Most tenants don’t negotiate lower rent prices when their lease is up for renewal, even though it works 25% of the time, according to a recent survey.
With the rental market cooling, the success rate for haggling for cheaper rents rose from 17% in October 2022 to just over 25% in April 2023, according to Avail, a platform for self-employed landlords and renters. .
However, only 28% of those surveyed said they negotiated the price at their most recent lease renewal.
“Renters certainly have more influence now,” says Jon Leckie, data researcher at Rent.com, a rental listing site. “With more inventory and less demand, landlords have to compete for tenants more than they did a few months ago.”
Rental price growth has leveled off in recent months, with median rent in the 50 most populous US cities hovering around $2,000 a month since the end of 2022, after rising about $300 during 2021 and 2022, according to Redfin pricing data. In turn, slowing rental growth has made it harder for landlords to raise prices, Leckie says.
“This is a good time to try to negotiate the rent if you can,” says Leckie. “But people have been conditioned to the idea that, ‘Oh no, rents are crazy, landlords can charge whatever they want.’ I don’t think that’s the case anymore.”
In addition, the negotiation can generate other benefits if the owner refuses to lower the price. This may include other concessions, such as repairs or improved services.
To try it for yourself, check out five tips for negotiating your rent from real estate experts.
Check local rental listing sites to confirm rental prices for similar units in your neighborhood. If you’re paying more than you would for a similar unit, you’ll have a compelling fact-based argument for a fair price based on local rental market rates.
Landlords favor tenants who keep their units in good repair and have a long history of paying rent on time. If you have been with the same owner for a long time, it is reasonable to ask for a discount.
Similarly, when negotiating a lease with a new landlord, offer references from previous landlords to show that you are a trustworthy tenant.
If you’re happy with your unit and don’t expect to move in anytime soon, consider proposing a longer lease, such as two years instead of one. In exchange for the commitment, ask your landlord for a discount rate on your monthly rent.
Plus, by locking in a flat rate for two years, you can ensure that your rent won’t increase with inflation for the rest of your lease.
Try to sign new leases in December or January, which is the peak off-season for the rental market. This is because the rental market is seasonal, so rental prices fluctuate based on demand and the time of year. When there is less demand, prices tend to go down.