5 Easy Steps to Lowering Your Rent During Lease Renewal

negotiate your rental leaseDon’t you hate when the lease renewal for your rental agreement comes in the mail?

It almost certainly brings an increase in rent. And who wants to spend more money on housing?

I was a property manager in my past life and I’ve mailed out tons of renewal letters and had tons of renewal conversations. I know from experience that no renewal rate is set in stone.

There’s always some room for negotiation. I’m here to give you the inside scoop.

These are the 5 steps to negotiating for a better lease renewal rate.

1. Scout other properties.

As soon as you get the renewal letter, look around your area to get an idea of what other rental rates are at comparable properties. You’ll want to know the range and understand where your home fits into the spectrum before meeting with your property manager. If market rates are considerably lower you can use this to plead your case.

2. Set your price.

Decide the highest you want to pay for rent and then subtract that amount by 25%. That will give you wiggle room to comfortably increase the price during negotiations.  Then prepare to take this amount to your landlord.

3. Think about amenities.

There will be instances when your property manager has his or her hands tied with the rental price. No worries. Think of other amenities they can give you. For example, ask if they can pay for a professional apartment or carpet cleaning. Or ask them for discounted parking or a membership to a local gym if they don’t have one onsite.

4. Ask for an appointment.

Now that you’ve done your research, decided your price,  and came up with alternative amenities – schedule an appointment. Send an email or call your management office  as soon as possible. This will give you time for back and forth negotiation. And enough time to look for a new apartment should they not be able to meet your needs.

5. Attend the meeting.

A sure fire way to destroy your chances of reducing your renewal rental rate is being aggressive. You need something from them – so act like it. Don’t think you’re entitled to a lower rate. Go to the meeting prepared with your offer and be pleasant. They will be more inclined to meet you half way.

The results of the meeting will go one of two ways – you accepting or declining their offer. 

Acceptance.

If you come to an agreement – congratulations! But your work isn’t finished just yet. Property managers are more inclined to work with people on the rental rate if they’re good residents.

So prepare for next year’s rental rate negotiations. Keep the apartment clean, notify management of maintenance issues, pay your rent on time, and be a considerate neighbor.

Rejection.

It’s possible you’ll leave negotiations without a mutually beneficial agreement. That’s okay too. Look for other apartments in your area. And before leaving consider the cost of moving against the cost of staying.

Moving is expensive. You may find that moving costs spread over 12 months is the same or less than the increase you’ve received. If that’s the case it may make sense to stay put.

Now over to you! Do you have any other advice for negotiating your rental rate?

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