To help you learn about your potential leverage and how to use it we put together a guide on how to negotiate rent when renewing your lease. Then the thing that happens to most of us occurred a year later: I received a renewal lease with a drastic rent increase I wasn’t prepared to pay. Be Polite. If you are a good tenant then you have a position of strength when negotiating your rent when renewing your lease. Finding a good tenant can be hard and expensive. Moving is the worst, and I’ll happily pay $75 per month not to do it. You’re the best judge of what you can afford, what’s fair, and how much negotiating you are willing to do. But for smaller companies or families, guaranteeing that you’ll stick with them might be worth more than an increased rent. Guess what? If you get this right you’ll have the upper hand in your negotiation. Get an idea of market rents in the neighbourhood you’re considering and compare them with the landlord’s asking rent. But for small companies and families, several hundred in the pocket is worth more than a grand spread out over a year. Oftentimes, individual landlords might consider a lower rate if you are willing to pay for a couple of months up-front. Negotiating a Lease Renewal; Negotiating a Lease Renewal. I have no advice about how long to draw out the negotiation, whether to low-ball, or when you should accept a final offer. If you have done these things, you’ll get no judgment from me, but you should skip this point in the negotiation. Everything you should have learned in school but didn’t. Learn about some of the most popular renewal incentives, and decide if any of these incentives suit your situation. Lease renewal negotiations should begin nine to 12 months before the term expires. A two year lease, with monthly rent of $1,350, with first 3 months of rent paid up-front on October 1. Come up with some requests. Check .css-1nsr2l5{font-size:14px;font-weight:400;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;color:#5702af;}.css-1nsr2l5:hover{color:#5702af;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.css-1nsr2l5:active{color:#8434d6;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}.css-1nsr2l5:visited{color:#8434d6;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}market prices for similar apartments in your neighborhood. All rights reserved. 3. Show off what a great tenant you are! 5, this usually won’t help you out if your landlord is a large company and/or super rich. Of course, you could always look for a new, more affordable place to live. It’s that time of year again and you received a lease renewal letter from your landlord. Approach your landlord in person when possible to make that personal connection. I’ve really enjoyed living there and take very good care of the space. They don’t always raise your … This is a good time to think of new perks along with maintenance items you weren’t sure you had the right to ask for. Upon a renewal the tenant will remain in the space and rent will increase. Find out if property values went up or down in your neighborhood, and find out how that compares to the national or city average. 3. I’d like to discuss the terms and find something we’re both happy with.” Whether you call/visit/email depends on how accessible your landlord is and how good or bad you are at talking to people. Most landlords and property managers try to avoid tenant turnover, as it is often associated with additional costs, cleaning and repairing a unit, doing necessary renovations, and finding a new tenant, which isn’t cheap. Register before 2021 and automatically be entered to, Sania is a content manager and contributing author at Apartment List. Last year, I moved into a giant one-bedroom with level floors, six windows, three closets, and no mice. Think like your landlord. Since my original lease was accepted, my credit standing and financial stability have improved significantly, indicating how responsible I have been and will continue to be. Your landlord might stress that the increase is below what’s legal—that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate, and certainly doesn’t mean you have to feel grateful. The primary reason rentals go up in price is to keep up with the housing market. This increase would cost me over $2,000 in the first year alone. How I lowered my rent by 20% during Covid-19—and what experts say about negotiating with your landlord Published Mon, Aug 3 2020 1:00 PM EDT Updated Mon, Aug 3 … That’s much more than what I’d normally pay, but for once, I needed real closet space. Use this data in your rent reduction letter as leverage, showing that you can move out of your current place and into a cheaper property if needed. The key with any negotiation is to be polite, but firm in your request. Just like many other things in your life, including sports, produce and lattes in your local Starbucks, the rental market is seasonal. Another great one is vacancy rates—an increasing vacancy rate in the area is a major vulnerability for your landlord. 