Did You Know You Can Save Money On Rent?

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Renting a home has a few advantages over owning your own home. You are not responsible for most repairs and maintenance, but you are also not gaining equity.

Rent has gone up considerably in the past few years and can cost as much if not more than 30% of your income. If you know the right questions to ask, you may be able to rent for less and save money month over month.

Negotiate Your Rent Price

Did you know there are multiple ways you can negotiate your rent price? It’s best to do this before signing a lease, but occasionally you can get your contract revised by negotiating a few items.

  • For multi-family housing renters if your rent includes a parking space you do not need, ask for reduced rent as they can rent the extra space to someone with multiple vehicles.
  • Are there any upgrades or less attractive elements of the place you are renting that would allow you to ask for a reduced rate instead of asking those items to be corrected?
  • If you plan to rent longer than the standard lease-term, offer to sign an extended lease in exchange for reduced rent.
  • If you have extra money up-front you can often offer to pay a few months upfront in exchange for lower rent. The extra amount would be taken off your rent month by month on top of getting a reduced rate.

Re-Signing

When you re-sign your lease, especially if you have been a great tenant, it is an excellent time to negotiate your terms. Try these simple tricks to keep or reduce your new lease.

  • If your lease is up and the landlord wants to increase your rent – you don’t have to accept it. You should be prepared to move if you cannot come to an agreement. Try the items listed under the negotiation section to see if you can keep your rent amount the same or reduce it.
  • If you are happy with where you live, go ahead and offer the extended lease option explained above for reduced rent. Especially for good tenants, landlords would much rather keep you than leasing to someone that may or may not work out well.

Deposit

If you have excellent previous rental records you may be able to negotiate the amount of the deposit or at least spread the deposit amount of the deposit over a few months. Another thing to keep in mind is that your deposit is money out of pocket you should expect back. It is extremely important that you fill out and make a copy of any and all damages to the apartment prior to moving in.

Most landlords provide a form that you fill out and they may or may not fix items prior to moving in. If you have time before your move-in date you can request that they fix those items prior to moving in or negotiate the rent or deposit amount in exchange for living with less desirable items.

Be sure to list EVERYTHING and take photos before moving your items in. Even if you can’t save money up front, it may make the difference of you getting your deposit back when you move out. Check everything from the air filters to lightbulbs, cleanliness, worn flooring, wall scratches or damage and any appliance issues.

Upon move-out, refer back to your list and ensure that there are no new damages. Leave the place in the same condition as you rented it and be sure to take move-out photos as well. This will give you what you need to ensure you get your full deposit returned.

Last but not least, ensure that you have written communication on all negotiation items and damages prior to moving in and signing a lease.