Many of us feel shy or uncomfortable when it comes to negotiating rent, or anything for that matter; some people can, but most of us can’t.

Learning just how you can leverage certain things like the current market rates and apartment or building conditions may be able to help you get lower rent rates in the future.

With that said, you don’t have to master the art of negotiation to secure a better rent rate, which is why so many people decide to put their shyness aside and learn how to get lower rent rates.

Here are some of the things you need to know to successfully negotiate your rent rate with your landlord:

• Preparation is key

Know the market: Read about the surrounding rental rates around the apartment you want, gather rental statistics (you can even go as far as preparing them in a document), make sure you have a clear understanding of the available amenities and what lacks in comparison to other buildings. Knowing this information can really give your an advantage when discussing possible price cuts.

• Timing is everything

Choose the season: In which months do you have the most leverage? What season of the year has the lowest and highest supply of rental availabilities? Do your research. Usually, during the winter landlords have the hardest time finding new tenants; therefore, you’ll be able to negotiate a reduction much easier during this time than during other seasons (especially the summer).

Negotiate before your current lease expires: this way you won’t be desperate to find a place quickly and you’ll feel more comfortable negotiating a lower rent rate.

Your reputation speaks louder than you

The way you present yourself is key in negotiations; every landlord wants responsible, trustworthy tenants, so you need to present yourself as such.

Be an amazing applicant: gather all the required information (including tax returns, proof of employment, and pay stubs), and submit it with your application. Be polite and show good manners, which immediately makes you more likable than you already are!

Negotiate in person: it is harder to say no when debating in person. Therefore, if you can hold your pokerface for just 30 minutes or so, you’ll thank yourself very month when you’re cutting that rent check!

Gather references: get a couple letters of recommendation from previous landlords or apartment managers, which state that you didn’t cause any problems and paid your rent on time. You may even go step further and get some references that speak of your character, like references from a former boss.

Credit score: if your credit score is good, make sure you show it to your landlord as proof that you won’t be late with your rent and that you are financially dependable. 

• Considering bargains, then coming up with a creative offer

Consider bargains: Think about what you have to negotiate with, and how you can make the deal more appealing to your landlord and at the same time more beneficial to you. Consider the bargaining chips you can offer to your landlord in exchange for a lower rent, like:

  • Can you prepay for a few months upfront? (to show good faith and stability, in exchange for monthly discount)
  • Can you commit to a longer lease? (Be careful with this one; yet if you plan to stay longer, you can negotiate a longer lease term in exchange for a lower rent rate)
  • Offer recommendations, referrals in exchange. (this will especially work with low occupancy buildings)

Point out the repairs: be tactful in the negotiation and bring your landlord’s attention to anything in need of repair. Then suggest that the current condition of the items in question merits a proportionate reduction in the rent price. You can also offer to repair or replace these items yourself in exchange for reduced rent.

Be strategic: know exactly what you want and what you are bargaining for, and aim for more than you expect to receive; then you’ll seem reasonable when you agree to meet somewhere in the middle.


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