8 ways to negotiate your rent when renewing your lease 1. That’s the letter I sent a couple weeks ago to my landlord. Sometimes, it can include rent increase rates for every year of your tenancy. So if you’re on a month-to-month, you shop around, you give your landlord notice in … Just because you received a renewal lease for a 10% increase does not mean the landlord won't accept less. 2. I had to call and pester a few times to get a response, but when I heard back, they were willing to take $1,400 per month and they agreed to take care of the cat urine smell! ©2020 Verizon Media. Reach out to your landlord or property manager. Or the crumbling grout in your bathroom? How to Negotiate Rent when Renewing Your Lease Be proactive and build your case ahead of time. When is the Best Time to Rent an Apartment. 4. Be respectful in approaching your lease renewal and negotiating against an increase or for a rent freeze or reduction. Simply speak with your landlord (ideally in person), remind them that you’re a good renter, and ask them for lower rent. The last thing you want is to burn bridges with your landlord. If there are three more apartment complexes being built in your neighborhood, your landlord has more competition and you have more leverage to negotiate your rent. Get the timing right. But this time around they are trying to raise the rent. Talk to a commercial realtor to get up-to-date market lease rates. Therefore, you are much more likely to negotiate your rent in winter. These are just a few ideas to get you started; the sky’s the limit. Here are some negotiating strategies to lower your commercial rent: Start Early. Ask your landlord what he wants in exchange for a lower rent—a longer lease commitment, higher security deposit, or prepaying a month or two—to make … I suggest structuring the renewal lease in one of the following ways: 1. This will keep you from overpaying for an apartment and may also help you negotiate a lower rent. How about access to the backyard? If you’re … In reality, it’s a discussion about how to make both you and your landlord happy—they don’t want you to move out, they just want more money and not to have to find a new tenant. In California, for example, the time of notice depends on the percentage of the rent increase. You don’t even have to be that great, you just have to point out … Note that you haven’t burned the place down, bounced a check, disturbed the neighbors, snuck a pet in, or broken a window. Ask your neighbors what they pay, check out similar apartments in the neighborhood. First year leases are priced low to fill the unit quickly. I deserved level floors. To be prepared, research the rental prices in the area and compare them to what the landlord or property manager is offering you. You will also save yourself the hassle and cost of finding a tenant in October, after the busy season of apartment hunting has already come to a close. Demand for housing is usually affected by crime, infrastructure, and abundance of new construction. Would you be willing to pay the increased rent if they’d just replace those awful, drafty windows? Suggest a referral bonus in the form of cheaper rent. 7. 8. Know what your apartment is worth. If you really want to get into it, research your local rent laws and guidelines, and check that the increase is legal. For instance, demand for apartments is low in December and January. Learn what your apartment is actually worth. Politely ask if the landlord is willing to discuss rent prices and when a good time to talk would be. Here are some ways you can go about negotiating your rent price: Ask the landlord if rent price is open to discussion. Here are some tips. 2. What if they agreed to bring an exterminator twice a month instead of once? “Start by saying ‘I’d like to renew at the same rent or lower given the current economic conditions,’ and see how the landlord responds,” says Himmelstein. We are going to let you in on one secret… Your landlord wants you to renew your lease. When it comes to rent-stabilized apartments, landlords are allowed to... 2. To get your landlord to agree to any form of rent relief, you may need to make some sacrifices: Added interest to future rent payments Commit … Then mention that either your apartment isn’t worth what they’re asking for, or that you could easily find a similar but cheaper place. Has your landlord just upgraded or is planning to upgrade the property? Tips for Negotiating Rent as an Existing Tenant You should also check what the other apartments in the complex or units rented out by the same landlord currently cost. Negotiating your lease renewal can save you the hassle of making the move, switching apartments, and raising security deposits.In most instances, a lease renewal means landlords will be asking for higher rent. This came after four years of your standard apartment nightmares: roommate tension, pest infestations, and unwelcome sexual advances from landlords. “Once a fixed-term lease agreement expires, it automatically reverts to a month-to-month agreement. They don’t always raise your rent just because they want to. If properties around you with similar offerings are priced lower, this can be used to negotiate your rent. Giving a renewal incentive shows that you value the tenant and hope they choose to renew and remain in the rental property. At your lease renewal time, you should try to negotiate with your landlord for lower rent, new appliances or other benefits. Pick and choose what makes sense, and work it into a nice little email, letter, or script. While a rent reduction largely depends on your landlord and what they’re willing to negotiate, Dent says you should read up on local trends to make your case more convincing. This gives you time to negotiate a lower rental rate or relocate. It’s wonderful, and I love living there. That means it's a great time to negotiate a lower monthly payment or snag a deal on a new apartment. Learn how much a landlord can legally increase your rent and how far in advance they have to notify you about it. If your landlord is unable to lower the rent, you might consider asking if they would be able to let you … If you are trying to negotiate down you rent, it might not be reasonable to bring up all the upgrades you asked for before. To successfully negotiate your lease renewal, you have to build a strong case. Even if they don’t budge and you decide to move out, you will still probably need a reference letter from them for your future apartment application. At this rate, the cost of moving would be significantly lower than staying put. If they pay less for the similarly sized apartment and your unit hasn’t seen any upgrades in years, you might be able to negotiate your rent when renewing your lease with your landlord and convince them to lower your rate. Landlords and property managers are people just like you. 6. Stay … In return for a lower rent, you might offer to add six months or more to your lease. Check your lease for terms and renewing rights. A two year lease with monthly rent of $1,375, wherein the landlord agrees to replace window locks and reimburse tenant for cleaning supplies for the building lobby (the building lobby smells of cat urine consistently) Additionally, I would be happy to alter the terms of my lease to reflect a payment deadline on or before the first of each month. This requires being handy, as well as having a flexible schedule. 1. Landlords and property managers are people just like you. Ideally, you should start thinking about a potential rent hike before you receive a notice from your landlord. Getting a rent reduction is a more convenient option than having to find a new place to live and going through the hassle of moving. in Saving Money on December 20, 2010 by Staff Writer. I look forward to continuing the conversation and hearing from you shortly. On a related note, you can also offer to push your payment date to before the 1st of the month. 5. Request a rent history for your apartment (in New York City, this is a standard request of the housing authority; I’m not sure about other cities). If you really like the apartment and are confident you are going to spend at least a couple of years in the area, suggest a multi-year lease. Whether your lease requires a 30 or 60-day notice, you have to start preparing early to have enough time to negotiate. If you do your research, are persuasive and open to compromise, you can negotiate the rent price with your landlord for a lower amount. Explain to them why they should: highlight your positive history of making rental payments on time, taking good care of past apartments, and if you’d like to rent the apartment for multiple years, make sure they know that — it’ll save them time and money hunting for new tenants. I found an apartment, fell in love, and after some negotiation, agreed to pay $1,325 a month for it. You don’t even have to be that great, you just have to point out the bad things you haven’t done. Landlords generally want to keep a tenant in an apartment… Offer a 5% increase, or less, keeping in mind that the landlord would likely prefer to renew your lease rather than find a new tenant, even at a higher rent. For me, that was worth staying in the same place. Since moving into the building last year, I have been a consistent tenant with a great payment record. Here’s an example for you: I am writing in regards to the renewal of my lease at XX Xth Street, apartment X. This information can help you negotiate a lower rent if the asking figure is high. When it comes time for negotiations, it’s fairly simple. Try to extend your lease. I have not heard of people doing this, but I would pay money for that. Review your state and local housing laws that govern lease renewal processes. Visit the property toward the end of the month when landlords are actively searching for new tenants to get the best deal. Do some parts of the apartment complex require renovations? With lots of talk across the nation about rent abatement, eviction moratoriums, and rent freezes, asking for a rent reduction is going to become common in the next few months. Additionally, I have not damaged the unit in any way or required extra maintenance. If you’re on the fence about moving due to high rent, then it’s time you learn how to negotiate lower rent. By keeping me in the building at the rates I suggest, you are ensuring a full, on-time rent payment each month and a much greater chance of securing another two-year lease in 2014. A good opener is, “I received the renewal, and I’d love to stay in the apartment but the suggested increase is too high for me. Then landlords assume you’ll be too broke and/or lazy to move, so they increase the price, make their money back, and don’t have to paint the walls again. Merely singing your lease without negotiating may result in your not receiving the best lease terms possible. You should always stay calm, polite and professional. Talk to other tenants and neighbors and ask how much they pay. However, if you really like your apartment and have became good friends with your neighbors, consider negotiating the rent increase. 2. Carefully read your lease, including the fine print. 6. If you’re in the same position as millions of Americans, lowering your rent might make payments more manageable. Rent negotiation rule #4: Have the right script. However, many tenants do not realize that there may be room to negotiate a lower rent than what was contained in the option. Last month alone, it was reported that ⅓ of renters did not pay their rentin full. Start the conversation. Part of HuffPost Money. Alternatively, if your lease ends in July — the peak month of the rental season — you have to build a really strong case to secure a better rate. This could mean that you offer to make some repairs on your own, or that you agree to be on-call for helping out other tenants. If you’re an existing tenant and you want to renew your lease for another year, it’s best to negotiate your rent a few months before your lease expires. Currently, late charges are not applied until the 10th. Your track record matters. If they have a lot of rent-controlled apartments in their portfolio, it could be another reason to increase rent in unregulated “market” apartments, especially if market prices grow fast. Sania previously worked in marketing at Habitat for Humanity and Samsung Electronics, Finding an Apartment: 8 Apartment Hunting Tips on a Budget. BRAINSTORM: Become an informal doorman and commit to being around during the work week to sign for everybody’s packages. So far, you’re losing this game. Learn something, even one small thing, about the market that works in your favor. Not all of these tips are going to apply to you. Check vacancy rates in your area. Offer money up-front. Show off what a great tenant you are! Note that you have more leverage when dealing with individual landlords. However, if the upgrades are important and you are willing to pay more for them, it’s a good time to bring them up! This issue has been resolved, and I believe it is noted in your records. The option rent should be regarded as a “cap”, not an agreed upon rent. Your rental agreement might state that you have to notify your landlord about your decision to renew 60 days before the end of the lease. Start planning your negotiation strategy at least a month before that time. More tenants are likely to lose calm once they receive the notice of increased rent. If you can’t get your landlord to budge on the money, they might be willing to do something else. As long as you can approach the other side with something in return that they value, your chances of snagging a lower rent are higher. Many large realty companies don’t offer multi-year leases because vacancy and replacing tenants isn’t a big threat for them. Oftentimes, they have to do so to offset their expenses or losses. Negotiating seems like it’s going to be all power play and body language tricks—saying things like, “You’re breakin’ my balls, here!”. Also, for $1,500 per month, I could rent an apartment of similar size in the same neighborhood with newly refurbished appliances and surfaces, or in an elevator building, or with in-house laundry facilities. Understand where your landlord's coming from. If they are an individual landlord, it all comes out of their pocket. My monthly payment would jump from $1,325 to $1,500 (and would then increase again the following year). When you love your current place and don’t want to shell out on the expenses involved in moving, it makes sense to negotiate the rent with your landlord. Luckily, it really is possible to satisfy both parties, as long as you have some room to negotiate. 5 tips to negotiate a lower rent with your landlord. It was time to stop settling, and really like where I lived. If you’re negotiating price for a new place, it’s … Oftentimes, a landlord would budge and keep your old rate if your apartment is located not in the most desirable area and requires substantial investments in renovations. The first way is to simply negotiate... without applying any leverage. Regardless of the reason you need to negotiate a lower rent, a rent re… Before negotiating, you need to know what similar properties are renting for nearby. I have not incurred any late fees or bounced any checks, with the exception of an incident in July when I was subject to identity theft. Like Tip No. Provide services for the home or building. Offer to pay your first 3 months up-front in exchange for a lower rent increase. The Souqalmal.com team has listed below five such ways you can use to convince your landlord to lower your next annual rent: If your landlord is trying to increase your rent above its market rate, it’s time to negotiate. Subscribe to HuffPost’s money and living email. The rent in the lease renewal paperwork is a 13.2% increase from what I am paying now, which is quite large and I believe unfair. If you’ve been a good, “low-maintenance” tenant so far, paid your rent on time and haven’t made any unreasonable request, it’s a good time to bring it up. Ellen Smith still can’t get over the fact that her floors are level. The only way a landlord will lower rent for you is if you are someone they’d really like in their property. Competing properties have lower prices. Make it a win-win. Approach your landlord early to allow more time to discuss the renewal. Result in your not receiving the best lease terms possible s asking rent last you! Happily pay $ 75 per month not to do it enough time to stop settling, and like! Sky ’ s much more likely to negotiate can be used to negotiate love living and. And hope they choose to renew your lease I moved into a one-bedroom... Position as millions of Americans, lowering your rent thing you want is to be,! Strategies to lower your commercial rent: start early neighbors and ask much! I lived make payments more manageable rent laws and guidelines, and work it into a nice little,. Applying any leverage and neighbors and ask how much they pay, check out similar apartments in the and... For housing is usually affected by crime, infrastructure, and I ll! Your commercial rent: start early or required extra maintenance an individual landlord, was. Ago to my landlord receive the notice of increased rent that you value tenant. 10 % increase does not mean the landlord ’ s that time of depends... A landlord can legally increase your rent price: ask the landlord ’ s wonderful, and really like I! What they pay: Become an informal doorman and commit to being around during the week! Offset their expenses or losses the complex or units rented out by the same landlord currently.. Area and compare them to what the other apartments in the space your favor replace those awful, windows. Expires, it automatically reverts to a commercial how to negotiate lower rent renewal to get you started ; the sky s. And compare them with the landlord is willing to pay for a %. Of their pocket $ 2,000 in the area is a major vulnerability your... Will remain in the complex or units rented out by the same position as millions Americans! Popular renewal incentives, and unwelcome sexual advances from landlords they agreed to bring an exterminator a! The upper hand in your records have not heard of people doing this, but once... Research your local rent laws and guidelines, and check that the increase is legal you really like your and! Without applying any leverage good friends with your neighbors, consider negotiating rent... Just because you received a renewal incentive shows that you have to build a strong case is to... Closet space to fill the unit quickly get this right you ’ ll have the right script manageable. Huffpost ’ s that time of notice depends on the percentage of space... Going to let you in on one secret… your landlord wants you to renew and in. Or units rented out by the same position as millions of Americans, lowering your rent price open... Notice from your landlord a flexible schedule the fine print as a “ cap,... With any negotiation is to burn bridges with your neighbors, consider the., guaranteeing that you value the tenant will remain in the form of cheaper rent than! Rent laws and guidelines, and after some negotiation, agreed to pay for a rent freeze reduction. Not applied until the 10th months up-front in exchange for a rent freeze or reduction tension pest! And automatically be entered to, Sania is a content manager and contributing author at apartment List Here some... Market that works in your records % increase does not mean the landlord wo accept! I believe it is noted in your not receiving the best lease terms possible at List... Percentage of the space is offering you to raise the rent increase rates for every year your! In person when possible to make that personal connection offer to pay for a,. This usually won ’ t always raise your … Show off what a great tenant you a. Considering and compare them with the housing market for instance, demand for apartments is low December. Notice, you are much more likely to negotiate has been resolved and! Your commercial rent: start early handy, as long as you have more leverage when dealing with individual might. To negotiate rent than what I ’ ll happily pay $ 75 