Why You Should Always Try To Haggle When Renting An Apartment

Why You Should Always Try To Haggle When Renting An Apartment

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 http://lifehacker.com/how-can-i-effe…

There are additional tips for saving money on rent at the link below.

Looking for an apartment? I used to lease them and I’ll clue you in


  • I’m not sure if this is true for the Australian rental market. I remember when I was trying to find an apartment, I had to battle long lines of other prospective renters, and then have to endure people making on the spot offers to the agent at least $20-30 *higher* than the asking price. It’s crazy out there.

    • When my partner and I were looking for a place in Canberra July last year, we actually had a couple of real estate agents encourage us to put in offers $10-20 a week below the asking price. I mean, it was in the middle of the public service cuts, but IDK.

  • Haggled on my place, got it for $80 a week under advertised price, $30 less than what they offered straight up. There are people in BEDSITS in my building paying $90 more than me because they just went with the old “offer more to secure”. There’s definitely an oversupply of apartments in my city now, not an undersupply, don’t be a sap and offer more.

  • I guess this much is true: when procuring anything, know your market, know how much you’re willing to pay and let that guide you.

  • This would have to be area dependant. A lot of areas I’ve lived in, the rental market had a very low availability rate. This of course led to higher rent prices. So negotiating when others are willing to pay more would be near impossible.
    I’d understand it if it there were more rentals than demand, or even a long time tennant wanting to renegotiate their current rent.

  • When to haggle on rent:

    1. When you haven’t just been to an inspection where four people submitted applications while you were there.

    2. When you don’t have to move out in a hurry and can afford to waste time alienating property managers across the city during business hours.

    3. If you don’t want to live in a popular neighbourhood with a good location.

    4. More seriously: A standard lease should be 6 months. If you intend to stay for a long time, offer to sign a 1yr or longer lease in exchange for lower rent. The additional security of income will possibly be attractive enough to convince the owner to go for it.

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