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

Charging Your Kids Rent?

Source: http://mamikikeyu.wordpress.com/

Source: http://mamikikeyu.wordpress.com/

A high school friend of mine still lives at home, she’s 28 years old. She works full-time, has a car and only had a small amount of debt from one year of college which she paid off in a few months.

It was no secret that when we graduated high school, if she, same with her brothers, chose not to pursue post secondary education they would have 6 months before they had to start paying rent to live at home.They were expected to work full-time and couldn’t just sit on the butts at home.  I don’t think this is a totally unrealistic request of parents.

Forcing your child to start contributing to the family’s finances is a smart way to teach great money management skills while in the safety of the family home and much less risk than being on their own. Since she started paying rent she was now allowed to have a say in the running of the house. She wanted her own land line in the house (she didn’t have a cell phone at the time) so she sat down with her mom and went over the family budget with her new rent contribution and budgeted in adding a second line to the phone budget. Her mom was a sweet, organized lady who taught her daughter a lot about ‘life skills’ so why is her 28-year-old daughter still at home then?

Never increasing the menial rent and allowing her daughter to stay too close to the security of home has allowed my friend to get much too comfortable.  In her moms eyes, as long as she was paying rent, what my friend did with her money was ‘up to her’ as she had already taught her the skills, it wasn’t moms responsibility to implement them. The end result is my friend being 28 and still living at home. She blows through her money on food, clothes and crap for her ‘bedroom’ that she doesn’t need. I can only imagine what I could accomplish if I lived at home for 10 years after high school only paying $150.00/month.

I have no problem, and actually think it could be a smart move to charge kids rent who are not in post secondary and live at home after high school. Never charging any amount that could interfere with potential goals (if they’re taking time off school to save for travel or save for education etc) but I think by charging rent it teaches responsibility as an adult. Having said this there has to be some guidelines. My friend is still at home because she still pays the same $150.00/month in rent that she did when she was 18.

I understand that mom is now compliant with their living situation but at what point do you force her to gain a life of her own? Something I would have done a long time ago. Mom needs to jack the rent up to a more respectable amount if she’s going to continue to allow her to live there, then maybe my friend will realize she could have a place of her own where she can start a life (of her own!) for the same amount of money. Once she gets this realization in her head, maybe, just maybe, she will start saving for said abode. Who knows? All I know is that I may have a crap load of debt but I wouldn’t trade my life, home, family and independence for anything, especially living with my mom at 28 years old.

Who has, or plans to potentially, charge their children rent after high school? OR Who has paid their parents rent? Opinions please!

{Note: I am not saying all situations are the same. I realize some people stay home for many different reasons, I know people in these sorts of situations. There is no ‘situation’ around said story, my friend is just a financial lazy ass with Momma encouraging it}