How to Negotiate Cheaper Rent


how to get cheap rent

Recently, I’ve had some issues with my apartment complex. They’ve messed up my bill (three months in a row), neglected some basic maintenance and have forced me to sign up for a WiFi/cable program I didn’t really want. All of that being said, I’m still paying relatively low rent for the area in which I live but can I get it cheaper?

You’ve probably heard about those personal finance warriors that have a one-track mind that is always set to be thinking about saving and being financially sound. They may call a company every time their bill goes up (even just a few dollars) to negotiate it down or haggle prices with cable/telephone companies. So, how do you do that with something like rent?

How to Negotiate Cheaper Rent

I will be looking to renew my lease or move out in the spring and, from the sound of it, the complex normally increases the price of rent significantly after your first year (by $100 or more). There are a few things I will try doing before I move again though…

  1. Sign a longer lease. Most apartment complexes will give you a discount on your monthly rent if you sign a longer lease. For instance, at the complex I live in they quoted $1320 a month for a 6-month lease, $1275 for a 12-month lease and $1217 for a 14-month lease. We chose the 14-month lease to save money. If your complex offers something similar, you may consider doing the same.
  2. Bring up the fact you’ve paid on time. If you are gainfully employed and have paid your rent on time the entire time you’ve lived there, consider using that as a bargaining tool. After so many months (or the first year) of paying on time, the complex will look at you as a valued member of the community.
  3. Consider paying early. Some complexes will give you a 5% to 10% discount on your rent if you’re able to pay it a few days early. You can also pay months in advance. Many properties offer a significant discount if you’re able to pay 3-6 months of rent at a time. Ask your apartment’s manager if this option is available to you.
  4. Market your own skills. If you are trying to figure out how to negotiate cheaper rent, see if they need any assistance in the property office. Maybe they need help marketing to bring in new tenants or maybe they need some help keeping the grounds. Either way, they’ll knock some cash off your rent in exchange for work.
  5. Earn some cash back. Not all apartment complexes will be open to negotiation. If that is the case you may consider paying your rent online using a credit or debit card. Most cards have some kind of cash back reward or travel points you can earn. Though you won’t be getting cash off your rent, you’ll get cash back by paying online.

Lastly, when you go to negotiate a lower rent, gather some information about the properties nearby. Get an idea of what apartments in the area are going for and know what kind of haggling power you have. If you’re already paying below market in the area, you may not have much power when it comes to negotiating the price of your rent.

Have you negotiated cheaper rent in the past? How did you do it?

Photo: Think Glink