Tips for Negotiating Your Rent Payment

Close up of a woman signing a check that will be put to use for rent paymentYou’re hunting for an apartment and finally find the place of your dreams. It’s within walking distance of a coffee shop, a short cab ride from work, and has great amenities included. Only, there’s one problem: it’s slightly outside of your price range. However, taking a strategic approach to the negotiation table could help you win over your future landlord. It can be an intimidating process, so let’s take a look at some tips that can simplify negotiating your rent payment.

Ask if Negotiating Your Rent Payment Is Up for Discussion

Before pitching the reasons you believe the rent should be lower, make sure the landlord is open to negotiation. If the property owner is a large investment company, you’d likely be wasting your time negotiating a lower payment, but an independent landlord can change the price at their discretion. Likewise, if you’re facing a rent increase, it’s wise to start a conversation with your landlord a month before the ending of your lease to ensure there’s enough time for them to consider your offer and for you to make other plans if denied.

Useful Negotiating Tactics for Renters

When researching apartments, ask the landlord if they offer rent concessions. These are benefits that landlords sometimes offer – such as a rebate, move-in assistance, or a living space upgrade – in exchange for paying a few months of rent upfront or signing on for a long lease. As for negotiating one’s monthly rents, the following examples are beneficial:

  • Highlight Your Strengths: Express that you’re a reliable tenant who always pays dues on time and you’re committed to safety and cleanliness. Sometimes you can receive a letter of recommendation from a former landlord.
  • Extend Your Lease: If you intend on living at the apartment for a while, ask about extending your lease for a lower rent. It’s a good compromise, as the landlord won’t have to worry about renting the space out to a new tenant within the next few years.
  • Research the Property Value: Determine if the rent amount matches the prevailing market to give you leverage. You can do so by researching the rent rates of similar properties in the neighborhood.
  • Open Yourself to Compromise: If a rent amount or increase is narrowly out of your budget, try splitting the difference between the landlord’s and your desired prices.

It’s recommended these conversations be made via phone or video chat, but should you come to terms at the negotiation table, ensure the landlord follows up with the compromise in writing to guarantee your rent payment is set in stone.

Have a Backup Plan in Case the Negotiation Fails

You should have more than one apartment on your radar. Don’t put all your bread into one basket, banking on the landlord submitting to your negotiation tactics. This is especially true if you’re negotiating against an increase in your payment shortly before the end of your lease. If the rent increase is more than you’re able to pay and negotiation attempts fail, having another apartment to move into as soon as your lease ends will be immensely helpful. If you’re required to move, be sure to update your renters insurance so there’s no period of time where you’re not covered.

Negotiating your rent payment can be an intimidating experience, but it’s important to be honest with your landlord early to get a better understanding of the type of person they are. While you’re working to lower your payments, another important aspect of renting is ensuring the property inside is protected. At TJ Woods Insurance, we can pair you with renters insurance that will fall in line with your budget, ensuring you’re provided a safety net with the least cost to you. Contact us today if you’re interested in finding out how to safeguard your assets.