We all reach that point in our lives when it’s time to fly the nest and start living independently. It’s both an exciting and daunting time, and certain factors make it a lot more stressful than it needs to be. Apartment hunting is hard enough without worrying about how much money you’ll have to shell out once you find somewhere to live. The prices of rent these days can scare you out of ever leaving home, but don’t worry. Despite what you may think, it’s possible to swing rent prices to suit you better, and here’s how.
Know what you’re doing
Always be prepared when you go to look at a property. While you may be nervous and overwhelmed on the inside, you have to give off the impression that you’re confident. It will give more weight to your arguments when you discuss lowering the rent. Also, make sure you’re aware of what other properties are offering and how they compare to the apartment you’re looking at. It can put more pressure on the landlord to agree to your demands if they think they’re going to lose you to somewhere else.
Do up the damage yourself
Most properties that are available to rent tend to have something wrong with them. Unless the apartment is a new build, the wear and tear of previous tenants will be evident in places. A lot of the time these issues aren’t something that should put you off renting the property, and they can be used in your favor.
Make a note of what’s wrong with the apartment and bring them up when discussing rent with the landlord. If you offer to deal with the problems yourself in return for reduced rent, there’s a chance that they’ll take you up on the offer. Landlords don’t like their properties to be empty, and having a tenant deal with any minor issues will save them a lot of time and effort. As long as you don’t mind doing a bit of repainting and DIY, this could be the perfect way to save yourself some money.
Push for an extended lease
As we said, landlords don’t enjoy having vacant properties. The longer they’re empty, the more money they have to spend on the apartment without getting any return payment from a tenant (especially in winter). This is something that can be used to your advantage when you’re shopping for somewhere to live, or even when you’ve already found somewhere.
See if you can push your landlord to extend the duration of your tenancy for a reduction in the rent. Most properties offer six months to one year long contracts, but try to increase that to 18 months or even two years. The fact that they won’t have to worry about renting the property out for another couple of years could persuade them to agree to your offer.
Admittedly, this is best to do while you’re already renting an apartment that you wish to stay in. Doing this before you’ve moved in somewhere can be risky, because you’ve no idea whether you’ll enjoy living there or not.
Pay more to pay less
Try to cut a deal with your prospective landlord by offering to pay for several months rent upfront if you can get it for a discounted price. Landlords aren’t going to turn their nose up at an opportunity to get paid immediately, and will more often than not be willing to discuss lowering your rent slightly. It won’t be anything drastic, but every little helps when you’re trying to be financially independent. Of course, this option won’t be available to everyone, but for those who can afford it, this could be the way to go.
While these tips won’t take the stress out of your big move, they could save you a handy bit of cash that could be useful down the line. Even if the landlord won’t budge on the rent, there’s always a chance you could swing something else in your favor, like an upgraded appliance for instance. You never know unless you try.