It sounds like a wishful urban legend, but it's indeed possible to negotiate a discount on rent. Some of our readers have successfully done it, and this former apartment complex manager confirms: it never hurts to ask.
Photo by Rental Realities.
It makes sense that negotiating rent is probably more successful when you're renting directly from the owner. Large apartment communities are usually managed by big property management companies, and they often don't give their agents the power to negotiate rent. But this isn't always the case, as Redditor sugarpeasdropem explains:
Up until a few months ago, I managed all sorts of apartment complexes - and I'll clue you in on something: at every property, particularly large complexes, there is an absolute lowest amount of rent they can charge for an apartment. Market rent is usually $US50 - $US200 above that amount monthly. When you tour an apartment, always tell the manager/leasing agent that your budget is about that much LESS than what they're quoting you, and mention that you've looked at a couple other places that are just as nice/convenient/whatever that fit that budget. They will come down on the monthly rate. They budget for concessions every month to get people to move in. You talk them down $US100/month and sign a year lease? Bam, $US1200 saved.
This definitely falls under "your mileage may vary." Your outcome depends on your location and the market. But it goes to show that yes, it's possible to negotiate a discount on rent. http://lifehacker.com/how-can-i-effe...
There are additional tips for saving money on rent at the link below.