The old saying “Everything is negotiable” does not stop being true when looking for your next rental home. Most would-be tenants enter the market with the firm belief that what is advertised is what the price is. To be sure, this is the case sometimes. Other times you might find yourself in the position to negotiate a better deal.
You have to ask yourself one very important question before you start to probe into the area of price reduction: Are you willing to give up this place to get a better deal? If the answer is no, and you can afford the rent being advertised, you might want to avoid this process. Otherwise, if you don’t feel a pressure to close a deal you might just be in a fantastic position to get a great deal.
To begin the step-by-step process you need to know you are putting yourself in the best negotiating position. There is one universal aspect to this we can expect across the board. Timing. When looking for a new rental, timing can mean a whole lot. For example, if you are looking to move when school is coming into session, or letting out, you are not doing yourself a favor. Be sure to find the most awkward timing possible for most moves. Maybe, say, over the christmas season. You will be up against less traffic and can better serve up some terms.
Send a cover letter with your application. Send a quick rundown of your household including family structure, schooling, employment and general lifestyle. Paint a pretty picture! In fact, sometimes, including a nice picture can help. After you have put forward why you will be such a fantastic tenant, you can get down to business. Give your property manager a good pitch to your move in date, proposed rent and deposits and a timeline to get these funds transferred. If you are asking for a rent reduction it can go a long way to give something in return. Perhaps a quick move in, or offer to take a maintenance task off their hands. A landlord will most likely take a rent reduction more seriously if you are willing to do some type of give/take.
It’s highly unlikely that any successful property owner will give up a rent reduction without some type of dialog. If you find yourself in the fortunate position to push a negotiation you will most likely be counter offered. A landlord might want to only bend a little and not to the extent you are looking for. At this point if you have come this far and a landlord is willing to talk, you officially have the upper hand. This likely means there have not been any applicants that have passed the bar willing to pay full price.
It’s a dangerous game! At this point you have to ask yourself how far you want to push. Are you going to stick to your guns and get everything you wanted, or are you willing to give up a bit to make the deal work. This will be a purely personalized decision. Pushing too far can start your tenant/landlord relationship on a contentious first step. If you can find common ground you might find you each win a little something in the deal.
You have more power than you might give yourself credit in the rental market. Do your research and find the status of your local area. Is it a hot or cold market? If you can keep a cool head and a respectful tone you could end up with a great deal in a home you love.