Asking a landlord to lower your rent can be difficult, but many people do it successfully. Careful research, politeness and a willingness to negotiate on the length of your lease are proven strategies that renters use to save money on housing costs.
Check the Market
Begin by checking rental housing vacancy rates in your area. If you are living in a tight rental market, you may find it very difficult to negotiate a rent decrease with your current landlord. If the rental market is favorable to tenants, however, start researching rental costs in your neighborhood. Find listings for homes that are similar to yours in size and amenities, but that are offered at a lower rent. Print these out to show to your landlord during negotiations.
Make Yourself Look Good
Don't begin negotiations with a laundry list of complaints, or threaten to move if your landlord doesn't meet your rent demands. Instead, let your landlord know that you like living in your place and you hope to stay there. Note that you always pay your rent on time, there have been no complaints about you from neighbors and that you take care of the property. Reinforce that you are the kind of tenant landlords want. Use the numbers from your research to show that better deals are out there, and that you hope you can remain in the property at a lower rate.
Suggest a Longer Lease
Offer to sign a lease of two years or longer if the price is reduced. By signing a long-term lease, even at lower rent, you offer the landlord financial security and spare the landlord the expenses and risks associated with finding a new tenant.
Lainie Petersen writes about business, real estate and personal finance, drawing on 25 years experience in publishing and education. Petersen's work appears in Money Crashers, Selling to the Masses, and in Walmart News Now, a blog for Walmart suppliers. She holds a master's degree in library science from Dominican University.