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For tenants, negotiating rental prices can be an intimidating process. While the thought of discussing rental pricing with a landlord or property management company may be uncomfortable, if you are serious about a property that is slightly out of budget, it may be worth a conversation. According to Apartment List, 57% of renters who reasonably negotiated their rent received a lower rate. Below we share some of our top recommendations on how to approach a discussion surrounding rental price, including how to research rental prices, how to make a strong case for a lower rent, and how to negotiate in a respectful and constructive manner.
Researching Rental Prices
The first step in rental price negotiation is to research rental prices in your area. Sites like Zillow, Trulia, Spark Rental and Rentometer can provide insight into average rental prices in your city or neighborhood. You can also browse local listings on popular rental sites like Apartments.com and Craigslist to get an idea of what similar units are going for. Local property management companies will also have listings on their website. For example, if you are looking for a rental in Ventura County, California, you can view our available properties, here.
Understand What You are Asking for
Once you have an idea of rental prices in your area, the next step is to make a strong case for why you should receive a lower rent. By highlighting the ways in which you may be able to save the property money, you can make a compelling argument for why you deserve a lower rent.
Set Up a Respectful Conversation
When it comes time to negotiate with your landlord, it's important to do so in a respectful and constructive manner. Schedule a time to speak with the property management company or property owner in person. In some situations, it may make more sense to compile your thoughts in an email so that they can review it and then respond.
Begin by expressing the elements of the property that you love and then explain why you believe a lower rent is reasonable. You can then ask if they are open to discussing the rental price.
There’s no guarantee, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
It's important to note that rental price negotiation is not a guarantee. While the above survey showed that the majority of renters who negotiated their rent received a lower rate, many factors could impact the response. A request to drastically reduce rent is unlikely to be considered, whereas some may be open to approving smaller amounts. If the property has dozens of qualified applicants willing to pay the listed price, accepting a lowered rental payment is not likely to be in the best interest of the property owner. Doing your research and presenting why you believe a lower rent is reasonable, you increase your chances of success.
In addition to these tips, there are also some other factors to keep in mind when approaching rental price negotiation. For example, timing can play a role in whether or not a landlord is open to negotiation. If you're applying for a new rental unit, it may be easier to negotiate before signing the lease agreement. In situations where you are already living in a unit, it may be more difficult to negotiate. Other factors like your credit score, rental history, and income could also impact willingness to negotiate.
At Rincon Property Management, we only consider these changes after an application has been submitted and approved. Ultimately, by doing your research, making a strong case, and negotiating in a respectful and constructive manner, you can increase your chances of success.