Rental costs have risen across the board, leaving many people struggling to make ends meet.
Here are 11 ways to lower your rent so you have more money in your pocket.
11 Smart Strategies to Reduce Your Monthly Rental Costs
Share Your Apartment
Consider this cost-saving tactic if you don’t mind sharing your space with others. Simply divide the average cost of an apartment by two, and subtract that amount from your monthly rent payment.
Shared expenses for toiletries, kitchen supplies, utilities, and groceries would also save you money.
Pay More Upfront
To potentially secure a discount, consider proposing to pay several months or the entire lease in advance. This lump sum payment may entice the landlord to offer a more favorable deal. However, it's important to assess your savings before committing to this option.
Avoid depleting your savings account, as this could lead to accruing credit card debt and losing your hard-earned savings to interest payments. If an upfront payment is feasible, replenish your savings over time by making regular monthly payments.
Negotiate Your Lease Renewal
Landlords value reliable and responsible tenants and often prioritize keeping them long-term to avoid the costs and hassle of finding new tenants.
So, knowing the fair market rent prices in your area can give you leverage when negotiating with a landlord. Take the time to research similar apartments in your neighborhood and come up with a reasonable figure to propose. If the landlord is hesitant to negotiate, you can politely let them know that you may need to look elsewhere for housing. However, if you have a good relationship with them, there may be room for compromise.
Remember the nature of your dealings, as independent landlords typically possess greater flexibility than property management companies. The latter are often responsible for managing multiple tenants within a complex and are less likely to make concessions.
Sign an Extended Lease
As stated previously, landlords value stability in their tenants. To provide them with greater peace of mind, consider signing a lease for 1.5 or 2 years, rather than for one year or six months.
Aim for the most extended lease term feasible for you, as this may allow the landlord to offer you some financial flexibility.
Give Up Your Parking Space
Don’t have a car? In that case, consider offering to give up your parking space in exchange for reduced rent. Your landlord can then sell that space to another tenant needing additional parking.
When looking for a place to rent, you might come across properties owned by individuals or families instead of big companies. These private rentals can include flats, houses, or even guest homes
The good thing is that private landlords often don't follow strict rules like corporate landlords do. In other words, they're more flexible regarding deposit and application fees. All of this makes them more likely to negotiate for cheaper rent.
Of course, every landlord is different. Some private landlords might still conduct background checks or have other requirements. To avoid surprises, it's a good idea to be clear about your expectations and circumstances from the start.
Hunt in Winter
Winter can be challenging for landlords to attract renters, as many people are reluctant to leave their homes during cold weather. Consequently, vacancies may persist for months, resulting in lost rental income for the landlord.
However, summer rental prices tend to surge due to school schedules and better weather conditions. College graduates and high school graduates flood the rental market, while families with young children often wait until the end of the school year to relocate.
These factors increase demand for rental properties, leading to higher rental prices. Therefore, consider searching for apartments during winter and negotiating an extended lease that concludes in the summer. This guarantees that the apartment becomes available at a good time for the landlord after your departure. Moreover, the landlord may be more willing to negotiate trade-offs to secure a long-term tenant and ensure greater stability.
Change Your Location
Changing your location is another cost-effective tactic to save money. Big cities have higher rental prices so if you can’t afford their living charges, try to shift to another town.
For instance, El Paso or Oklahoma are great urban cities with lower rental prices.
Look up fair market rent prices by zip code
Offer Your Skills
Do you have a good grasp of plumbing or appliance repair? You can use these skills to fix things for your landlord in exchange for a discount on your rent. Whenever any of their belongings break or become faulty, they could ask you for help.
You can save them time, energy, and money by fixing things for free. This can be a win-win situation for both parties.
You don't need any technical skills to be helpful - even simple tasks like trimming hedges or mowing the lawn can make a difference.
Tenant Referral Fees
Try asking your landlord if they offer tenant referral fees. Some landlords offer money in return for referring a new tenant, although this is more common with bigger apartment corporations with many vacancies..
Private landlords with fewer properties may not offer referral incentives, but it never hurts to ask.
Avoid Paying with a Credit Card
Contrary to popular belief, paying rent with a credit card is not a good idea. While some people do it to earn cash back or mileage rewards, this habit can lead to overloading your credit card. Additionally, property managers often charge a service fee for credit card payments.
Not paying off the balance each month can also harm your credit score and potentially lead to credit card debt. It's best to avoid paying the rent with a credit card altogether and explore other payment options.
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