Let’s say you’re the living personification of what a perfect tenant should be: you pay your rent on time, you keep the noise levels reasonable, and plan on being in the same place for a while.
Congratulations, you’re ready to consider negotiating your rent. Now it’s time to look at some other key factors.
What type of landlord do you have?
If you live somewhere with only a few units, like a duplex or a single-family home, and have a landlord that you interact with personally, your chances of being able to talk about rent increase exponentially. If you’re living in a large apartment community with property managers, it’s highly unlikely they’ll be willing to talk prices with you.
How long have you been there?
Landlords are looking for long-term tenants. It makes their life easier and provides a steady income that they’re inclined to want to hang on to. If you’ve been in your place for a few years- and plan to stay for a few more- use that as leverage. Sometimes it can even help to sign an extended rental lease, to show that you’re serious about staying put.
What’s the market like in your area?
If you live in a bustling metropolitan area, negotiating rent is probably not going to work. If you move out, it’s likely the landlord has a list of ten other people waiting for the space. If you’re in a smaller area with a lot of apartment vacancies, you have more bargaining power. Knowing the price of similar places around you can help you decide if negotiating rent is something you should try. Check the market on websites like Rentometer to see how your rent stacks up and then let common sense dictate your next step. If you find that your rent is way higher than the median, you may have a good case.
One last thing
Even if you can check every box on the list above, chances are your landlord is charging a fair price and won’t be willing to accept anything lower. So why did we write this article? Mostly just for content (KIDDING!) It’s because you can often bargain rent increases. Use all the tips above, and when the time comes present the compelling info to your landlord. If they’re not able to lower the rent, try asking about things like splitting utilities, going in on renovations, or bargaining for a parking spot.