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Tips to negotiating rent with your perspective landlord

December 15, 2022 | By Roomrs


At the height of the pandemic, rent negotiation seemed more feasible. New Yorkers were fleeing to the Suburbs, and landlords were left with more empty properties than usual. 


Being that it was truly a renters market, landlords seemed willing to accept offers that may have otherwise been unthinkable.


But hope is not lost, here are a few ways you may be able to negotiate a successful rent decrease with your perspective landlord.

Do your research

Above all, you need to be well informed. Start researching data on websites like StreetEasy, Zillow and Zumper. You can understand trends in price on the current apartment listing your’e interested in, as well as neighboring rental units. If the listing price is way higher than in recent years, ask why. If you think it’s a possibility based on your collected data, bring up a possible negotiation. The worst that can happen is the landlord doesn’t agree to your terms.

Length of time on the market

If you’re interested in a listing that has been sitting on the market for several weeks, or even months, this is a great time to opt for negotiating. It is unusual for an apartment in the city to remain vacant for so long, which means the landlord is usually eager to rent it out. Realtors are also negatively affected by listings that aren’t gaining much traction. They usually incur a fee to list their rentals on NYC real estate sites, so they longer the listing has to be posted, the more money they spend.


Sometimes they are considering a price drop anyway, so present yourself as an interested party, and ask if the landlord might think about lowering the rent.




Propose a longer lease agreement

Most lease agreements last a year. After that time, you can decide if you’d like to renew under your current management, or find a new apartment.

If landlords keep getting stuck with tenants who want to move on after the lease agreement has ended, they have to keep putting the apartment back on the market. Which means, they must continue searching for tenants to occupy the apartment each time a rental agreement ends. During that time, apartments stay empty, and the landlord isn’t able to collect any rent.

If you offer to lock in on a two, or even three year lease, they might be willing to negotiate lowering rent.

Negotiate other perks

Yes, getting a deal on your rent is the best possible outcome. But if that doesn’t work, you may be able to come to a different agreement. Try negotiating utilities. Maybe you landlord is willing to throw in free WIFI, or compensate you for a bill.


Does the apartment come with old, worn, appliances? Ask the landlord to replace them. What about no closet in one of the bedrooms? Inquire about whether one can be installed prior to your move in date.

Rent isn’t the only things that is negotiable when considering moving into a new place.

Get written record of the deal

If you and your landlord come to an agreement after your negotiation, make sure you get written confirmation of the deal. Some conversations may have been exchanged over text, phone calls, or even email. If you have a conversation over the phone, that means there is no written record of it. Make sure to follow up with an email afterwards to offer up something in writing if necessary.


Ultimately, you want these changes reflected on a lease agreement. To do so, you have to have proof that the conversation ended in a deal between you and your landlord.




Ask for rental credit

Many luxury buildings, or rental properties with several apartments on the market, might offer incentives.


Some list one, two or even three free months if you agree to lock into a longer lease term (for example: 14 months vs the standard 12 months), free utilities, wifi included, and much more.


Ask your landlord or leasing office if they offer rental credits for referrals. If you have a large group of friends, or know people interested in renting apartments, this can be a huge perk. In many cases, if your referral ends in a lease signing, they would be happy to offer you a credit (the amount of which should be discussed prior).


Walk away if you need to

If an apartment is listed at a price that is out of your budget, or based on your research it’s just too high for the area (even if you can pay), don’t hesitate to walk away.


Getting trapped by signing a lease, when you knew deep down you could have gotten a better deal, will leave you in a state of regret.


This is New York City, there are apartments everywhere. If you don’t give up your search, you will find something that checks off everything on your list, including price.


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