Can you negotiate rent price?
Renting in Australia’s major cities can be extremely expensive, and it’s not uncommon for tenants to approach their landlords and request a rent reduction. But does this actually work? Can you negotiate rent price successfully, and if so, how?
Let’s find out.
Can I negotiate cheaper rent?
In short, yes. You can negotiate cheaper rent. If you offer a cheaper (or higher) rate than advertised, the real estate agent or property manager must take it to the property owner for consideration. Of course, the owner has every right to say no, and if the property is located in a popular area, they most likely will.
So, before you pick up the phone and try your hand at negotiating cheaper rent, here are a few things you should consider.
The local property market
Do your research. If you’re going to try for a lower rental price, you must back up your request with cold, hard facts. In other words, you need to prove to the landlord that their property is worth less than what they are asking.
To do this, check out similar properties in the area. For example, say there’s a three-bedroom home you are interested in advertised for $550 per week. There’s another three-bedroom home down the road available for $520 per week – and it has a swimming pool. Presenting this information to the landlord is a powerful way to request a rental reduction.
The time a property has spent vacant
If you’ve been hunting for a rental property for some time now, you have probably noticed a couple of properties that have remained available for an extended period. These properties can be good targets for those looking to score a cheaper rental price.
Look for properties that have been on the market for at least four weeks. You’re probably unlikely to successfully negotiate a $50 per week reduction, but discounts of $5 or $10 are certainly possible.
If you have the luxury of time, you might also find that, after a couple of weeks, landlords will reduce the asking price themselves in a last-ditch effort to attract a tenant.
In a similar vein, if you show up for an open inspection and you’re the only person there, you are more likely to successfully negotiate cheaper rent than if you were one of ten or twenty.
How bold you’re willing to be
In some areas, it’s a renters’ market. There is an oversupply of available properties, and owners must be flexible with their pricing to secure a good tenant. In these situations, you can be bold. As a way of testing the waters, some tenants have even tried submitting their rental applications at a lower price. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.
If you have a flawless rental history – use it
Bad tenants can spell disaster for a property owner. So, if you have a flawless rental history – as well as a couple of references from past landlords – use this to your advantage. Sometimes, an owner may be willing to make financial concessions in exchange for peace of mind.