If you were to ask most people what their most expensive monthly outgoing is, they would probably say paying the rent. For many of us rent payments can take up a big portion of our monthly salary which is quite a considerable sum. Many of us would prefer to buy rather than rent as it would allow us to spend the money we use to pay the rent on paying down a mortgage instead, but we find it difficult to put together money required for a mortgage due to other living expenses, when things get a little tough we might have to borrow money to see us through until next payday.
Have you ever considered trying to reduce your rent payments? Many tenants would of course like to pay less for their rent, but they feel that asking the landlord for a reduction in rent might sour the relationship between them. Tenants must understand that the relationship between tenant and landlord is not one sided with all the power laying with the landlord. As a tenant you have as much power as the landlord. They need you the tenant to keep paying the rent on the flat. Most landlords do not own their properties outright most of the time the property is mortgaged up to the maximum and they need you the tenant to pay the rent so that they can continue to repay the mortgage.
If you leave the landlord will have to quickly find another tenant so that they can continue to repay the loan. If they go without a tenant even for one month that is one month they will never get back unless they double the rent for one month which is out of the question or increase the rent by 10% over the course of the year and that might make their property unrentable causing more months where the property will go unrented.
A good landlord understands this and will not charge maximum market rent so that they will attract a tenant who understands they are not paying full market value and should stay for longer and keep the property in good condition on the inside. But this is not to say that you ought to threaten to leave unless they put the rent down because you might just have to follow up on the promise and then you be out looking for another property or the landlord may not wish to renew when your contract is up. So how can we work to reduce the rent:
Look around the local area. What are the rent rates of the properties around you? What sort of space will you get for the price you would be paying? If you are coming up to the end of your contract this might the time do your research and find a less expensive flat. Speak to the new landlord and ask them what the best rate they can do. When you come to renew your contract simply tell your current landlord that you wish to leave. This is something as explained above that no landlord wants to hear.
This means the hassle of having to find someone else when they know you have been a good tenant; they would rather keep you. They will obviously ask you why you are leaving and then tell them that money is tight, and you have found a less expensive plane. Also point out that you are sorry you must leave. At this point most landlords with any common sense will make you an offer to reduce the rent. But do not be surprised if it does not match the rent of the other flat. But they will make you an offer. Don’t take it straight away, give it a bit then you decide.
Ask for a freebie or two
If the landlord cannot reduce the rent due to the mortgage on the property being on condition of a fixed monthly rent, then ask the landlord to include the cost of your internet. I would not ask for the landlord to pay for a utility as that is a variable cost but the they might be more likely to agree to a fixed cost like monthly internet. This could save you around £500 a year which is not too bad. Another £500 towards the deposit on a place of your own.
Give Them Peace of mind
One way to secure a low rent is to commit to a longer rental period. Rather than signing a 6-month contract how about signing for a longer term say 18 months or even 2 years. This will give your landlord peace of mind knowing that they will have steady monthly repayments for that term. If you are sure that your job is secure you could even agree to a longer rental period. But anything longer than 2 years is at your discretion. You could also suggest a longer notice period.
So, when you are approaching the end of your contract you can agree to give the landlord a longer notice period giving them the chance to find another tenant. It is sometimes difficult to find a tenant within 30 days which is a common notice period, but giving them 60- or 90-day notice of your impending departure is a sign of your good will and they may want to reciprocate by offering you a reduced rate or an agreement not to increase the rent for the period of the contract.
Ask a Commission
If you are leaving your flat and you know someone who will be interested in moving in, you could ask your landlord for a referral payment. The landlord would have to pay a letting agent a few percent of your monthly rental for finding a tenant which works out at around a month worth of rent for each year the tenant is in the property. If you can find the next tenant for the landlord, you could ask for a small fee. On the other hand, the letting agent does take care of all the references and background checks on behalf of the landlord, so you would have to vouch for the new tenant which is not something to be taken lightly.
Work for your keep
If the property has a garden which the landlord is always maintaining, or you see that the landlord is always having to fix or paint the property you might be able to get a rent reduction if you could offer to do those jobs for them instead. Most landlords would be more than happy to hand over the gardening to someone else or light maintenance even. You could volunteer to be the go-to person in the property that all the tenants could turn to if the landlord is away.
Little things like this can help you knock money off the rent. Once you have managed to save money on the rent it might be a good idea to put the money which you would otherwise have spent on the rent to one side, maybe even open up a now bank account which you can start building up the deposit for a place of your own soon.