Most tenants think the rent is set in stone, but this isn’t always the case.
Plenty of factors go into play for setting an initial rental price, and sometimes it’s possible to negotiate and bring the figure down slightly. With that in mind, we’ve put this helpful guide together about how you can negotiate the rent on a property.
Can you negotiate rent?
In short, yes, and you can negotiate with the letting agent or landlord to lower the rent. This is the case whether you’re looking to move into a place or already live there and want to dispute a rent increase.
Benefits of negotiating rent?
The obvious benefit to negotiating the rent is cheaper monthly rental payments. You can save money, which is helpful when you factor in other outgoings such as the council tax, utility bills and other monthly financial commitments.
Factors to consider when negotiating rent
Landlords tend to set the rental price after receiving advice from the local letting agent, who will review the postcode where the property is located and look at other factors like size and number of bedrooms. Based on all the information, they will then determine a rental price in line with the local market.
You can do the same, looking at similar properties in the area and seeing how much they’re listed for. If, for example, the asking rent is £1,200 per month and comparable properties are listed for £1,150, you could make a good argument for lowering the rent by £50 per month. You can find local area information on property portals like Rightmove and Zoopla.
Is the property furnished?
Furnished homes tend to command slightly more on the rental market than unfurnished properties. Therefore, you could negotiate a lower rent if a home is offered without any furniture.
Make the argument that furnishing a home is a significant financial outlay, so the rent should be slightly lower to reflect the property’s ’empty’ status. Many renters prefer to move into homes with at least some furniture, so you might have a good angle if the one you’re looking at is unfurnished.
Look for flaws in the property
Along with a possible unfurnished property, you shouldn’t be afraid to note anything that could potentially bring the price down. Not every rental property will be in perfect condition, and you can use this to your advantage.
Whether it’s outdated interiors, a lack of local parking, or not having access to a lift if it’s on a higher floor, all of these factors can be used as a bargaining tool to try and secure the property for a slightly lower rent.
The landlord’s circumstances
While there may be similar properties in the local postcode, each landlord’s circumstances differ. A landlord who has bought the property outright might be more inclined to get the full rental asking price, while one who owns the buy-to-let with a mortgage could be more open to negotiating.
It might prove challenging to derive landlord-specific information, but you can test the waters by offering a slightly lower rental figure. The letting agent can then relay this to the landlord, who may accept your lower offer.
Think about longer tenancies
Landlords want to get the highest achievable rent, but they also value high-quality long-term tenants. By suggesting that you’ll stay in the property for longer, the landlord could decide to let the property to you for a lower rent.
Every landlord’s worst nightmare is a long void period, where the property sits empty. And if they know they can secure rent for longer than the traditional 12-month contract, they will likely be more open to lowering the asking rent.
Show off your credentials
Again, high-quality tenants are worth their weight in gold for landlords. They want someone to pay the rent on time every month and take good care of the property. If you can show that you’re a great renter, don’t be afraid to flaunt it.
Essentially, use any tools in your arsenal to show that you’re reliable. This might include providing references from previous landlords or letting them know about your excellent credit rating. If you build up a good case for yourself, there’s a chance you could convince the landlord to drop the rental price.
How to negotiate rent
Understandably, you want to rent the property for the lowest price possible. But to negotiate, you need to present a realistic offer to the landlord. If you go considerably lower than the asking price, they’re less likely to take you seriously.
One way to gauge the situation involves asking the letting agent. If the landlord has instructed an agent, you can get a feel for what they might accept. The letting agent will be in a solid position to advise you. They might ultimately be working for the property owner, but it’s in their interest to get the property let. They’re likely to take any respectable and realistic offer to the landlord.
The idea of negotiating the rent can be daunting, especially if you’re not used to the process. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get the property at a price you can afford and are comfortable with. By taking all the factors in this guide into account, you can negotiate the rent with the landlord and settle on a figure that suits everyone involved.
Last Updated: February 23rd, 2022