Tip 1: Confidence is Key
1. Have the confidence to ask for what you want and keep in mind that landlords need you more than you need them: Vacancy rates now average 7.2% nationally, their highest level since 2004, and landlords are reducing both initial asking rents and effective rents (what is actually collected).
Tip 2: Pay Attention to Job Market
2. Look in housing markets most impacted by the recession: Regions with heavy job losses in the financial services sector, particularly New York and Long Island, saw rents decline more than 2% in the first quarter of 2009.
Tip 3: Lower Your Rent By Extending the Lease
3. Renegotiate for a rent reduction by offering to extend your current lease based on new, lower terms. Try this at least six months before your current lease expires to give yourself time to consider alternative locations if the renegotiation fails.
Tip 4: Do Your Research
4. Do your research. Check web sites like Craigslist or Apartments.com, local newspaper listings and rental magazines to get a better idea of average prices in your neighborhood or in similar spaces. Take advantage of recommendations from friends, family and co-workers to find out what your options are. With these resources you will be better prepared to negotiate with your current or prospective landlord.
Tip 5: Make Nice
5. Make nice. If you live in a smaller building, maintain a good relationship with your landlord. Many landlords would rather cut a deal and hold onto good tenants rather than risk vacancies.
For more information, visit www.walletpop.com.
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