Rent is one of the biggest regular expenses for renters. Yet, many people don’t realize that this bill isn’t set in stone. You can negotiate your rent and pay less month over month.
However, if you go about the negotiation wrong, you’re not going to be successful.
Whether you’re moving into a new place or you have a rent increase coming up, this guide can help you save money on one of the biggest bills you have. Read our top tips on rent negotiations and get a fair price on your rented home.
Can You Negotiate Your Rent?
The short answer is, yes. You can negotiate your rent. When you’re renting a Chicago apartment, the price you pay isn’t set in stone.
But before you even consider negotiating, you need to make sure you know why you’re asking for a discount. Plus, you need to know how to approach the conversation so you can come out a winner.
Why You Should Negotiate Your Rent
Successfully negotiating your rent means more than just smaller monthly payments. Here are some serious benefits to paying lower rent for the same location and quality.
Lower Rent Means More Money for You
More money in your pocket means more financial freedom. If you can negotiate $100 off your rent every month,you’ll keep $1200 more in your pocket every year. That’s money you can save, invest, or use to pamper yourself.
Negotiated Rent Gives Your Place More Value
When you negotiate your rent in Chicago, you get a better deal. As a result, you’ll appreciate the place a bit more if it’s less strain on your wallet.
Everybody Negotiates Their Rent Increase
Every renter wishes they paid less rent. In fact, a lot of them manage to reach an agreement with their landlord on a lower rent before they sign their lease.
That means that if you’re signing your lease without trying to negotiate your rent, you could be paying more than the fair market price for your home.
This is especially true if you’re negotiating against a rent increase. Since you have an established relationship with your landlord, you’re at an advantage to negotiate. (Provided you’re a good tenant, of course).
When Should You Negotiate Your Rent?
To get the most successful outcome in your rent negotiations, your timing is crucial. Make sure you approach your landlord with your request at the right time.
But what time is the best time?
- Before you sign your lease: It’s completely possible to negotiate your rent even before you get the place. Agreeing on the rent should be one of the first things you discuss with your new landlord before moving on to the nitty-gritty details of the lease.
- Few months before your lease expires: If you’re unhappy with the rent you pay, but your lease expires in a couple of months, ask your landlord if they’d renew your lease at a lower price. Chances are they’d rather keep you for less than spend time searching for a new tenant.
- During winter: Winter is a harder time for landlords. Most people move in the warmer months. They can be more lenient towards your case if you approach them when they can’t find new tenants.
What to Ask For When Negotiating Rent
You can negotiate with more than just your rent. You can ask for new items, benefits, and amenities too.
Here are some examples that you can ask for in these negotiations:
- New amenities: You can ask for a new TV, fridge, or microwave when you move in. If the old one is in bad condition or low quality, your landlord may gladly replace it for you.
- Free parking space: Even if it’s not part of your apartment, you can probably negotiate free parking for your place. This can save you a lot of money, even if it isn’t directly part of your rent.
- Additional storage space: Lots of apartment buildings have basements or garages. But, your landlord may not give you access to these immediately. Feel free to ask them about what options you have for additional storage.
How You Can Negotiate Your Rent
Now that you know the best time to negotiate your rent and what to ask for, we need to address tactics. Negotiating isn’t easy for everyone. And if you’re going to get the edge and save on your rent, you need to be prepared. Here are some tips to help you get the best results.
1. Do Your Research
Before you do anything else, check the price of flats in your neighborhood. Look for apartments of similar size and quality. And compare the prices to your own. If the housing market values your area to more than what you would pay, chances are, you can’t negotiate a lower rent easily.
It’s also worth considering how much you’re willing to pay. Always approach your rent negotiations with a price limit.
2. Prepare Your Bargaining Chips
Although you may get lucky, it’s doubtful that your landlord will just drop the price out of the kindness of their heart. As a tenant, you have certain bargaining power when it comes to negotiating your rent.
3 things you can offer your landlord to convince them to lower your rent:
- Offer to stay for longer: Landlords love a reliable tenant who stays for a long time. If you can imagine yourself staying in the same apartment for 2-3 years, make sure you mention that.
- Offer to pay in advance: If you’re in a financial position to pay rent several months in advance, you can negotiate to pay your rent with a discount.
- Offer to buy/do something that raises the property’s value: Whether it’s painting the walls or investing in a new TV, landlords appreciate a tenant who takes care of their property. Offer a service like this to lower the price of your rent.
3. Contact Your Landlord or Property Manager
Once you’re ready, contact your landlord or property manager. Don’t attack them with demands to lower your rent immediately. Instead, send them an email or a text asking to talk about something concerning your lease.
This is crucial. How you approach and talk to your landlord could easily make or break your case. So, you want to set the right stage for your negotiations.
4. Be Clear, Respectful, and Patient
Your success depends on clear communication. Remain respectful, calm, and professional when you’re talking to your landlord. This can help you better negotiate your rent while building a stronger relationship between you and your landlord.
5. State Your Case
First, explain why you’d like your rent lowered. Perhaps the housing market adjusted. Or you found flaws in your apartment that lower its value. If you can back up your claim with evidence, your landlord may be more inclined to help you.
6. Explain How Your Landlord Will Benefit
You can’t expect your landlord to give up their earnings easily. Make sure you include why you think you paying them less actually benefits them. This is the time to pull out your bargaining chips. Stay longer, pay in advance, or offer to fix something in exchange for their goodwill.
7. Put It in Writing
This is perhaps the most important step in negotiating. Once you convinced your landlord and they agreed to lower your rent, make sure you have the agreement in writing. Whether that’s in a new lease, a renewed contract, or additional paperwork, make sure you both sign it legally.
Should your landlord change their mind later, you need to have their consent in writing.The last thing you want is to have legal troubles after you’ve taken the time to negotiate your rent..
8. Use a Rental Negotiation Site
Negotiating your rent isn’t easy. You need to research, haggle, and bargain to make it happen. While the reward is great if you succeed, there’s a risk that your landlord won’t budge despite your best efforts.
You can skip all seven steps by just using a rental negotiation site like Brixbid.
You Can Negotiate Your Rent Easily with Brixbid
Brixbid lets you negotiate your rent instantly. Use our listings tool to find your dream home in Chicago. Once you find a listing that you love, make the landlord an offer on our rental negotiation platform to pay what you think is fair.
The best thing about the listings on Brixbid is that you know the price upfront, and you have a say in how much you’re willing to pay. You have the opportunity to negotiate right through the platform. And Brixbid even handles your lease online, so your legal side is covered as well.
Save yourself the effort and potential embarrassment of rental negotiations, and do it on Brixbid instantly!