How to Negotiate Rental Rates Like a Pro in California

iStock_000011739530_SmallYou have been the perfect tenant for many years in a row. You love your place, get along with all your neighbors and don’t plan on moving out in the near future. Even so, you can’t help but notice that you are spending a lot of money on rent on a monthly basis. The ugly truth is that the housing options chosen by your friends, relatives and neighborhoods in the same ZIP code are much cheaper than the one that you’ve sworn not to abandon too soon. What’s the best tactic that you can implement to lower your rental rates without opening a dispute with your landlord? Would it be possible to negotiate your rent? Could you express your desire to invest in repairs and/or remodeling work in exchange for a convenient rent reduction? Keep reading to discover the most accurate answers to all these questions, as well as a few tips that you may find useful during your first round of negotiations.

Reasons Why You Should Work on Your Negotiation Skills

First of all, when should you actually ask your lessor to lower your rent? Here are three plausible (and very common) scenarios that would justify this move:

  • You don’t make enough money. Believe it or not, many young adults who want to live the Californian dream juggle two or three jobs at the same time to be able to pay rent and cope with other expenses on a monthly basis. If you can’t find an easy (and perfectly legal) way to supplement your income and don’t want to bend over backwards to find a new roof over your head, consider discussing your situation with your landlord and presenting a form of bartering as a potential solution to your problem.
  • You want to redirect your resources towards a new project. Any kind of startup requires a significant amount of money, especially if you don’t want to work from home or from the nearest internet café. If you’re planning on investing most of your resources in a new work-related project, you may want to keep your most important expenses in check by striking a deal with your landlord.
  • You don’t think that the property that you’re occupying actually deserves that much money. Let’s face it: even if you don’t have any other plans that could involve a major financial investment, perhaps you hate the idea of spending around $3,000 on a nice apartment located in a neighborhood where most accommodation options are in the $1,800-$2,500 range. If that’s the case, schedule a meeting with your landlord and let him know that you’re targeting cheaper alternatives located in the same area.

Reduced Rental Rates in Exchange for Home Improvements: Does This Strategy Actually Work?

Regardless of the factors that stimulate you to go see your landlord and ask him to lower your rental rates, the main question that you should focus on remains the same: how could you turn the first round of negotiations into a smashing success? There is no foolproof trick that you can explore and apply to achieve this objective without taking any chances; however, there are quite a few tactics that you could employ to spend less on rent save some cash at the end of each month.

  • Contact your landlord and suggest that you are thinking about moving out because you can no longer afford to pay rent. Mention the fact that you’ve stumbled across similar rentals carrying smaller price tags. Fear of competition may be the decisive factor that could intimidate landlords and convince them to lower their rental rates.
  • State the fact that you are willing to sign a long-term lease. By indicating that you’re eager to occupy the same property for many more months in a row you could earn the trust and benevolence of your landlord and get him to lower your rent.
  • Mention the fact that you are willing to handle your own repairs without any fuss. This is a notable advantage that busy landlords will always appreciate, especially if they have to tend to the needs of multiple tenants.
  • Make a list of the home improvements that you would be willing to invest in, in exchange for a rent reduction.

All in all, the tactics detailed above should help you become a better negotiator and come to an agreement with your landlord.

What If You Can’t Lower Your Rent?

In all honesty, finding an incredibly cheap rental in the state of California can be quite tricky (and nearly impossible if you’re targeting prominent, overcrowded cities like San Francisco, for example). So assuming that you have to renew your lease and your landlord isn’t willing to offer you a discount, what’s the strategy that you should employ to save some cash without lowering your level of comfort? Here’s an idea worth exploring: monitor the local rental market on a regular basis. Sweet deals don’t last long on the California market, but you could definitely stay one step ahead of the rest of the people who are looking for an upgrade or a less costly rental by using the data provided by a reliable apartment finder. Knowledge is power and represents the key element that could help you gain a competitive advantage during your apartment search. Apartment Hunterz brings you thousands of quality, verified listings and also facilitates your communication with landlords who may just be on the same page with you in all aspects. Reach property managers and lessors who are eager to fill their vacancies, negotiate rental rates like a pro, discuss the terms of your lease and submit your paperwork online. Apartment Hunterz simplifies each home search and lets you save time and money while falling in love with the Californian rental that’s just perfect for you.

Jun 2015