Did you know you can ask for a discount on rent while on the hunt for a new apartment? You can! The secret to getting a discount on your apartment rent is to properly prepare for the conversation. (You also need to be okay with getting turned down.)
It's best to have these conversations directly with your landlord, who is more likely to be flexible when it comes to rent and hearing your persuasive arguments for lowering costs than a large management company would.
There's no reason not to ask for cheaper rent, but before you do, do your research. Check out other properties in the area or building and compare rent. Is your unit already below the average? If so, the landlord most likely won't go any cheaper.
If it's higher than average, you could have some wiggle room. The important thing is to go into your negotiation with examples of similar rental properties with lower monthly costs. It's a great bargaining chip should haggling not go so well in your favor.
To help sweeten the deal when asking for a lower rent, consider giving a little incentive in return. Offer to sign a longer lease for more than a year, showing the landlord that by lowering the rent, they'll have a longer period before having to start this whole process all over again.
You could also offer to cover or do small repairs yourself in order to relieve your landlord of some maintenance costs. Issues like a leaky sink or a broken thermostat are fairly simple fixes. It's important to set a maximum dollar amount you're willing to contribute per repair, however, in order to protect yourself.
Another option is to offer paying a slightly higher security deposit, just to demonstrate you're committed to staying in the apartment for the full term of your lease. If a one-month deposit is the norm, offer to pay a month and a half or two months. You'll get this money back when you leave the apartment as long you don't break your lease or heavily damage the unit, so you're still saving.
Any walk-through of an apartment should be accompanied by a lot of questions. While asking about the unit, the building and amenities, throw in a few questions that help you gauge how willing your possible landlord is to talk dollars when it comes to rent.
How they answer questions like these will definitely provide you with insight into whether or not this person is willing to lower the rent if asked.
How you come off when you meet your landlord is just as important in this process as doing your research and feeling out a landlord's likelihood to bargain. The more appealing you look as a possible renter, the more likely your landlord will try to get you in the apartment.
You want your landlord to feel good about selecting you as their tenant. They should feel confident you'll pay your rent on time and keep the apartment in good condition. Make sure you have good credit, a stable rental history and can demonstrate current employment that produces sufficient income for your monthly expenses.
If you're able, try to conduct your apartment search in the off season. From October-February, when inclement weather is at its highest, fewer people are searching for a new place to live. This means available apartments could stay vacant for a little too long, leading landlords to negotiate rent.
Before you begin your apartment search, make sure you know what you can afford, even with a lower, negotiated rent.