WASHINGTON, September 13, 2013 — Although the American dream may be to buy a house, the reality is that not everyone is in the market to purchase a house.
There could be any number of reasons why a person would prefer to rent rather than pay a mortgage. It could be that they are only going to be living in the area for a short time. Many investment advisors discourage people from buying a home if they aren’t going to be living in it for six years or more.
Some people appreciate the maintenance-free life style of living in an apartment, while others may enjoy the convenience of an apartment’s amenities. Some like the social aspect of living in an apartment community.
Reducing Rental Costs
Whatever your motivation for living in an apartment, you may find those monthly rental fees are a little taxing on your monthly income. While an apartment may truly have the best amenities in town, there are probably many of them that you never use. But you end up paying for them.
It would certainly be nice if you could negotiate lower rent payments. Maybe your landlord won’t accept your request just because you don’t use all of the facilities at the apartment. But there may be some other ways you might be able to negotiate lower rent.
- Pay on time. Always do your best to make your rental payments on time. Even better, make your rent payments early. By showing that you are a responsible and reliable tenant, you may be able to convince your landlord that lowering your rent might be worthwhile.
- Be a star tenant. Let your landlord see your value as a tenant. Taking extra care of your apartment and common areas can show your landlord that you are worth keeping around. Lowering your rent may be just the thing to keep such a model tenant around.
- Understand the rental market. If your landlord is already charging the lowest rates in town, it may be difficult to convince him or her that you should get a lower rate. However, if you’ve studied the market and found that your apartment rent is high for the area, you may be able to negotiate a deal.
- Show your appreciation. If you’re living in a nice apartment in a nice part of town, you probably enjoy living there as well. Let your landlord know how you feel. Most landlords like long-term renters, so demonstrating your appreciation for the apartment and its location may encourage your landlord to lower your rent.
- Longer lease terms. You may be able to lower your rent by offering to sign a longer lease. This gives the landlord some assurance that you are serious about staying in the apartment, giving him or her guaranteed rental for the unit.
Using Good Credit to Negotiate Lower Leases
One of the benefits of having good credit is that you can often use it to negotiate a lower rental amount. Most apartments and landlords will conduct a credit check of prospective tenants. The information contained in that credit check can make the difference as to whether or not you are approved as a tenant. It may allow you to also convince the landlord that you are worthy of a preferred rental rate.
People with a score that falls in what is regarded as a good credit score range (often 650-700 or even higher) usually are lower risk, better behaved, and pay on time. That’s important to any landlord.
Checking Your Credit Score
Before you walk into a landlord’s office asking to receive a reduced apartment rental rate, you may want to check your credit score and credit report. The landlord is certain to look at your credit report, and if it shows any negative comments or information, your chances of getting that lower rental rate may be just about impossible.
You can get a copy of your credit report from any of the three major credit bureaus in the U.S., TransUnion, Experian, or Equifax. There are also companies who will provide you a copy of your credit report as often as you need it.
If your score proves to be a little low, you’ll need to take some action to improve it. Simple things, such as paying all of your bills on time, avoiding overextending your credit limits, and being content with only one or two credit cards can help improve your credit score. By reviewing your credit score frequently, you can see how you’re doing. If your score is going up, then you know you’re on the right track.
Successfully negotiating better apartment rent is a real benefit. By having lower payments, you can use your available money for paying off other bills, purchasing things you could really use, or building a savings account. Maintaining a good credit score can go a long way in helping you to find that lower apartment rental.
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