So, You Want to Lower Your Rent? Here’s How to Negotiate

Rental rates have tenants feeling the squeeze. Statista reports prices have spiked by over 4% in the past year alone. In expensive cities like New York or San Francisco, that number is closer to 10%. Learn how to negotiate like a pro, using these tips from the team at negotiations.com.

Build relationships 

Social sciences studies show that people are more likely to do favors for those they know and like. So, take the time to build positive relationships. Start by paying your rent on time and taking care of the property. 

Next, try to get to know your landlord or the property management team. Strike up a conversation when you see them and try to find common areas of interest. If you’re able, send them a goodwill gift from time to time – like a food basket during the holidays. Just be sure you don’t overstep your bounds. 

Do your homework

When used wisely, information can be a powerful negotiation tool. So, find out as much as you can before you make a request. Try to gather information on what other tenants in the area are paying. Also, research the local market to get an idea of the going rates. 

Your offer may seem more attractive if there are many empty units. So, look up the vacancy rate in your building. Be sure to check out those in the immediate surrounding area as well. If the area is struggling, your landlord may be more open to negotiating. 

Offer to sign a longer lease

Looking for and vetting new tenants is time-consuming and expensive. It can cost $1,200 on average according to a study by the National Association of Realtors. Even after jumping through all those hoops, there is no guarantee. 

Landlords are looking to maximize their return. So, one way to sweeten the deal is by offering to sign a longer lease. This will give them the stability and peace of mind they crave. In turn, you may be able to wrangle a lower monthly rate.

Pay a higher deposit or more renter’s insurance

Renting is risky for landlords. They’re gambling on strangers to take care of their property. Lowering the landlord’s risk could help increase your negotiating leverage. There are two ways to do this – pay a higher deposit or more renter’s insurance.

A higher deposit or insurance premium signals that you’re a low-risk tenant. After all, the more money you have on the line, the less likely you are to damage the property or skip out on rent. Also, a higher deposit gives your landlord more money to work with, which is a plus. 

Negotiating can be daunting, but it’s worth it if you’re able to lower your rent. Just remember to remain respectful and calm. You’re more likely to get what you want if you keep your exchanges cordial. Also, get everything you agree to in writing. It’ll help avoid any misunderstandings down the road.