If you’ve been living in your current apartment for a while now, odds are that your lease has you locked in on a rent that really doesn’t reflect the market in your area. You and your landlord may have signed off on an amount much higher than the monthly price he’s offering to bring in new tenants.
If your lease is coming up for renewal, you may be able to use that fact to negotiate a lower rent for yourself — but if you’re only partway through your agreement, or your landlord refuses to negotiate on the rent, you do have other options: you can request incentives, just as some new renters are coaxing landlords to sweeten the deal in order to get apartments filled.
Tiffany Ralph likes her apartment in San Jose, California, but is willing to move to get a better deal. She was able to convince the management at her apartment complex of that fact: “They took my monthly pet charge off my rent. Of course, that won’t really stop me for more than a little while.”
By eliminating one of the charges associated with her rent, the management company kept Tiffany from immediately starting on an apartment hunt — but if Tiffany hadn’t already considered moving, she probably wouldn’t have gotten the deal.
Many landlords count on what amounts to laziness on the part of renters. Many tenants want lower rent or incentives but don’t want to deal with the hassle of moving: an apartment manager can call that bluff and refuse to offer any such incentive.
It’s only when you’re prepared to take action that you can get results. Landlords don’t want to go looking for more tenants — it’s an expensive process, typically more than whatever incentive they can offer you.
Many of those incentives cost relatively little for a landlord to provide. But even the small amount you can save by getting your landlord to remove a regular parking or trash fee from your rent, or offer you another incentive like a new stove or refrigerator can make a big difference in your own expenses.
So get started: outline what incentives you want and get in the mindset that you’re willing to move out in order to get a better deal.