Negotating Rent Prices

11 Replies

Is it common for a landlord to negotiate the cost of rent to a tenant , For example say if a landlord has a property on the market for $700 and the tenant asks can the rent be reduced to $650 will a landlord consider changing the monthly rent cost?

Common...not really, is it tried yes. Personally my rent rate is the rent rate, if you try to negotiate it that tells me you're likely to continue to negotiate throughout your tenancy and may be difficult to work with. 

I do allow for SOME understanding though. My recent tenant asked about the pet rent policy ($250 deposit and $25/mo per pet). I explained it to her and she said "I have 6 hedgehogs could we work something out". I understand that $3000 in deposit and $300/mo in addition to the $2200 first/last/security is not really feasible in a $750/mo rental. The spirit of my criteria is to keep from ending up with a menagerie of animals being moved in damaging my property. So I told her that since they are caged animals I would consider them a single animal and just do the $250 deposit and $25/mo. 

For my base rental rate though there'd be no negotiating. I'm priced slightly below median rent rate and my home is one of the nicest in that rent class, that is the consideration I'm giving not a reduction in rent.

Completely agree with @Matt Devincenzo  .  We stay just slightly lower than the going rate and offer a better product to entice long-term renters, so anyone asking to negotiate sends up an immediate red flag.

Bottom line is if they cannot afford my rental rate, I cannot afford to rent to them.

This or a version of this happens all the time.

Rent is $800 theres about 10 people in an open house & some guy says he'll take it for $650...........SMH 

I've had people try a few times but I won't negotiate because I try to stay competitive anyway. Id only drop the price of I'm not getting much activity. I'm the type who would try to negotiate if I were renting (doesn't hurt to try) so I wouldn't necessarily see it as a red flag. 

I have never negotiated down my rent rate either. Provided I am confident my rate is at market, I suppose it is possible provided I also receive. It would be a mistake to just shrug and say ok.  Get a larger deposit, longer lease, have them take care of the 1st $25 of repairs, something.  Because all of my tenant's see me as an employee of the management company, I would have to check and get back to them either way.  If it 'doesn't work out' I can say I tried and not be the bad guy.

@Precious Thompson I have lowered my rent in the past. In both cases it was because there was only one or two people staying in a 3 bedroom unit. I knew that the wear and tear on the property, and water usage (which I pay for) would be lower with only one or two people rather than 6.

@Precious Thompson ,

I'm with @Beth L.  .

What is the motivation to the landlord?

Well, if it's "I have a stable job of 7 years, only 2 people living in apartment, great landlord work & personal references, have better than all your requirements, savings, a package right here with all my paystubs, prior tax returns, references, and bank statement, and I'm ready to secure the deposit now and move in on the move-in date.. I'm also a long-term tenant and would like to sign a 2 year lease, and won't be bugging you about every little thing. Would you accept a $50 discount for the 2 year commitment?


I've done it with a property that's harder to rent than the others. I got a fantastic tenant for only $25 a month less than I was asking. The house is kept immaculate and the tenant always pays on time. I've also had potential tenants tell me up front what they're willing to pay, and I always thank them for calling, and move on. 

I have people ask sometimes, they seem to always ask for some huge reduction ($100 or $200 on $1600 rent) that would put them way below market rate, so I say no. 

If your asking price is fair the applicants would need some very compelling reason for you to accept less. Your expenses are usually only going to go up every year...higher taxes, higher insurance, maintenance.  Getting market rent helps cover these costs and you would not need to increase it as much in the future to cover them.  Basically, they are asking you to take a pay cut. That is money out of YOUR pocket.

If you have access to MLS and can compare comps of rental properties in your area that's a great source to prove to your tenants they are getting fair pricing. It will provide you and your tenants with assurance that you are on point. Leniency is not something you should necessarily have during your first few rentals it will set the tone for your expectations as a land lord so stick to your guns.

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