Does every penny count?

24 Replies

My property is listed on several sites "For Lease".
But every inquiry I have gotten is asking if I can reduce the rent. Everyone one has a good reason why they can't afford it monthly. Bankruptcy, divorce , lost there job now catching up.
My question, do any of you reduce the monthly rent? I haven't had one person want to fill out the application without starting with a"But".

you would not want to rent to someone who does not qualify because of bad credit If you have a good credit worthy tenant then you might want to lower rent for that tenant 

This latest caller says he has a bankruptcy that's almost 1 yr old. He has bought a car and been paying on it for 6 months and I could check with that creditor. But he needs me to reduce 200.00 a month.
I'm sure the house is well with in the amount we are asking. Maybe a shorter lease?

As long as it's market rent don't consider lowering it.  These prospects are not worth wasting your time on and need to go look for something in their price range. 

@Georgia Acres

How is your current asking rent compare to others on the market? maybe that might be a reason you're getting a lot of inquiries but asking to reduce the rent.

Since they don't even want to fill out the application, they're probably not serious candidates, and there's a big red flag.

If a qualified renter ask me for a reduction, I tell them to sign a longer lease or a term favorable to me (such as 16-18 months instead of 12 months; with the last month ending up in Spring), then I offer a 1 time "bonus" of a couple of $$ on the LAST month of the lease. 

landlording is very easy and enjoyable if you apply these principles through the whole process...

- buy low
- buy a nice house. something that everyone WILL want to rent
- updated nicely
- update it correctly, do not cut corners
- take good pictures
- price correctly
- list between the 7th and 15th of the month
- u can bring it a little lower in a week or two, but wont have to if it's priced correctly
- have clear requirements
- do not compromise

It's a 4 bedroom 2 full bath. 2 car garage on 5 acres. Newly updated granite counters. New appliances (2yrs old). Rated excellent school district. Washer and dryer stays.
Asking 1,250.00 a month.
It's a cape cod.
It's my home now but moving with my job. I wanted to make it my first rental.

If your potential tenants have a choice to pay say $1,000/m for say the same sized house but on a smaller block and not as nice kitchen - they are likely to choose that one rather than yours.

That's just the way it is. Tenants do NOT want to pay extra just because of granite counter tops!

Can't blame people for wanting to negotiate downwards. But we don't blame you either for careful tenant selection. All the best...

Asking Rent depends on the local market and mainly desperation of LL.

Every LL has different family/financial situation!

@Georgia Acres That's not a good sign. If someone starts a potential landlord tenant relationship with haggling for rent then it likely won't end well either and you will likely be on the losing end

Make sure you are offering market rent and wait for a qualified renter who is able to pay for market rent. Cal some Property management companies to verify that you're offering market rent for your area and property

Here is the issue (as others have pointed out).

If you've priced your rental too high for your market that's one thing.

If you're being asked to lower the rent by potential renters because of THEIR sob stories, that's another.  You didn't cause them to divorce, file for bankruptcy, lose their job, buy a new car, get dumped by a girlfriend/boyfriend or make other poor choices.   These folks are mistaking you for their social worker.  Their problems are not your problems.  Don't make them so.   Delete them and wait for a better applicant.


@Georgia Acres - sounds like crappy prospective tenant pool.  where are you advertising? Try Zillow which will pass to other sites like hot pads, etc.   If my rental was close to or at market pricing, I would change where to look for prospective tenants before lowering my asking rent price. 

Your asking price may be too high. One thing you might consider is posting the requirements in your ad. This help weed out those that cannot qualify from wasting your time. Once you have the requirements posted if you cannot get good candidates within a week or so then you are probably too high. I put some of these in my ads:
1. minimum credit score
2. background check required
3. credit check required
4. minimum monthly income of x
5. pets considered of "x" dollars
7. deposit of "x" dollars
8. Etc
Try posting your ads like this and see if that helps. I usually don't get unqualified applicants showing up for viewing. Also, I schedule a one hour showing time for viewing. I don't waste my time setting different times for different applicants.

Hi @Georgia Acres ,

Welcome to the site and good to see you are starting out on your landlord journey. Generally speaking either your price is too high or you are not advertising in the right places. Both are pretty easy fixes. Act like you are looking for a place just like yours and go find it. Use whatever newspapers, local contacts, online resources and see what you can find. Once you find it establish how much it is and are you competitive. 

