Negotiating a Renter’s Lease
Most renters feel that their leases are a take-it or leave-it deal, but that’s not always the case. While some landlords or complexes may not budge when it comes to negotiation, there are certain topics that most landlords will consider negotiating on.
Before entering your next lease agreement, consider negotiating the following five topics.
1. Security Deposits
If a security deposit amount or the requirement itself seems unreasonable, discuss it with the prospective landlord. Negotiating a lower amount is most likely if a renter can offer references or a record of past responsible rental maintenance. The landlord might consider waiving the fee altogether if he or she need to get the property under contract as soon as possible.
2. Pet Policies
Though not as easily negotiated as security deposits, some pet policies may be up for debate. If an animal is small, quiet, and visibly unaggressive, the renter may be able to negotiate a lower fee. On the other hand, if the complex or landlord only allows animals of a certain size or breed renters may be able to get their companions under contract by paying a little extra.
3. Access to Amenities
Some properties charge an extra fee to renters for access to special amenities, like the gym, pool, or on-site wellness center. In certain cases, renters may be able to negotiate, so that the extra fee is included in the monthly rent figure. Showing past records or sending the landlord references from prior landlords will help the renter’s case. Renters renewing their leases should try to get the use of amenities included in their new lease for no extra cost.
4. Parking Passes and Guest Policies
Landlords often discourage renters from hosting large number of guests, especially overnight. While limiting the number is reasonable, tell the landlord if their limit is too restrictive or will put your guests in unsafe conditions. Try to negotiate for two to three parking passes, so that guests can park safely. If the landlord is unwilling to budge on guest or parking policies, mention that you’re considering continuing your home search. This will likely make the landlord more responsive to your requests.
5. Monthly Rent
Rent can be difficult to negotiate, but the landlord’s price is usually much higher than he or she actually needs to make a profit. It’s helpful to be reasonable and understanding, and enter the negotiation discussion having done some research of comparable rates in the area. Bring proof or references from previous landlords that you have no history of eviction, late rent, damage, civil judgments, or other rental issues.
What Not to Negotiate
Remember that some aspects of a lease are in place because of local, state, and federal law, and these things can never be negotiated. Other policies are there in the interest of renters’ safety and security—things like maximum occupancy, indoor smoking, and remodeling are likely not up for discussion. Finally, landlords cannot agree to anything that may be considered discriminatory, like charging more for service pets or small children. For more information about negotiating, [Click Here].