The landlord/tenant relationship doesn’t have to be rock-solid and unchangeable through your whole stay. The terms and conditions of your tenancy can be flexible enough as long as both parties are satisfied. Here are a few tips on how to negotiate rent with landlord and find the sacred Goldilocks Zone.
How to Negotiate Rent with Landlord
Upon moving in, you can agree on the primary number your new landlord decides on, or you can offer a more suitable one for you, before you get it in writing.
- Talk in person. A face to face confrontation is both a sign of respect and confidence. Never conduct negotiations by phone, text, or chat.
- Look your best. People find it easier to trust others, who wear nice clothes, have neat hair, good personal hygiene, and of course – talk well. Maintain the right amount of eye contact, talk with the right tone of voice, be friendly, clear and state with confidence what you want and why you think you deserve it.
- Compare with other properties. You can make a comparison with the properties in the area and discuss why you believe the rent should be reduced. A landlord simply wants a tenant, and if there is a possibility to lose a good looking tenant to a neighbour, they might consider your offer.
- Do not demand too much. Try to be reasonable and don’t inconvenience your possible landlord. After all, you’re not the only one looking for a property.
- Guarantee your financial state. Make sure you have a well-paying job and provide proof that you have a bank account. This will guarantee you’re able to meet your monthly rent.
- Prove you’re worth it. If you were on good terms with your previous landlord and if he was registered in the National Landlord Association (NLA) or another rental organisation, ask him to say a few good words for you to your current one. A guarantor is your best way to assure a compromise right from the start.
This kind of feat is not among everyone’s strengths, plus you are talking to a person you just met, who doesn’t know you and will have difficulty to trust you. So, if you don’t have that priceless gift to convince people easily, it might be best to leave this negotiation for later in time.
How to Negotiate Rent Increase
If you got your rent raised for any reason, you can do something about it. It’s important to go over things calmly.
- Know your rights. You have signed a tenancy agreement for 6 or 12 months. During that time a landlord cannot change the price of the rent. They have the right to do it after the period is over, for which you should receive a 1 month notice for the increase.
- Address the problem. Is there a particular reason why your rent got increased? If you did any damage to the property or anything else that might suggest you’re a handful as a tenant, you better calculate what you can do about it. Then use it for negotiation.
- Talk in person. Your landlord might already have a negative impression about you. You need to make eye contact while negotiating.
- Offer a compromise. Find what the landlord might need help with, or what could be done to fix whatever damage you might have caused. Be sure to get it in the tenancy agreement for the next period.
- Notify the Rent Assessment Committee. If you believe the increase is unfair, you have to submit your case as soon as you get your notice (here’s more info). Bear in mind, however, they will put a legal maximum of the rent the landlord will be allowed to ask of you and it might turn up to be even higher than his primal increase.
If everything fails, and you won’t be able to afford the new rent, you may turn to a number of charities to review your options, such as Citizens Advice Bureau.
How to Ask Your Landlord to Reduce the Rent
When you’re nearing the end of the period of your tenancy, you will have to sign a new contract if you intend to keep using the same property. This is the time to ask for a rent that suits you better.
- Make sure you demonstrated you’re a good tenant. It’s not a good idea to ask of anything if your landlord has no good impressions of you. If they have a positive experience with your tenancy, you could have a good chance for success.
- Negotiate for other things. Make your landlord used to having regular talks with you. This way, when the time comes to ask for a rent reduction, it won’t come as a too big of a surprise.
- Talk in person. Even if you’re on the best terms ever, not confronting your negotiator face to face, will most probably result in a decline of the offer. There are official letters you can use, but they only serve to put more space between you. The landlord has the right to charge however they want for their own property, and a friendly encounter can do a lot more to change his mind.
- Extend your tenancy. Your landlord would have an easier time to reduce your rent if you assure him you will be staying for a long time. A good proof would be that you go from a 6 month tenancy agreement to a 12 month one. Provide a calculated proof that lower rent is a good investment for both of you.
- Be reasonable. Don’t go overboard with the decrease. Ask for something manageable for both parties.
- Don’t forget to get it in writing. Sign your tenancy agreement with the new terms and conditions. If you don’t have them written, your negotiation might as well have not happened.
Generally, make sure you and your landlord stay on good terms until the time comes to move out. This way, you can rest assured your security deposit money is returned. Provided, you do an end of tenancy clean of course.