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Negotiating Tactics for a Better Lease The Second Time Around

Originally posted on October 11, 2018 10:00 am
Updated on October 11, 2018 10:15 am

It can be such a good and rewarding feeling when you find the perfect apartment, home, or condo to rent. With how many bad landlords, bad neighbors, and bad units are out there, it is always a big relief to find somewhere that you love to live. Unfortunately, once your lease is about to end, there is a chance that your landlord will want to up the rent, or remove any promotion you had during your first year.

Instead of instantly agreeing to the new and higher rent without question, there are some negotiation tactics you can use to get the same price or even a better deal than before on your new lease. This article will look at a few of those tactics and tips.


Start the conversation as early as possible

The earlier that you start the conversation about renewing your lease, the more time you will have to work with them to come to an agreement that you are both okay with. You can start the topic casually, and then slowly bring up how you want to renew your lease, but not at the elevated price they are suggesting. How they respond is impossible to predict, which is why bringing it up in advance is a good call.

This is important as if you open with “I am not going to pay that much for a lease, what else can you do for me?”, the landlord will go on the defensive immediately and likely be unwilling to consider your points. If you just reach out to negotiate a few days before you have to renew your lease, you won’t have the time or negotiating power to convince them to offer you a better deal.


Know the market in your city

The more research you have done and the more you know about the rental market in your city, the better equipped you will be to negotiate a renewal. If you know it’s a renters market and many places have vacancies, you can bring that up and let them know that you do indeed have other options out there. The worst thing for a landlord is a vacancy, so there is a good chance that they will be willing to work with you if they know that you know the unit will be hard to fill. You should also know what the unit you’re in could realistically go for. Any sort of information or data that you have to back up your cause, you should use. Of course, if the market is expensive in your area and they raise the rent, this tactic may not work very well.


Show off that you’re a good tenant

Unfortunately, many renters out there are not good tenants. Many tenants miss payments, don’t obey the rules and don’t respect the unit. If these types of tenants try and negotiate a deal, they are unlikely to be given the time of day.

If you have been a solid tenant for your first lease with this company/landlord, you should be sure to show that off to them and give them examples. If you respected their unit, paid your rent and were cordial in all of your meetings with staff and neighbors, you are going to find yourself in a pretty good position to negotiate. Every landlord loves a good tenant who is easy to work with, and may be willing to work with you a little to find a deal to keep you around.


Be flexible

While you obviously want the best lease possible, you need to be willing to work with your landlord and be flexible. Remember, they also want the best deal for them, as well. Of course, if you want to pay $1,000, and they want you to pay $1,200, it seems logical to meet in the middle at $1,100 so everyone can be happy.

If you are not flexible, or at least appear to be flexible, your chances of negotiating a better deal are unlikely to be successful. Also, you may have to get creative with your tactics. For example, maybe you try and see if they will agree to a 2-year lease (instead of the standard one-year) in order to get a discounted rent. This helps you spend less but gives them a guaranteed tenant for 2 years, which is invaluable for landlords.

Hopefully the tactics and tips included in this article will be able to help you get a better lease the second time around during your lease renewal. While negotiation tactics often work better on smaller rental companies or landlords, you aren’t losing anything by trying with the bigger ones, too. Of course, if you are not a great tenant, you should try and fix that and right any wrongs before trying to negotiate.

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