When the rental market gets tough, the tough need to learn how to negotiate. After all, you'll never know how low the landlord will go unless you try to bargain—in a respectful, pleasant, non-aggressive way, of course.
1. Sign up for a long term lease:
When a landlord has to rent out a vacant apartment, he loses a lot in broker fees, cleaning costs, and transaction costs. All that can be recovered if you can convince him that you will be staying for more than a couple of years. Highlight these points while making a deal with the landlord.
2. Get ready to pay several months in advance:
Some landlords prefer to receive large sums of money and may be willing to provide a discount if you can pay a couple of months of rent in advance. He can use that money on several things that he may have delayed due to insufficient funds. From a landlord’s perspective, it is better to rent an apartment as he may be losing out money by keeping it vacant.
3. Let your landlord know about your available options:
Just like an offer in hand that can help you to ask for a better pay packet from your current employer, it may be much easier to negotiate with landlords when you have some options in hand. Use this strategy as leverage to build a strong case in front of your landlord. If the apartment has been vacant for a long time, then make your landlord realize that it would be fruitful to negotiate a deal; else it will be an additional cost on his part.
4. Do more research:
You can go online and check if there is any better deal available on any rental website. Check out what other landlords are charging for the same space. This information is available free of cost on a number of websites. A quick Google search will let you know about various sites depending upon your current location. Talk to others in the apartment building to find out what they pay per month. You can then use this comparison chart to avail some reasonable discount from your landlord.
5. Be ready to carry on small repairs:
Tell your landlord that you can pay for minor repairs from your own pocket and won’t bother him for such issues. This tip may come in handy as most of the landlords find it pretty frustrating when their tenants come on their doors every month with the request to carry on some small repairs.
A better idea is to make a list of minor repairs that you can carry on your own in order to avoid any last minute hassles. While negotiating for an extension of the lease, you can point out the repairs that you carried out even though the contract states that it is their responsibility.
6. Show your positive characteristics:
Every landlord would like to have a tenant who is courteous, polite, reliable and trustworthy. No one wants to sign a deal with a tenant who cannot afford to make payment on time, proves to be a nuisance to neighbors, keep the noise levels up and starts fighting over minor issues. If you can portray some positive characteristics by providing some referrals of your previous landlords, this might help you to save a few dollars in your pocket every month.
7. Provide some referrals:
You can offer your landlord some referrals in case if he has some vacant units that could be rented out. After all, an empty unit might put an extra burden on the pocket of the landlord. You could also use social media to spread a word among your peers about the vacant apartment. This can help you to strike a better deal with your landlord.