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9 Tips to Get Cheaper Rent

By: Sania Tran
March 21, 2019

As rent prices rise across the nation, one has to be more resourceful to secure cheaper rent. Negotiating lower rent rates is definitely an art and requires creativity, effort and time investment on your part. It might sound intimidating at first, but worry not! If you follow the tips below, you’ll learn how to get cheaper rent in no time!

1. Study up on your local market.

The first thing you have to do to get that cheaper rent is to learn about rent prices for apartments in your area and surrounding neighborhoods. You want to be equipped with facts when you decide to negotiate rent. If vacancy rates in the area are high and there are a lot of empty units waiting for tenants, it might be your biggest bargaining chip. Vacant apartments mean loss of income for landlords and property managers. They would rather give a lower rent rate than keep it empty for another month.

2. Know the best time to rent an apartment.

Good timing is very important when trying to get cheaper rent. Did you know that winter is the best time to rent an apartment if you are budget-conscious? That’s when the demand for rentals is at its lowest because most people prefer not to move during the colder months of the year. Therefore, if you can be flexible with your move, wait for December or January to start your search.

3. Scope out their competition.

Walk around the neighborhood, talk to people about vacancies and rent prices. Don’t be afraid to walk into lease offices and ask about their prices and deals. New apartment complexes often offer incentives during the so-called “lease-up.” Lease-up refers to the first 6 to 12 months after the official launch of a new apartment building. Some of those incentives might include a free month of rent, parking spot, storage or waived application fees. The more you know the higher are your chances of getting cheaper rent. For instance, if you know for a fact that a new apartment complex is offering a parking spot and your rental of choice isn’t, that’s definitely something you should bring up.

4. Ask about deals.

Ask your landlord if there are any discounts on long-term leases. If you really like an apartment and plan to stay in the area for the next couple of years, offer to sign a longer lease in exchange for a lower rate.

5. Be ready to pay more upfront in return for cheaper rent.

Offer to pay rent for the first two months upfront or a higher security deposit. If they are currently renovating other units or improving surrounding areas, they might prefer getting more money now than having it spread out throughout the year. The landlord or property manager gets cash, you get cheaper rent. Win-win!

6. Be flexible with move-in dates and upgrades.

When a tenant moves out, landlords and property managers have to invest time and money to clean the unit and do necessary upgrades. Offer to clean the apartment yourself and forego unnecessary upgrades and renovations. Be ready to move-in soon after signing your lease.

7. Have something to offer in return.

If you have a flexible schedule, offer to do some chores for your landlord. For instance, you can be responsible for taking trash and recycle bins out for the entire rental property. Or if you know how to do certain repairs, offer your services in exchange for cheaper monthly rent.

8. Provide good references and sell yourself as a stellar tenant to get cheaper rent.

If you have a good credit score, stable job and income, make sure to mention it to your prospective landlord or leasing agent. If you are in good standing with your previous landlord, ask them to write a rental reference letter for your apartment application. Finding a trustworthy and reliable tenant might not be so easy, so make sure to talk yourself up.

9. Factor in all costs before making your choice.

Cheaper rent doesn’t always mean a better deal. For example, if a prospective landlord is offering an in-unit washer and dryer, free parking spot and gym onsite, you can save a lot of money by renting this more expensive apartment.

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