When you find the perfect home that fits your needs and your budget, you feel very lucky. But that ideal apartment can become downright unaffordable if your landlord decides to hike up the rent.
If that happens, you might be wondering: Can you negotiate rent? If you approach it carefully, you can work with your landlord on a solution that works for you.
What happened to me
When my husband and I first got married, money was tight. With student loans and small entry-level salaries, our budget did not have a lot of wiggle room.
So when we moved 800 miles to Florida, an affordable apartment was a must. We spent weeks home hunting until we found a unicorn: safe, pet-friendly, convenient, and under $1,000 a month.
It was perfect, and for 12 blissful months, we loved our little apartment. But then it came time for our lease to renew, and our landlord informed us our rent would go up by over $250. I completely panicked. That would break our budget.
While I researched other homes, even if I found something comparable to what we were paying, the moving costs would be crushing. From hiring movers to buying supplies and getting a new license, moving is very expensive. Moreover, I loved our home and did not want to leave.
Can you negotiate rent?
Rent increases are a common part of leasing a home. Last year, rental costs went up 5.74 percent, outpacing inflation. In many areas, there are no limits on how much your landlord can increase your rent. A home that is affordable right now can cost far more next year.
Luckily, you have options. If you’re a good tenant and the area is competitive, you may be able to talk down the price.
If there are other apartment complexes in the area, look into their prices and amenities. Even if you do not want to move, having this information can give you ammunition. If other complexes have similar pricing but offer more space and upgrades for the money, that can help with negotiating rent.
Replacing tenants is an expensive process. The landlord will have to spruce up the apartment when you move out, including new carpet, paint, and other repairs. And reliable tenants are difficult to find. Many miss their payments, cause damage, or have other issues.
Every week that apartment is empty is a week your landlord is losing money. Keeping you, even at a lower rate, is more profitable. It makes good business sense for your landlord to work with you. That gives you more power to negotiate rent.
How I approached my landlord
I decided to contact my landlord with a well-researched case. I typed up the following email and sent it to the leasing manager:
Dear [apartment contact],
I just received our renewal information for our unit. While we’ve been very happy here, I am concerned about the increase.
I did the math, and the new price is a 26 percent increase over our current rate, which is way more than the industry standard. The increase would cause us to pay more than $3,000 a year in additional payments.
We would actually save money by moving into another home, even accounting for extra fees like getting new checks and changing utilities.
I looked at other apartments in the area, and [apartment name] less than a mile away has a two-bedroom of a similar size. They offer upgraded granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, and they charge what we are paying now.
We’ve been happy in this apartment. We like our unit, and we appreciate the staff’s hard work. We have never missed a rent payment, and in fact, we usually pay early.
We’ve carefully maintained the unit and tried to add to the community. If there’s any way to make it work, we’d like to stay. But right now, the price increase is more than we can afford.
I was hoping we could come to a compromise; we would be willing to do a 10 percent increase. That’s the very top of our budget, but we’d be prepared to pay that to stay in our home.
Thank you for your help!
The leasing manager responded quickly, countering with a higher offer. It was still lower than the initial hike, but more than we could afford. I told her that my proposal was all I could do. She pushed a bit more but I held firm and she ended up accepting.
By just sending an email, I was able to bring down the price hike to a $100 increase rather than a $250 increase. That saved us nearly $2,000 in what we would have paid over the year, and it allowed us to stay in our home.
Whether you rent a home from a large company or a private owner, the answer to “can you negotiate rent” is a resounding “yes!”
If you approach it calmly and make your case, you can save a lot of money and keep the home you love. As a good tenant, you come from a place of power when it comes to negotiating rent.
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1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount.
The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.
To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.
Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of Feburary 1, 2021.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.49% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.34% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of October 26, 2020, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 10/26/2020. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2020 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
3 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
As of 02/17/2021 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.91% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.95% APR – 7.63% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
4 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
5 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.
Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.
Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.
Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.
Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of January 4, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.