5 Ways to Negotiate Your Rent

NEW YORK (MainStreet) —With the rental market heating up in many areas across the country, if your lease is up for renewal, expect the landlord to ask for more money.

Rents are constantly fluctuating and the state of the market at the time you signed your lease likely looks completely different at the time it expires.

Also see: 5 Ways to Prepare for Your First Home Closing

If you’re hoping to stay in your current place, but your landlord is demanding a higher rent, you have a few options: pay the new rent, pack your bags and move or negotiate a better deal. While those negotiations require careful strategy and research, here are a few ways to give yourself an edge.

1. Know the market

In negotiation, facts and proof speak louder than words.

“Write a letter to the landlord and state the comparable apartments in the area and the rents they are asking (pick the ones that are asking lower rents),” says Vik Kukar, senior vice president and licensed real estate agent at Rutenberg Realty.

Ultimately, you need to show the landlord that the price they’re asking is unreasonable and how you’re willing to move unless you get the right deal.

2. Point out the costs

Even in a booming rental market, any layover between tenants will cost the landlord money. Not only could it take a few weeks for a new tenant to move, but there are costs involved when prepping rental spaces, which include cleaning and painting.

“In a letter, include estimates of the vacancy time and costs, so the landlord can see the financial impact of finding a new tenant,” Kukar adds.

Also see: How to Master a 401(k) and Roth IRA at the Same Time

3. The value of “you”

Landlords know what it’s like to have a tenant who pays late and causes damage to the property. If you’re the opposite, there’s value in that, and it’s important to emphasize these qualities when negotiating.