| by Kenneth Chase | 8 comments

How to Negotiate an Apartment Lease

How to Negotiate an Apartment Lease. Remember, a lease is an agreement, not an
unconditional surrender. Don’t sign on that dotted line until you’re
satisfied with what you’re getting. You will need Confidence Attention to detail
and willingness to walk away. Step 1. Check online for the tenant rights in your
city and state. Know exactly what a landlord can and can’t
include in a lease. Step 2. Research the housing and rental markets in
the immediate area. Ask around to find out what other tenants
and neighbors are paying, and if they have any special deals with the landlord. If they do, you should too. A building’s super is a gold mine of information. Ask them what the previous tenant was paying
and if the apartment has any hidden problems – like bad plumbing, noisy neighbors, mysterious
odors, etc. And don’t forget to tip them for helping
you out – you may be living there soon. Step 3. Ask the landlord for a copy of the lease before
agreeing to move in and thoroughly review it. Make note of any stipulations that are NOT
in your favor. Step 4. Now that you’re intimate with all the details
– and possible drawbacks – of the apartment, inform the landlord that you really want to
move in, but there are a few “issues” you’d like to “iron out” first. Landlords hate “issues.” Make sure you have a backup plan. Line up another possible apartment (or two)
and be prepared to walk away if it comes to that. Do not let yourself be bullied into an unfavorable
agreement. Step 5. If and when the landlord is ready to talk,
you should immediately – and without explanation – make a counteroffer on the amount of rent
you’ll pay. A 5% reduction is a good starting point. Step 6. Weather the landlord’s tirade, then calmly
list all the reasons you should be paying less: the average neighborhood rents are lower
than what he’s asking, the building has a bug problem, the nearest bus stop is a mile
away, etc. Always be calm, polite and professional, and
if you’ve got any charm, turn it on. Make sure the landlord understands you’re
negotiating in good faith and it’s not personal – you’re just looking out for #1 (that’s
you). Landlords love “looking out for #1.” Step 7. If the landlord won’t budge off the amount
of rent, offer a lower reduction, say 3 percent, as a compromise. If they still won’t budge, focus on another
area – like getting certain utilities or services included in the rent, or reducing
the security deposit. If you have the skills, time, and inclination,
offer to perform some basic maintenance services in return for a reduction in rent. Step 8. Always get any negotiated settlements in writing
– once you do, shake hands with your new business partner, and sign away. Did you know Members of the military who receive
orders to relocate may break an apartment lease without penalty.



Jun 6, 2008, 9:57 pm Reply


Koontah Kentay

Jul 7, 2010, 7:34 pm Reply

@nelyat13 no heat an plumming

Dayse Fontoura

Feb 2, 2012, 9:07 pm Reply

@liarmom You're right!


Mar 3, 2012, 12:00 pm Reply

Just an example of how negotiation is an important task.Knowing about the market and being highly wanted on the market can work in your favor.

Something To Vent

Feb 2, 2014, 12:15 am Reply

Hey, am 18 and looking for a place to stay(rent) for over a year and years more. I hear a lease(rental) is an agreement for the time period that you'll do everything on-time. However, does the "one" year lease (for instance) mean that after the lease, you HAVE to leave/move-out? How do you stay longer? What's the most basic process to still live at the property you signed your one-year lease agreement? PLEASE REPLY.

Eric D

May 5, 2014, 7:04 am Reply

Any provision in a lease that is contrary to state law is not enforceable even if you signed it.

Videonium’s Channel

May 5, 2016, 5:31 am Reply

Top 10 tips on our channel.


May 5, 2019, 8:19 pm Reply


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