Rent will probably be the single biggest expense in your weekly budget, and it is of a high priority too – after all it is providing a roof over your head. However, while there is no doubt you have to pay your rent, there is nothing saying you have to accept the rate you are being charged without questioning it, because there are ways you can make your rent more affordable, and bring it into line with the current economic situation of your neighborhood.
To save money on your rent each week, consider implementing these tips:
1– Know the competitionThe rent you are paying should be on par with the amount being paid by those renting similar properties in your area. Therefore, ask around to find out what the rental rate is, and try and find out the credit score and income of your neighbors too, as your ability to make your rental payments and your level of risk will impact on how much you pay each week.
Also research the demand for rental properties in your area, because when there are a lot of empty properties you are in a position to demand a lower rental payment each week, because your land lord will want to fill their property any way they can. If you already have a rental property then look at how many apartments or units are empty in your block, and start haggling with your land lord or property manager over the rent, threatening to leave if they don’t compromise.
2 – Contact your property managerDeal directly with the property manager when you are negotiating the price of your rent. This will ensure you are talking to someone who is in a position to offer you a discount, and someone who is directly affected if you choose to leave and look for a better deal. Therefore, when you ring, ask to speak to the most senior person in the organization.
3 – Write a letterIf you do want to talk to the manager or supervisor at the top about your rent, you may be asked to put your request in writing. If you do write a letter, make sure you include the following information:
- How long you have been living in the property.
- The property values in the area, highlighting where they have decreased and especially the decrease in value of properties like yours.
- The vacancy rates for rental properties in your area, or the number of empty apartments or units in your building or block.
- Your income and credit score to show you are not a risky tenant.
- The high condition you have kept the rental property in while you have been living there.
- A comparison of rents for the same or similar properties in your area.
- Request a discounted rental amount and don’t be afraid of going too low.
4 – Work around the apartmentAll buildings need maintenance work completed every now and then, and usually the building supervisor will bring in maintenance workers to complete these jobs. However, if you volunteer to do these jobs around your building you can save the body corporate some costs, and it just costs you a little time. You are then in a position to request a discount on your rent in return for this maintenance assistance, and make sure you point out the savings you are securing for the building. You may even want to volunteer to be on call in case there is a problem with the building, and this will put you in a favorable light as land lords and property managers always benefit when their tenants care about the property.
5 – Rent the right placeYou can start saving rent right from the beginning by choosing the right property for your needs. When you are looking for a rental have a clear picture of what you need, and be willing to compromise on what you want – for example you may have to sacrifice that spare room and have your sister sleep on the couch when she visits twice a year, or live a little further from work to save on your rent.
Also take the time to shop around so that you can get an idea of what the rent should be for the type of property you are looking at, and the area you are looking at. For example, if you find a rental you are interested in, make sure you look at two other similar properties in the area, and a real estate agent can help you with this search.