Do you view rent as a set price with no room for negotiation? If so, it might be time to change your perspective. Many landlords can be persuaded to accept lower offers if you play your cards right.
And even a small discount can pay off quickly. Negotiating down just $50 per month will save you $600 per year. Use these tips to negotiate rent and start saving on your next apartment.
Find the right scenario for negotiating rent
Not all landlords are open to negotiating rent.
Although a lot of it comes down to the individual person, there are a few ways you can increase your chances of finding someone willing to be flexible.
Analyze the rental market in your city
How saturated is the rental market in your city?
If the supply of available apartments is smaller than the pool of renters, you might have trouble negotiating anything lower than the sticker price.
In a competitive market, you’ll be up against many other candidates who might be willing to pay full price. Landlords will be less likely to compromise if they know they’ll be able to rent the unit to someone else quickly and for more money.
Overall, there are several methods you can use to find out whether your local rental market is oversaturated.
In most cities, a simple Google search should bring up recent news and blog articles discussing the state of the rental market. Keep an eye on rental listings to see how long units typically stay available; if most apartments disappear after a few days, it could be a sign that competition is high.
Look for apartments that have been listed for a while
One surefire way to find landlords who are open to negotiation is to identify apartments that have been empty for longer periods of time.
When a unit remains unoccupied for weeks or months, the owner is likely to accept a lower offer. Remember that landlords still need to pay the bills regardless of whether someone is living in the unit or not, so it makes the most financial sense to get a lease signed as soon as possible.
Approach the landlord strategically
Once you’ve identified an apartment that you’d like to negotiate rent on, be mindful of how you contact the landlord.
For example, you can start with a polite email briefly introducing yourself and asking if the listed rent price is negotiable. Be upfront with your intentions so that you don’t waste the landlord’s time – or yours.
If the landlord expresses that they’re not willing to negotiate, don’t take it personally. Thank them for their time and ask that they contact you if they change their mind. If the landlord is unable to find someone else to rent the unit, you might just get a phone call in the future.
How to negotiate rent
When negotiating rent, your personal goal is to get down to the lowest price the landlord is willing to accept.
However, simply asking for a discount isn’t the best way to go about things. Always back up your negotiations with facts. You’ll have much better success if you make the landlord feel that they’re getting something out of the deal, too.
Research comparable units
Is the asking price for the unit higher than its market value? Landlords sometimes overestimate how much their apartment is worth. Do your homework and provide the landlord with a list of comparable units with a lower listed price if you’re able to find them.
A few parameters to take into consideration when researching comparable units:
Size in square feet
Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
Access to public transportation
Condition of the unit
Quality of appliances
Highlight your strengths as a tenant
Do you have great credit? Are you a non-smoker? Can previous landlords vouch for your good behavior? All these qualities make you a strong candidate as a tenant.
When asking for a negotiated rent price, provide the landlord with a list of reasons you make an ideal person to rent to, almost like you would on a job resume. The landlord will see the value in not having to worry about a tenant that might cause issues or cost money.
A few personal qualities you can highlight (if they are applicable) when negotiating rent:
Good credit score
Proof of high income
Bank statement showing significant savings
References from past landlords
No criminal history
Long-term plans to stay local
Find ways to add value
If you’re asking for a discount on rent, think of how you can add value to the landlord’s side of the deal. These can include monetary and non-monetary offers, such as:
Not everyone likes the idea of negotiating rent; for some people, it might sound too stressful to be worth the money saved.
However, there are still ways to get a fair deal on rent without having to negotiate.
Blueground is an apartment rental companythat offers furnished units for mid to long-term stays in many major cities around the world. The fully-furnished, completely equipped apartments and serviced homes will provide a local experience that is worth the price tag.
Guests have access to the Blueground Guest App which among other things, lets you schedule cleanings, request maintenance, and chat with tenant support. So it’s like a hotel concierge in the palm of your hand.
In addition, the monthly rental amount of your Blueground property is automatically discounted if you commit to a longer lease term. There’s also a discount available when the total rental amount is paid upfront.