When you’re looking for a new apartment, you probably want to squeeze the best deal possible out of the landlord—never settle for less, right? Whether you’re trying to get a free month of rent or an upgrade in amenities, trying to negotiate can yield some wonderful results.
However, landlords may not be willing to talk dollars and cents with you. In a September 2014 Rent.com survey of property owners and managers, we discovered that rental rates are on the rise and fewer landlords are willing to negotiate with future tenants.
In fact, only 11% said they’d lower rental rates; 8% would give a free month of rent; 9% would alleviate deposit requirements; and 9% would offer amenity upgrades. The number of property managers willing to give concession to renters has been steadily declining since 2009.
Why the Change?
Simply put: apartment vacancy rates have also steadily decreased. The vacancy rate was only 8.3% in 2014, compared to 10.9% in 2009.
In years past, landlords were more willing to negotiate, in part, because they had empty units that needed filling. Property managers have less trouble finding renters, so they don’t need to no longer need to give concessions.
Tips for Negotiating
Just because most landlords are hesitant to negotiate doesn’t mean you’re stuck with your offer. You can try to snag a cheaper rent or upgraded utilities—the worst that could happen is the landlord saying no! Here are some tips to help you get an edge when negotiating:
Research Rental Rates in the Area: Start by taking a look at the average cost of renting in the neighborhood where you’re looking. If the unit you want costs more than the average, you might have a chance at decreasing the price.
When you talk to the landlord, ask him or her why this particular apartment costs so much more than others nearby. You may find the place has more amenities (which is nice) or you could get a better offer.
Tout Your Qualities: If you’re planning on renewing your lease and want a better deal this time around, consider talking yourself up. Remind your landlord how you pay your rent on time, never get complaints from neighbors and keep the unit in good shape. Basically, show why you deserve upgrades or a rental decrease.
Make an Offer: You could have something the landlord would be willing to trade. For instance, pay a couple months upfront in exchange for a lower rent. You may also promise to stay longer, give up a parking space or refer friends.
We hope these tips will help you out, even though most landlords aren’t down with negotiating. Good luck!
Pin this post: