Rent. It’s just one of those things in life. You pay because you have to. But just because you’re under obligation to pay rent doesn’t mean you don’t get to have a say in what exactly the rate will be! When is the last time you wished you could negotiate your rent but didn’t know where to start? Well fear no more, because a whole host of information on how to negotiate in right here 

How to negotiate rent

Start out by doing your research. Find out what other buildings in your neighbourhood are charging for situations similar to yours. Not only will this back you up by giving you numbers to work with, but it will also give you a lot more confidence going in, knowing that what you’re asking for is reasonable.

Highlight your strengths as a tenant

If you’re looking for a new place, you can show you’re financially stable by offering the landlord a few concessions, such as paying a few months of rent in advance or signing on for a longer lease which saves the landlord money in turnover.

In the case of a rent increase, you should remind the landlord what a reliable, responsible tenant you’ve been. If you’ve always paid your rent on time, are courteous to other tenants and have kept the property in good shape, make sure your landlord knows it. It can help prove your worthiness and give them an incentive to keep your current rent.

Rent negotiation: Offer something in return

What does your landlord really want? Money, of course. But dig deeper and you’ll find there’s a lot more you can offer. The goal is to give them something you don’t care about in exchange for something you do.

Here are a few things many landlords will happily lower rents for:

  • Longer Lease 
  • Lock in Period
  • Extended Notice period 30 days to 60 days or 90 days 
  • Increase the Deposit amount 

If you know what you want and you know what they want, the chances of succeeding in your negotiation increase significantly.

Rent negotiation: Know when to negotiate

Regardless of how badly you want to get your rent rate lowered or receive more value for what you’re paying, timing and situation are some of the most important keys in a successful negotiation. If you don’t time it right, you won’t get it right. So here are some of the best times to negotiate your rent:

  • At the end of the month when the pressure is on for landlords to find tenants, if you’re looking for a new place.
  • A few months before your lease expires, if you’re negotiating on your current place.
  • When you know you can stay longer. Many landlords are willing to negotiate if they know they won’t have to look for another tenant (Considering the brokerage they have to pay for new renter) in the next 12 or 24 or 36 months.
  • During Monsoon, if you’re looking for a new place. This is the most difficult season for landlords to find renters, and you’ll hold more of the bargaining power.

Have a backup plan

If you’re looking for a new place, you should have more than one apartment or house on your radar. Banking on a landlord decreasing rent prices can be risky, especially if you have a set date.

If you’re facing a rent increase, you have to decide if you’d be willing to pay the higher rate just in case negotiations don’t go as planned. If you are definitely unwilling or unable to accept the new rate, it’s a good idea to start searching new apartments at least a month before your notice period.

When it comes down to negotiating your rent, there’s really only one rule: Keep the humanity. Remember, your landlord is a real, live person too. Keeping this at the forefront of your mind will help you create a much more effective plan, help you come up with ways your plan can benefit your landlord, and give you a greater sense of purpose and confidence going into your conversations. Whether or not you get exactly what you went in for is less relevant than keeping your self-respect. 

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