More Rent Negotiation How-To’s

So, it’s been a few days . . .have you given the idea of negotiating your lease a twinkling thought? I’ve been thinking about it aaaand, I definitely have some resources for you! But, first things first — let’s cover the basics that’ll help you best negotiate:

1.) Make sure your finances are on order. Just a tip — I don’t mean just having money in the bank. Make sure that you have a decent credit score and steady employment. If you look like a deadbeat risk on paper, you’ll be lucky the rent doesn’t get bumped UP.

2.) Know what the rents are like in the area where you want to live. Take detailed notes when you look for apartments, so you know how much each additional amenity adds to the rent. Check out our apartment hunters checklist as a handy tool. You might even snap a few pictures with your cell phone, if something looks a bit unusual. This may sound nit-picky, but when you’re trying to find leverage to negotiate the rent to a more comfortable level, you’ll be glad you have all this ammunition.

3.) When you find “the one” give it a good check-up. Here our Ten Items to Check Before You Move shows you where to look. Most every apartment has something you can use as a bargaining chip.

Complete this easy check list and ya’ll will be more than ready to make your move! If you’re still struggling with negotiating points, here are a few to mull over: Point out what a great, financially stable tenant you’ll be. You have seen similar apartments for less (here you can be specific – $200 less a few blocks away) but you’d love this apartment, because it’s closer to your office or near your gym, only thing,it’s just a little more than you can pay. And you did notice that stove had a dead burner and the window screen had a hole….get the idea, amigos? Most importantly, whatever you do, BE CONFIDENT.

For really specific tips on how to negotiate rent check outAbout.com. They brings up other issues that you may want on your lease that have nothing to do with your actual rent. The site talks about how the lease may say that you’re responsible for all household repairs – when that’s really landlord territory. Also, heat may not be included even though the apt doesn’t have a thermostat. Basically, read the lease carefully and if it doesn’t sound Kosher to you – speak up!

Oh my, and would you believe it? They even have 15 clear, concise additional tips! My fav is # 8, which basically states that you may have to appease your landlord, who may not understand why you need all of this in writing. About.com’s advice? You’re boring and you play life safe. Sneaky! I like it!

Other sites with advice include Ehow.com, with another list of how to negotiate (My favorite line of theirs is to write out what’s important to you first so in the heat of discussion, you don’t forget what you needed in the first place) while a new site called street directory also has a list (My favorite line of theirs is how important it is to build a relationship with your landlord so they feel they can trust you, which help negotiations at the time of rent renewal. )

Nobody is saying rent negotiation is an easy job, guys. But it really is well worth a try! G’luck!

Author My First Apartment
Alissa

Posted by

I've lived in apartments in 6 cities (including 2 foreign countries). Does that make me an expert? As of now, my ceiling isn't leaking and I don't have rodents (knock on wood) -- so I'm going to say yes . . . but ask me again tomorrow:) These days, I'm enjoying life Chicago style, but my years in Brooklyn are never far from my mind. P.S. By day I work at Cars.com, but these opinions are totally, 100% my own.

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