Mark Roemer Oakland image of two people sitting by a laptop negotiating rent

Tips on How to Negotiate Lower Rent

I, Mark Roemer Oakland, realize how hard it can be to find decent and economical accommodation, especially if you live in an area where the rent prices are skyrocketing. Still, it can be a good idea to try to negotiate with your landlord to lower the rent when certain circumstances present themselves. For instance, when you are suffering from financial trouble, or the apartment complex has a lack of amenities.

The Tactics

Now, let’s look at a few ways you can improve the chances of negotiating a good rent deal with your landlord:

1. Sign up for a long-term lease – One of the most convincing ways to secure a good rent deal is to sign up for a long-term lease. This strategy works whether you have to deal with landlords of apartment complexes or small mom-and-pop landlords.

Every landlord knows that lower turnover rates translate to higher profits for them since they don’t have to deal with cleaning costs, the risk of vacancies, or turnover expenses. For instance, when hiring real estate agents, they have to pay broker fees and transaction costs out of their pocket. Thus, if you can make your landlord realize the benefits of securing a long-term lease, it can allow you to convince them to lower your rent or at least, prevent them from raising it.

2. Do proper research and ask for a realistic reduction in rent price – It is important to be thoroughly informed about the rental rates in your neighborhood and complex before you decide to negotiate the rent with your landlord. A quick Google search will reveal plenty of rental properties in your locality along with their rental rates. It’s free information that will allow you to bargain more effectively.

It is also a good idea to get in touch with a few friends who live in the same locality and are also tenants and discuss how much they are paying. Without the proper knowledge of rental prices in the area, you are more likely to ask for an unrealistic rent price reduction which will reveal your ignorance and is likely to offend the landlord as well. However, when you are informed well, you can pick the right number and would have more leverage.

3. Ask for a rent reduction when it’s time to renew the lease – Proper timing is a crucial factor when it comes to negotiating a better rental rate since it would provide you with better leverage. For instance, you can ask for a rent price reduction when you notice many tenants are leaving the property or when it’s time to renew your lease.

Your landlord is much more likely to take your plea or argument seriously right before it’s time to renew your lease since you would have more leverage. This is because they would fear the risk of vacancy which would cost them money if they cannot find a good tenant quickly.

4. Be ready to pay several months in advance – If you are ready to prepay a few months or even a year’s worth of rent in advance, it can become one of the most convincing ways to secure a better rent deal. A thick envelope stuffed with cold-hard cash will lighten up the mood of any landlord and is guaranteed to do the trick when all other negotiation tactics fail.

This is because when they get a huge reserve of cash, they can immediately put it to good use. Plus, they won’t have to worry about inconsistent or failed payments and vacancies, which is a landlord’s nightmare. Alternatively, you can opt to pay them early, preferably on the 1st of every month or perhaps even before the first of the month to negotiate better rent.

5. Explain your strengths as a renter – To gain additional leverage when discussing the terms of the rent, it can be immensely helpful if you have been a good tenant. You can highlight your positives to make you seem more desirable as a tenant. For instance, be sure to point out if you have always paid on time, never had any complaints from the neighbors, kept your apartment in good condition, and have been helpful to them in other ways.

6. Prepare to carry out a few repairs – Many landlords don’t like to carry out the necessary repair work requested by their tenants to keep their property in good condition. Obviously, because the cost will come out of their own pocket and also because it’s an additional hassle.

If you carry out a few minor repairs during your stay, you can make this a point of leverage since it is their responsibility to keep their property in serviceable condition. Alternatively, you can negotiate with the landlord to carry out a few minor repair work in return for a lower rent rate.

7. Provide a few referrals – If your landlord has a few vacant units, they might be ready to offer you a referral fee if you can find them new tenants that are suitable. This can become a win-win situation for both of you. However, be sure to discuss the referral fee beforehand so that there is no issue later. When you get the referral fees, you can simply use them to pay a part of the rent.

Alternatively, you can ask them directly to lower the rental rate based on the number of referrals you can get.

8. Let them know you have other options – During the negotiation, you can let your landlord know about your other available options if you have conducted good research on other rental properties in your area. When they realize their property is not the only available option for you, they will lose the leverage they have on you.


I, Mark Roemer Oakland, suggest you maintain a polite attitude when negotiating to lower the rent with your landlord. It is important to let them realize that you are a desirable renter and being aggressive about the rent price reduction won’t help your case. However, when you act tactfully and inform them how helpful you can be, you improve the chances of bagging a better deal.