Negotiate Rent and have more money in your bank account every month! Which tenants benefit from trying to negotiate? By how much can a tenant generally save a month by negotiating? While it is NOT always recommended to try, there are certain circumstances where we do recommend a tenant try to negotiate the amount of their monthly rent.
Tenants with excellent credit are generally considered to be much more stable, responsible low risk tenants. They understand the importance of maintaining a high credit score by paying bills on time each month and not carrying too high of balances or too many accounts. For these reasons, landlords will be much more inclined to negotiate a monthly rental amount with a tenant with excellent credit, because they know that the risk factor involved with renting to this person is relatively low.
When should this tenant NOT try to negotiate rent? Generally, if the rental property the tenant wants is in a very competitive area, or it is known that there are more than one tenant applications or offers being submitted to the landlord... it's not worth the risk of negotiating. In these cases, an excellent credit score will float to the top of the applicant pile and will likely help you to win the rental. But trying to negotiate rent could hurt chances of winning the lease.
There are always rentals that have been sitting on the market for much longer than usual. They may be priced too high, or lacking good improvements inside. Maybe it's only got one small ugly bathroom and renters keep passing the rental by as a result. If you're working with a real estate agent, they can look up how long the rental has been for rent on the market. If it's been longer than 6 weeks, there is no harm in trying to negotiate rent at that point! Why not? The landlord will likely be much more inclined to get it rented after 6 weeks or more of a vacancy.
Is it almost time to renew? What a great time to negotiate your rent! BUT... only if you've paid on time every month, haven't had any complaints, and keep the property nice, clean and well-maintained. If you've done these things, DEFINITELY negotiate! It'll be to your landlord's advantage to keep you there for another year.
Generally, a $50 decrease from the monthly rental amount is normal. It's not advisable if the tenant has bad credit, too much debt, no credit, self-employed without steady proof of income, or the rental property is super popular or in a highly competitive rental area/building/community unless the risk is worth the try.
To put your best foot forward and present yourself in a way that landlord's will feel comfortable with you... it's important to spend time preparing a great rental offer package. This is one reason why renters should work with an experienced agent (it's FREE!). They will know how to help you put the information together to submit a winning offer to the landlord.