Nothing is more of a kick in the gut than faithfully paying rent on time for years just to get a notice stating that your rent is about to climb. You’ve budgeting your money intently with the purpose of having a rent check handy for your landlord on the first of the month. You may not necessarily have the means to absorb a rent increase, but now you have one. And you have a decision to make. Pay the increased rent or look for a new home. It’s a frustrating and often, unanticipated decision that many of us have faced throughout our lives. What’s worse is that Florida is not a rent-controlled state. This means that your landlord can increase rent as much as he or she wants and, in more desirable parts of the state, rent increases can be extreme from year to year. While it may appear that you are powerless to constant rent increases, there is a way to fight back.
People may become squeamish at thought of negotiating for the things they need in life, but they really shouldn’t. Negotiation is no longer the domain of corporate power players and people trying to win back hostages. It’s a simply of method for ensuring that your interests are protected. We all earn a certain amount of money and it’s up to each one of us to make the best decisions in regard to it. While saving your money and making proper investments is a part of that, so to is getting the best prices possible for goods and services. The rent you pay for your home is no different. To protect your interest in this area sometimes requires asking the right questions and seeking the best price possible.
Negotiating a better rent doesn’t have to be intimidating. Follow these basic steps and you may earn a rental price that works best for your budget.
Put in the Homework
First and foremost, you have to do some research. What are your neighbors paying for their places? What are the rent prices for comparable places in your area? Not just places on your block, but places of similar size, quality and age. This will be done in the hopes that you find a pattern of locations like yours with lower rent prices. Armed with this information, you can approach your landlord with the confidence to negotiate.
Build a Plan
Part of building a plan is determining what outcome are you looking to achieve. Do you want to keep the same rent? Gain more amenities? Upgrade certain items? Once you’ve determined what you want, it’s time to gather your research of similar places and the positive attributes you bring to the table and build a sound argument. If you’ve paid your rent on time each month, not hosted all-night foam parties, and been an all-around model citizen, you have more leverage than you realize. Your landlord is not going to be as willing to roll the dice on finding a tenant of your ilk. Use that to your advantage.
Put Yourself in Your Landlord’s Shoes
To that point, empathy is a critical part of any successful negotiation. While your landlord wants more income on a monthly basis, they also don’t want to risk losing a good and stable tenant. This doesn’t mean that you tell your landlord “my way or the highway”, however it does help you determine what you can offer to get what you need. Perhaps you offer to pay a couple of months rent in order to keep your rent at the same price. Or you may offer to sign a longer lease. Oftentimes, consistent income is better than more income.
Negotiate in Person
In our digital age, it’s become all too easy to hide behind and a screen and push people around. It’s much harder to be aggressive in person. When negotiating your rent, do so in a formal meeting. It’s likely that your landlord will not have prepared thoroughly for the discussion. If you come in polite, prepared and persuasive, you’ll have a great advantage in negotiation.
It’s important to remember that you don’t have to be a master negotiator, just confident and motivated to get what you want out of a situation. That and preparation will go a long way.
Stephen K. Hachey Can Help You Wade Through This Difficult Process To Reach A Positive Solution. Call 813-549-0096 Today!
***The opinions in this post are solely those of the author. The author takes full responsibility for the content. Like all blog posts, this is offered for general information purposes and does not constitute legal advice.***