How to Lower Rent
Trendy townhomes and downtown loft apartments are at the heart of every major city. However, they almost always come at a high cost. The four walls of your luxurious living space are likely cramping your spouse and kids. Not to mention the toll it is taking on your finances to do the things you all love. Although you have a window view of the bustling city and cute tourist shops, you cannot retain this lifestyle without lower rent.
We have some smart and creative tips you can take to decrease your rent and stop those late-night money fights with your spouse. Your family life matters, and we want to help you give your kids exactly what they need for a joyful life. They don’t need to see you and your partner wound up with anxiety over having enough to afford the next month’s payment.
Landlord Negotiation Tricks
One of the best and most straightforward ways you can lower your rent is by speaking with your landlord. They made you sign the terms of your lease in the first place and have the power to change it. We recommend one or all these negotiation hacks so your family can stay in the trendy downtown scene and avoid financial worry.
Sign a Lease for Longer
Although the idea seems backward, signing a lease for longer is the easiest way you can lower your rent. Landlords have trouble finding long-term residents in their properties, so they benefit when they can count on your residence. You can always take them out to coffee and ask for lower rent in exchange for a longer lease agreement, gaining their trust.
Otherwise, your rent will stay the same until the lease term’s end, and your landlord can raise the price if they choose. You can secure a lower rent amount through negotiation and guarantee that amount for a certain amount of time. This tactic will help you and your spouse decide whether staying in the townhome or apartment is the best decision.
Prepay Your Rent
You can also decrease your monthly rent by prepaying several months in advance, which is another way to gain their trust. You are showing your landlord you trust them when you present an envelope of several thousand in cash before it’s due. It is also a smart idea to pay your rent on time without fail so they can depend on you for future payments and consider other negotiation tactics.
This trick is a fantastic first impression or way to bridge a broken relationship between you and them. Your family can have more financial breathing room if you lower your rent via prepay but also your landlord will want to help you out.
Negotiate on Other Costs
Although your landlord may not budge on your rent, you could convince them to decrease other living costs. If these are payments you must make for your townhome or apartment, it is the same as though your landlord decreased your rent. Some non-rent living costs you could negotiate are monthly expenses while others are one-time bills.
- Free parking
- Free storage unit/garage
- Free or partially paid utilities
- Free pet fees
Other Rent-Reducing Tips
You may have already tried all the landlord negotiation tips and still have a pricey rent payment each month. Or your landlord might not be able to directly lower your rent for selfish or unselfish reasons.
We have some other creative rent-reducing tricks in any case that you might not have thought of. They require research, selling yourself, and humility so you can get the lowest possible payment. Some of these tips may be uncomfortable, but they will help stop yelling matches at night and your kids’ sensing your anxiety.
Know the Local Law
Did you know your landlord could be charging you more rent than the law allows? Some tell-tale signs this is true come from living in a rent-stabilized building or knowing a previous tenant paid less per month for the same apartment and amenities. We recommend studying your local city laws to check on these regulations and file a claim with your county court.
Purchase a Home/Build a Home
You may be wondering how it’s possible to purchase a real estate home to lower your rent since it’s a bigger financial commitment than a townhome or apartment. However, if you put down a sizable downpayment on your loan, you have the opportunity to obtain a mortgage amount less than your current rent.
You and your spouse could be less for a residence and invest your family’s future into your dream home. Otherwise, you all would be in danger of the landlord kicking you out if they decide to sell their property. This occurrence could happen if you depend too heavily on the rental market and do not look elsewhere for a stable living situation.
The area of town you purchase/build your home will also determine that new “rent” payment. While it’s more expensive to live in a downtown metropolis, you could construct your new home right outside the city for a larger home with land. Your kids would have plenty of room for playtime inside and outside their childhood home and have a nostalgic place they’d never forget.
Work for the Property Manager
Depending on your career path, it may not make sense to perform grunt work for your property manager when it might only shave off a few hundred dollars a month off your rent. On the other hand, it might be in your best interest to reach out if they require tasks done in a field you specialize in.
The trick with working for a property manager is to see the needs they have and sell yourself to meet those needs. For example, former Money Crashers writer David Bakke translated Spanish for his property manager to lower his rent each month. He noticed that the property manager could not translate for a predominantly Hispanic renter population and jumped in to help. Showing he had what it took to meet his property manager’s need in his case was selling himself.
In addition, you could tackle DIY and physical-labor jobs to remove items off their plate:
- Apartment maintenance
- Raking/snow shoveling
- Apartment cleaning
Live with Mom and Dad
Your family’s financial situation may force you to accept a humbling truth: you have to move back with your parents. We suggest this course as a last resort if you can’t afford your monthly payment, but it may be necessary for your spouse and kids’ sake. It could be time to pack everything out of your townhome or apartment and head home if you continue to have months and months of money issues.
Depending on your relationship with your parents, they could significantly decrease your rent or give your family free rent. This tip is another way, similar to signing a lease, that will buy you more time to decide if you should move back, build a home, or try something else. Although bringing your kids to your parents’ home may be a hassle and cause more family in-fighting, it is better than cramping them in your current space and letting them be broke.
Rent-Lowering Options with a Home
We understand your family is suffering under your townhome or apartment’s tiny four walls. Your expensive rent and lack of breathing room is not worth easy access to fun tourist spots and downtown shops. Although these rent-lowering options are available to you, they still do not give your kids the dream home you’ve always wanted.
Purchasing or building a home for rent reduction will not only save you money in the short term, but also provide your kids with a home they can make childhood memories in. You and your spouse can customize it to your liking, and it can be a place that brings you all peace rather than anxiety.
To explore these options, call our teams today at (480).626.1555, and we can walk you through getting your family the lifestyle you’ve always wanted.
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