Having a place to live is a necessity to survive in the modern world. If you don’t own a home, you have to rent a place. Given the skyrocketing homeownership prices, many accept that they’ll be renting for quite some time. Shopping around helps to some degree, but it also helps to know some beginner techniques for negotiating rent.
Tips for Negotiating Rent
You might want to try and strike some grand bargain like you see people on television trying to do, but that’s reality TV designed for entertainment. A home run might not be a great thing to swing for. Try to get a small change over time instead of a huge discount. A small request, even just $50 a month, can add up to $600 over the course of the year.
Don’t text or email. Different forms of communication have varying levels of success. A face-to-face chat is the most likely to produce an affirmative answer. If you can’t do that, use video chat or a phone call.
Do you have proof of being a good renter? If so, mention it and be prepared to use it. Landlords love good tenants, so if you don’t have complaints from neighbors, a track record of on-time rent, and respect for property maintenance, then you are more likely to get a concession or two from them.
In all cases, don’t be afraid to ask. The worst outcome is them saying no. Just try asking them to knock $100 off the monthly price. They might accept, or they might give what they can and feel is fair.
Talk to other friends and family that rent. They might have recent experiences in getting deals on rent that you haven’t thought of or considered.
Do it at the right time. If you’re looking to negotiate rent for a place you are currently staying, the best time to do it is close to the end of your lease but before the property is on the market. Turnover between tenants can cost thousands, and landlords would rather not deal with it.
Consider extending your lease term. Many landlords are willing to give slightly lower rent payments each month to a tenant they know is going to be around for a long while.
Know Who You Are Talking To
It’s easy enough to assume that landlords renting out properties are just looking for renters. However, there are different kinds of renters who might be in demand. A landlord looking to rent out a standalone house might be looking for a family who wants to be in that particular school district for a long time, but anyone managing apartments near Texas Tech knows they are primarily renting out to students. They’re not likely to budge much on rent during the school year, but you might be able to get a nice deal for a short summer lease when they are more likely to have availability.
Why Renting Can Be Better Than Owning
You might be someone forced to rent because you can’t be a homeowner yet, but many choose to rent instead because of certain benefits. You don’t have to become one of them if you’re not one of them. However, knowing the benefits of renting over owning helps you make the best of it during your renting years. Here are a few of them:
- You don’t have to pay for repair bills or maintenance costs.
- Utilities cost less.
- You’ll get access to amenities like fitness centers or swimming pools.
- Insurance costs are lower.
- You won’t have to pay property taxes.
- No down payment is necessary except maybe a security deposit and two months’ rent.
- You won’t lose sleep over property value depreciation.
- More options where to live.
- You can downsize.
- Your rent amount is fixed for the duration of the lease.
Even if you’re a homeowner, it can help to know how to negotiate rent sometimes. Whether you’re looking to rent a vacation home or help teach your kids how to negotiate their rent when they move out, these are crucial business skills applicable to many circumstances.