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Gephardt Busts Inflation: How to persuade your landlord to lower your rent

Apr 27, 2022, 6:15 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 9:54 pm

According to the most recent data from real estate brokerage, RedFin, rent prices climbed 17% nationally since this time last year. The average now stands at $1,940 a month – a new record high.

So, how can you pay less?

“Everything’s appropriate to negotiate,” said Jeff Cochran, a partner at Shapiro Negotiations Institute. “I’m a firm believer that it’s always appropriate to ask for a deal.”

Cochran said the trick to getting any bargain is to figure out what it is that the seller wants. So, what does a landlord want besides rent?

Late payments are a major problem for landlords. Paying early, or even paying for several months up to a whole year upfront is often worth a discount to a property owner.

Landlords also want to avoid the hassle of finding new tenants – especially on short notice. Promise to give longer notice in exchange for a discount, or sign a longer lease than the typical 12-month contract.

Whatever you do, Cochran said make sure your landlord understands how this is a win-win deal for them too.

“Negotiate a deal in which both sides walk away feeling good about the deal,” he said.

If your landlord will not work with you, it may be time to downsize to a smaller unit or move to a cheaper locale.

According to Rent.com, rental prices can vary a lot within the same city.

For example, in Salt Lake City the most affordable neighborhood is The Avenues where the average one-bedroom apartment goes for $1,049. Compare that to a downtown location where renters pay $1,875 on average.

And on negotiating for lower rent: Even though there is no shortage of Utahns willing to rent right now, if you have been a reliable, trouble-free renter, remind your landlord of that. Especially if the lease renewal bumps rent past the point of affordability for you – you can always point out to the landlord that the next tenant taking over your apartment might not have your solid track record.

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