Advertise in those places and also look for the local employers that would have people in your price range. Sometimes they have a newsletter you can advertise in or if you know someone that can post in the breakroom. You are looking more of the large manufacturing facility or chemical company type place. A place that has solid blue collar workers for the price range you are seeking. Don't advertise at the local retail/fast food type places, they will not meet your income requirements. Think about at 1250 X 12 months = 15,000 X 3 times requirement = 45,000 minimum. So that being said look for places where people are making that amount of money and advertise there. 

Good luck!

Thanks everyone! I'm listed with Zillow ( and of course Zillow shares).
I've checked with several property managers and they say it's priced right. Most in this area is going for 1400.$
I guess I have to be patient...

Oh and if you are rural (like it sounds you may be) sometimes they are not as computer friendly. So find out where all the people go in the morning to grab a cup of coffee before they head into those jobs and post notices there (go around it in all directions because people that work there often want to move but stay within 45 minutes of work for example)

@Georgia Acres - double check the  photos to make sure the space shows well-lit, clean, empty and appealing. Show off amenities. (Any rooms with 2 closets? Showcase them!). Include a nice write up - 'an experience'.  Then add a dash of patience; the right tenant is often worth the wait. 

BTW, please don't look at potential tenants and think of how you can make it work.  Look at each prospect and come up with reasons why they WONT work. When you come across a prospective tenant when this approach doesn't work, you'll know you have a viable prospective for success.  For example, if a prospective tenant asked me to lower rent for them (and I know it's priced right), my first and only thought would be - this prospective tenant can't afford the place so I prolly won't get my rent payment on time, every single month. I don't think I would even 'hear' the reason they thought it should be lower.

@Georgia Acres   Just wondering who is going to manage the five acres?  Perhaps more costs.

Also, when I peeked at your ad last night it seemed: (1) yours was the only rental in the area, so no instant comparables, (2) the photo of the exterior of your house was mostly in the shade (quite a contrast between left and right sides..), (3) for some reason, many of your photos initially loaded onto my screen sideways.  Maybe it was my browser.

Good luck.  This would seem a dream rental for the right folks.

Don't over show the size of the property the acreage, "Georgia Acres !! " It might turn off renters thinking OMG I got to mow that?? even without calling it was personally,  my first thought.

I agree stick to the price point as per your target market and you can offer a move in special if lease is signed by XXXX  I'd do as recommended by Chris T. do a longer lease term and spread like 1 month free over 16 months a pro rate special. your not out a big chunck at beginning or end of term.

AND Answer the phone,, list a actual number people can call you at. It makes a difference. I noticed some previous posts saying Zillow is tricky for email response, you'll need to figure out. maybe someone else can chime in on those particulars. 

Elisabeth, Im happy you took a look.
The yard only has about 1/4 acre mowed. The rest is solid oak trees. We have a person that had been caring for the yard for awhile now. I built his cost into my monthly cost.
I would continue to have him do the weed eating and gutters etc... I like the idea of presence a couple times among on the property. I don't know why the pictures loaded sideways. When I look they are correct.

The houses i compared to are about 15 minutes away, I called about several of them. They were advertised for 1400.00$.

Thanks for everyone's advise.

Don't feel bad Georgia....some days I get the feeling some who read the ads for rentals skip over details.

Just put up an ad on Zillow/Trulia/HotPads for a 3/2 house; the criteria states (as always) "no history of evictions".  We initially do a one year lease.

First caller admits she has two evictions but they were "long ago": five years!    Guess "no evictions" drops off at the 4 1/2 year mark for her.

Second caller wants to rent but just for 3 months.  Don't know why because I cut her off when she begins her story of this.  Her offer was to pay all 3 months upfront.  Big deal.  No thanks.


Sounds risky. as offered stay with a short lease and even throw in a clear understanding rent WILL increase at the end of his/her lease. These are not fool-proof suggestions, but can certainly establish tenant's motivations and true intent on renting your property.

I don't know about your area, but you may want to add something to craigslist as well.  That is -the- source of apartment listings where I am at.

Looking at a map with Cincinnati apartments I do not see a listing for anything listed in that town.

I personally think that landlords could be more flexible when it comes to price negotiation. In some articles, like this one, lacking of flexibility even considered as one of the mistakes that property owners make.
However, don’t agree to lower price if tenant simply can’t afford it. If a renters ask you to decrease price, then they should offer you something instead. For instance, they can suggest to pay rent earlier or they are simply reliable tenants, who keep property in good condition and cause no problems to you.

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