The best strategy for rent negotiations

Whether you’re haggling the fishmonger for a better price or persuading your toddler to eat his vegetables, you’ve no doubt engaged in some negotiating at some point. Especially true if you have kids because, let’s face it, bribery works better than threats!

So whether you’re house hunting for new accommodation and the perfect place is slightly out of your price range, or your landlord is raising the rent on your current apartment, you always have the option to try and negotiate your rent.

We know, it sounds intimidating! But you’ll be surprised at how, with a little strategy, you just might win over the landlord.

Here’s how we recommend to go about it:

Ask whether the rent price is open to discussion
Politely ask the landlord if he is willing to discuss rent prices and when is a good time to negotiate. It doesn’t hurt to know whom you are talking to, especially if you’re negotiating price for a new place. If possible, find out if your landlord is known to be open to discussion. If you’re facing a rent increase, it is always best to start the conversation at least a month before your tenancy agreement is up so your proprietor has enough time to consider your offer or, if need be, you have time to make other plans.

Negotiate in person, follow up in writing
As best as possible, try to avoid telephonic discussions. Talk to the landlord in person as face to face negotiation is usually best. Remember to remain calm, polite and professional during the discussion; it does not pay to be  rude or defensive. Follow up the discussion within 24 hours with a brief text if e-mail is not possible, thanking them for the meeting and reiterating your suggestion.

Sell yourself!
No, we don’t mean literally. If you are facing a rent increase, you should remind the landlord what a reliable, responsible tenant you have been. Assuming you have always paid your rent on time and have kept the property in good shape, a gentle reminder might help. After all, the landlord does not know whether he will find a good a tenant as you, so it can help prove your worthiness and give them an incentive to keep your current rent.

If you’re on the marker for a new place and your situation allows, you can show you’re financially stable by offering the landlord a few concessions; paying a few months of rent in advance or signing on for a longer lease which saves the landlord money in turnover.

Keep an open mind
And be willing to compromise! Unless you’re absolutely unable to afford the rent rate, you could always suggest a compromise amount that you can afford. For example, if the rent is SCR 1000 higher than you’d like, offer to pay SCR 500 instead.

Have a backup plan!
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, negotiations do not go as planned and you find yourself having to look for alternative accommodations. It is always best to have several places on your radar, just in case your first plan does not pan out.

Remember that landlords are persons just like me and you. As much as they are running a business, they are also family-oriented and they care for their community. In the long run, they are looking for the most responsible tenants (timely rent, clean house and property in good condition). If you are that tenant, you are in a better position to try and negotiate your rent.

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