How can you save money on rent? The answers seem obvious: shop around, ask friends, live in a smaller place or a less developed area. There are other ways to pinch pennies, however—just read on for more details!
Many websites offer rewards to those who find housing using their services. RelocationCentral.com offers a $200 rebate in most cities in the US, and the new site, MyNewPlace.com offers $100 as does venerable Rent.com. Check out various websites for information about apartments, and look through website specials to find out if you can get a discount on your rent or another type of reward from the company sponsoring the site. Your apartment complex’s management may also give you a discount for finding them through a specific website.
Locators, locators, locators
Apartment locators have a wealth of information not only on available apartments, but also on the seasonal rent or move-in specials that different buildings might offer. Check with a locator to see if an apartment you’re interested in is offering any deals. You might not hear about such deals unless you ask the right people—i.e., the locators (who need you to pick a place in order to get paid), rather than the landlords (who might not offer a deal if you seem too interested).
Concessions: more than just popcorn
Many property management teams offer upscale items, such as flat-screen TVs, iPods, or DVD players, to individuals who choose to rent with them. These items are usually called “concessions.” The opportunity to receive a gift that seems like a luxury can draw some individuals in; it can be an added bonus that tips the decision to one apartment’s favor.
As noted, landlords usually like to keep good tenants—it means guaranteed rent and less uncertainty about the credibility of new tenants. If your lease is up for renewal, and your landlord wants to raise the rent, look around your neighborhood and establish a list of lower rents at comparable establishments. Turn it over to your landlord and ask him or her to match the rent. If it’s not matched, move on out and enjoy the knowledge that you’re saving some dough. You can try the same trick at a new apartment—if the rent seems exorbitant, and you have good credit and a good rental history.
Stick with it
One of the best ways to get low rent is often to stay in the apartment that you have. Many leases have clauses that allow you to extend the lease at a reduced rate (reduced in comparison to the market rent your landlord will charge the next renters). If your landlord trusts you and appreciates your good tenancy, you’ll get a deal for remaining in your apartment.