Negotiating rent with your landlord can be intimidating and uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t be off the table, especially if you spend much of your income on rent. That said, getting a fair deal is essential and ensuring you aren’t settling for a higher rent than you can afford.

Although rent prices always change nowadays, there are ways to negotiate with your landlord and find a middle ground that suits both parties. Not only will you save yourself thousands of dollars each year, but you’ll also be able to extend your lease for a lower price.

If you go into a negotiation with the proper tips and mindset, you can lower your rent to make it fit into your budget. Here are five strategies to prepare yourself and win over your landlord.

Can You Negotiate Rent?

Many first-time renters are doubtful whether they can negotiate rent, but we’re here to tell you that it’s okay if you do so. The price advertised in a listing can be a starting point for negotiations.

However, as a renter, you should watch for rent prices and their growth, as it may impact your chances of negotiating. According to statistics, rent growth experienced a decrease in February 2023 – the lowest annual growth in the last 20 months. So depending on the area you’re renting, the negotiation process might be more challenging.

There are some instances where negotiating rent’s a good idea, but you must ensure you’re renting from someone open to lower offers. Some landlords want to stay in a competitive rental market, so they tend not to accept negotiations.

At the same time, you should be aware of three instances when you can negotiate rent:

  • Before you move in
  • When you’re paying monthly rent
  • When the lease is up

Additionally, a first-time renter should know rent seasonality and when it’s more applicable to start negotiations. For example, the highest average rent price peaks in May, after the cold months and before the hot summer. This can be a golden opportunity to talk with your landlord and ask them strategically to lower your rent.

Tips for Negotiating Rent with Your Landlord

Negotiating rent isn’t about demanding what you want arrogantly. It’s about finding a middle ground on which you and your landlord can agree. First, you must understand your intentions and whether those benefit the other party. If you want to know more about negotiations strategies, here are some tips to ensure your plan on negotiating rent is successful:

Do Your Research

Before making your first negotiation move, doing detailed research about the property, its location, and the landlord is better. If you don’t know the rental market of the area you want to rent, it’ll be more challenging to justify your price.

You want to look at similar properties in your area and compare their rates. If you do some calculations and find that you’re paying more rent than other fellow tenants, you can mention that to your landlord during negotiations.

At the same time, it’s essential to research the property’s value to ensure you’re paying a reasonable amount for its worth. You can also talk to other neighbors or landlords in the area to learn more about the average property prices, which may give you an advantage.

If you’re a first-time renter and on a hunt for a property in a specific area, Rentberry allows you to apply online, negotiate your rent, and submit an offer to a prospective renter. This helps them review your application and decide whether your offer matches their interests.

Talk to Your Landlord in Person

To avoid surprises, it’s best to schedule a meeting with your landlord in person and not talk through the phone or email. That way, you can prepare to justify your reasons as to why they should lower your rent. Additionally, this is an easier way of being straightforward rather than beating around the bush, not to mention you get to see your landlord’s reaction to your request.

However, if you’re uncomfortable negotiating face-to-face, you can also schedule a phone conversation. At both times, you should remain professional and calm; never act defensive or rude. After that, you can follow up in writing after 24 hours through email.

Be Open to Compromise

If you’re an aggressive person who’s not open to compromise, negotiating rent might not be in your favor. You must remain confident to showcase how excellent of a renter you are without being rude.

At the same time, you want to be open to compromise. For example, if the landlord doesn’t accept your proposal, perhaps they have another offer. Regardless of the offer, you should suggest an amount you can afford. For example, you can follow the 30 percent rule, meaning you spend 30 percent of your monthly income on your rent. This isn’t a foolproof method, but you can always align your budget to your expenses.

Showcase Your Strengths as a Renter

One of the best strategies to get your landlord to lower your rent is to explain your strengths as a renter. If you’re someone they like in their property, they’ll more likely consider your offer because they trust you.

Explain why they should accept your proposal by highlighting the positive history of paying rent on time, taking care of apartments, and stating how long you’d like to rent the apartment. If you want to rent the property for many years, it’ll save them time and money in the long run. Additionally, to increase the chances of winning the negotiation process, you can provide your past landlords’ contact information to confirm your strengths.

Let Them Know You Have Options

If you’ve been on an apartment search for a long time, you’ve probably found some places you’d like to rent. One of the best things you can do during this period is to keep your options open, especially if you’re trying to negotiate with a prospective landlord.

When you discuss negotiating rent, ensure you state – respectfully – that their property is one of a few options you’re considering. Or else, if they think their rental is your only option, they won’t bother lowering your rate.

Also, another diplomatic move you can make is to leverage other properties’ amenities by explaining how other similar places in the area have more to offer for the same price. This can help them know how a lower rent can help your decision.

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