Negotiating Rental Rates

You’ve found an apartment that’s perfect for you, but you wish the price were a little lower. Don’t worry, there may be some wiggle room, be strategic and take action. As the saying goes “you never get anything unless you ask for it”. Sometimes if you want lower rental rates you just need to ask.

Here are a few tips for negotiating lower rent.

Understand the rental market

Do your research. What are apartments around you asking for rent, especially the comparable. If you’re interested in a newly developed complex, then look at another newly developed complex. Compare apples to apples and have a clear understanding of the amenities offered by all considered apartments.

It is easy for anyone to find out the prices of different apartments, it’s not a secret, but the rates can change from day to day. Get a competing rate in writing if you can and bring it with you when you go to negotiate. Using the lower rate of similar apartment is a great tool for negotiating lower rent on the apartment you love.

Sell yourself as a great tenant

Be prepared before you make your offer and sell yourself as a great prospect. Bring a few letters of recommendation to help convince the property manager you’d be a tenant worth having, even at a reduced rate. Get a letter from previous landlords or property managers which say you are a reliable tenant that always pays rent on time and never causes any problems. Letters from your employer are also great or possibly someone in a non-profit organization you were a part of.

If your lease is up for renewal and you would like to negotiate a better rate, remind the manager how great of a tenant you’ve been, and anything else that is positive such as paying your rent on time.

Make an offer

Think like a manager and put yourself in their shoes. What would make their job easier? You could offer a reduced rental rate in trade for giving up a parking spot you may not need. Offering to sign a longer lease is a great way to reduce rent as well as making the lease end in the spring which is typically a prime rental season. You can also ask the manager If they have any flexibility on rates (and they usually do), then you might be able to help each other out.

Related: How to Budget for an Apartment