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J
How can you cut back on your rent without moving?
My rent is higher than I want it to be but I love where I'm living. I'm trying to brainstorm ways to reduce my rent, like paying for 2 months at a time, but I'm not sure there's anything I can do. Does anyone know of any strategies for negotiating a lower rent payment?
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Finny Dolphin
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I'm in a similar situation. I live in LA and the rents here have come down by 5-10% since COVID. Do you know how much rents in your area have come down...or maybe not since covid? I use Zumper to check on monthly reports in my area: https://www.zumper.com/blog/category/los-angeles/ or even Zillow. Knowing that could help you. I'm also thinking of looking at other places on the market just in case I do find something else I like that's much cheaper. But the thought of moving and all is not something I want to go through again.
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J
@Jesse449, that looks like an awesome site but my city (Grand Rapids) is too small to be listed. I'm in the same boat though on the moving front. It seems so scary to leave a place that is a fit for something unknown.
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I'm hearing this from so many of my friends, especially here in the Bay Area where rents have literally dropped 30% over the last 9 months. Renters here have definitely been able to renegotiate their leases down significantly because they hold all the power. What type of person is your landlord? Are they the type that cares only about getting the highest rent they can or do you think they prefer responsible renters who will stay steady for years and years or maybe something else? Also is it a pretty competitive rental market there or are there lots of rentals available? Depending on all that, maybe your idea or a version of it (like prepaying 3 - 6 months for a bigger discount) could work.
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J
@Jon764, oh wow I hadn't thought of renegotiating... And I'm not sure about my landlord, though I'm guessing it's the highest rent kind as there are lots of students that come in and out often. Based on what you said though I'm definitely going to start a conversation about renegotiating, signing a longer lease, or paying up front. It does seem like there are lots of rentals available but from what I can tell, many of the best rentals aren't listed on typical sites like apartments.com (where I've been looking) so I'm having trouble locating good spots.
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T
Another idea is to sign a lease for more than a year, maybe 18-24 months for lower rent. Security is worth a lot right now in a lot of places in the US!
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J
@Terry846, that is a fantastic idea! I'm going to ask about that!
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S
Love this as I'm looking to do the same! I'm in CA and looking to negotiate adding another person to the lease. My townhouse doesn't allow more than 2 people, but we want to add another roommate. I don't think they can say no because it's just too dire here in CA. Everyone is moving to Texas or Oregon and I might have to one day too if rents stay so high!
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J
@Svetlana961, wow that's fascinating that it's that crazy in CA housing wise. I've heard the same thing is happening in NYC, but it doesn't seem to be happening where I'm at in Grand Rapids. Probably too small of a city to see anything like that though maybe it's happening and I don't know it!
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Great question Jimmy! I've worked with several folks who've succeeding recently in negotiating down their rent in SF or NY. As Terry and Jon suggested, the most likely way to get a deal is to commit to a certain period of time if you're currently on a month-to-month lease, which is less favorable to the landlord.
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J
@Vineet892, once again another great answer! Thanks for pointing me in this direction - I just emailed my landlord about doing just that!
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Jimmy298, I'm not keen on the pay up front notion, because you never know what life is going to bring...but here's another way to renegotiate. First, make sure you have the statistics on what comparable apartments are now renting for in Grand Rapids (so you have an idea of what you think is fair and reasonable); then, ask your landlord how much less they'd be willing to take on a monthly basis, if you paid weekly. The prospect of having a constant cash flow, especially if the landlord is a small independent owner, might be of interest...
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J
@Ilene795, another fascinating approach. I'll ask them about that as well! Where could I get stats for my areas rent? I'm struggling because so many of them are unlisted on sites like apartments.com and so I'm not sure how to compare...
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@Jimmy298, make a few calls? Ask the rental managers if prices have come down and by how much. I just looked at realtor.com for rentals and they're all the big ones and now price adjustments show up. Check out craigslist rentals. You may find in your area they haven't gone down, but its worth a try! Good luck!!
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@Ilene795, I second Craigslist!
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J
@Ilene795, thanks for the options - I hadn't thought to look at either realtor.com or craiglist (duh!). Thank you!
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