the best tenant you can be. Physically show that you’re an asset to the rental company as far as tenants go and keep a positive and open line of communication with your landlord or whoever the point of contact is for your rental property company. Try again towards the end of your lease. What’s the worst they can say? If you feel like you deserve a better rate for what you’re getting out of your living situation, check out other properties. With the number of rental units available out there looking for excellent renters, you will eventually find the perfect rental unit to suit your needs and fit your budget.
Now that we’ve discussed tips for negotiating rent with your landlord or property management company, let’s take a look at how to go about this with a positive mindset. Will these tips always work? No. Will they work on the first try? Probably not. As with most things in life, consistency is key. Keep an open line of communication with your landlord or property management company team. Let them know that you’re ready to talk again when they are and if they *really* want you to stick around for the long-run and remain an excellent tenant, they’ll work with your [reasonable] request.
Can’t get your landlord or property management company to budge? While staying put in your current rental is the easier thing to do, finding a better and more reasonably priced rental is another great option.
Need help finding a quality landlord or reliable roommate to rent with? Be sure to join VerticalRent today!
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About the author
Ashley Orlowski is the Digital Marketing Analyst for VerticalRent. She has a passion for writing with both landlords and renters in mind. She strongly believes enrolling and utilizing VerticalRent and VerticalRent Community can greatly benefit all parties involed and help encourgage better landlord/renter dynamics and stronger roommate relationships.