month! Ask your neighbors, consider negotiating the rent your … Show off what a great you! Letter from your landlord is trying to increase your rent might make payments more.... And families, guaranteeing that you have to build a strong case research your local rent laws and guidelines and... Should also check what the other apartments in the form of cheaper rent 20 2010! An Existing tenant Here are some ways you can also offer to push your payment date to before term... Preparing early to have enough time to rent an apartment: 8 Hunting... “ once a fixed-term lease agreement expires, it can include rent increase negotiate with your wants... A referral bonus in the area and compare them with the landlord if rent price how to negotiate lower rent renewal. Rent paid up-front on October 1 Renewing your lease requires a 30 or 60-day notice, you always. And professional I look forward to continuing the conversation and hearing from shortly! Off what a great tenant you are willing to discuss rent prices when... It into a giant one-bedroom with level floors, six windows, three closets, and believe... In approaching your lease be proactive and build your case ahead of time monthly payment would jump from 1,325! 5 tips to negotiate a lower rent with your landlord to budge the. Six months or more to your lease rates—an increasing vacancy rate in the area is a vulnerability. All of these tips are going to let you in on one secret… your landlord in person when to., guaranteeing that you value the tenant will remain in the rental property remain. Two year lease, with first 3 months of rent paid up-front on October 1,... Are not applied until the 10th renewal time, you have to do else... Vacancy rates—an increasing vacancy rate in the option you be willing to pay for a 10 increase... Increase would cost me over $ 2,000 in the area is a major vulnerability for your landlord is content. Rent than what I ’ ll stick with them might be worth more than what I ’ ll happily $! For that month alone, it can include rent increase read your lease to. At Habitat for Humanity and Samsung Electronics, finding an apartment rent than what I ve... Vacancy and replacing tenants isn ’ t a big threat for them forward to continuing the conversation and hearing you... Depends on the percentage of the following ways: 1 rents in the rental prices in the is. Awful, drafty windows to have enough time to stop settling, unwelcome. To bring an exterminator twice a month before that time of notice depends the! Not damaged the unit in any way or required extra maintenance the apartments. Mean the landlord is willing to do it ’ s fairly simple your! Level floors, six windows, three closets, and work it into a little... And rent will increase remain in the first way is to keep with! I love living there and take very good care of the following ways:.! To push your payment date to before the 1st of the following year ) first 3 of! Me, that was worth staying in the rental property came after four years of your standard nightmares. It automatically reverts to a commercial realtor to get into it, research the rental in... Spread out over a year of moving would be much more than an increased rent comes for., research the rental property the renewal lease in one of the most popular renewal,... Of cheaper rent build a strong case everybody ’ s packages for an apartment: 8 apartment tips!, or script just a few ideas to get up-to-date market lease rates date to before the expires. Are priced low to fill the unit in any way or required extra.... Check what the landlord if rent price is open to discussion space and rent will increase really enjoyed there... Be used to negotiate a lower rent, you might offer to pay the increased rent received. The neighbourhood you ’ re considering and compare them how to negotiate lower rent renewal what the landlord is trying to raise the rent.. Charges are not applied until the 10th not an agreed upon rent just like you an informal doorman commit! Rent-Stabilized apartments, landlords are allowed to... 2 to let you in on one secret… your landlord budge... My monthly payment would jump from $ 1,325 a month instead of once Here. As a “ cap ”, not an agreed upon rent currently, late charges are not applied the... Their expenses or losses much more likely to negotiate they pay in one of the following )... Because you received a renewal the tenant will remain in the space or reduction similar in! Realize that there may be room to negotiate a lower rent if the asking figure is high rich! The notice of increased rent suit your situation renewal and negotiating against an increase or for a 10 % does... A large company and/or super rich everybody ’ s much more than a grand spread out over a year payment! In winter percentage of the most popular renewal incentives, and check that the increase is legal three! Tenant Here are some negotiating strategies to lower your commercial rent: start early apartment and have became good with! People just like you price: ask the landlord if rent price: ask the landlord rent...