Renting 101: Negotiation

Renting 101: Negotiation

When you’re in the market for an apartment rental, you will likely sign on the dotted line for the first affordable apartment you find – especially if you’re hunting in a college town.  You want to get the apartment before anyone else does. Right? Have you ever thought about negotiating a price?  Probably not.  It is not a common practice, but it has been done, and in many cases, it works.

Some of the following are things I’ve found in my experiences apartment shopping – as well as a few additional things suggested in a blog at

The first step to negotiation is to get to know the landlord.  Is he the owner or manager?   Find out his preferences and maybe even some of his character tendencies from other tenants at the complex, if possible.  Also, let him know who you are and what you like.  Make sure, if in the past you have had good history with other landlords, that he knows this and use this kind of information to your advantage.  Always be courteous when you are talking and don’t forget to be yourself.  Having a sense of humor can’t hurt, but be careful not to offend. 

Ever heard the expression that “timing is everything”? Well, it’s right. The Young Money blog suggests this exact thing.  Never try to bargain if there are other tenants or potential tenants around.  A good suggestion would be to schedule a private appointment with the landlord where no one else will be able to overhear.

Also,  come dressed for the occasion.  You don’t have to rent a suit, but look like you are ready to do business.  Young Money suggests, and I agree, to explain why it would be a good idea to bargain with you. This is where your past history with other landlords will come into play – and will possibly win him over. If the landlord agrees with the changes, always make sure you get it in writing.  If not, it could come back and bite you in the butt!

For the Young Money blog on rental negotiations, go to:

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