How to Negotiate with Landlord when Renting an Apartment

Are you having a hard time making ends meet with your limited budget for your monthly rental fee? To make the most out of your earnings, look for a lease contract that does not hurt your expenses, yet will still allow you to enjoy a comfortable, clean, and peaceful apartment in Singapore.

Negotiating with the landlord is easy if you keep these pointers in minds.


The rental fee is not fixed and non-negotiable.

Most tenants are hesitant to negotiate with their landlord because they think that they are not allowed to negotiate, they feel that negotiating is a shameful thing to even consider, and they are afraid that the landlord might think they are being pushy. You need to realize that negotiating a lease deal is not being pushy or confrontational with your landlord, because a negotiation is supposed to be about finding a solution that you and the landlord can both agree to.


Determine what you want in a deal.

You should already have idea what you’re going to say to your landlord and how you want to go about it. It’s like brainstorming about the possible questions the landlord might ask and knowing how you want to answer it best. This will give you an advantage during the negotiation, because if you don’t have a definite number in mind means that the landlord will be dominating the conversation. Determine the exact amount you want to ask for the rental reduction, and start the negotiation with that.


Research about the other rates in the area.

You should have an idea about the average rental rates of all the residential complexes within the area. Your landlord will not willingly give you a cheaper rental fee than the average because he will also lose profits, and it’s not a good idea if others heard about such a deal that only you were able to enjoy. Interview the other tenants and ask about how much they were charged when they negotiated. Ask when should be the best time to ask for a discount and what they had to promise or give up to close the deal. Their testimonies will also give you confidence on how to go about your own negotiations with your landlord.


Get to know the landlord before negotiating.

You don’t just need to know how much you’re going to negotiate with the landlord, because he will also be asking for something in return or ask you for reasons for asking about a reduction in the first place. The goal is not to cheat your landlord of the compensation he deserves, but to make him agree to a deal without him having to give up a lot in the process. It’s like bargaining for an exchange with both parties willing to give up something to arrive at a compromise. This means that you should come up with a number of things that will soften the deal; such as paying the rental fee months in advance or offer referrals of people looking for a space to rent. More impotantly, you should talk only to the person authorized to make such decisions if you cannot contact the landlord, but ideally, it’s better to negotiate with the landlord who can make changes in his own lease terms.


You can negotiate for benefits and amenities.

It is not only your rental fee that you can negotiate with your landlord. You can also politely point out other aspects of your deal that you feel can still be negotiated, such as the parking space, the use of other facilities in the residential complex, a temporary discount, renovations in your unit, worn out items in your unit that might need repairs or replacement. If your rent also includes utilities, you can use these to bargain for a lower rental fee if you feel that their current condition is not worth the price, however, there is no need to point that out to the landlord.


Pay a few month’s rent first.

Show your landlord that you’re not trying to get the better end of the deal by offering something in exchange for a lower rent. You could pay your rent months in advance, draw up an extended leasing contract, make referrals to potential tenants to increase your landlord’s profits, give up some perks that you don’t need such as parking space, if you don’t have a car, or not to violate the house rules again. You might also want to show a good record of your payments as proof to your landlord that you are not there to argue or confront him about the high rental fee, because you always pay your rent on time.


Be flexible, polite, and friendly.

You should not think only about yourself when negotiating with the landlord. After all, it is his source of livelihood. Never be confrontational or angry when talking to the landlord, but be a good listener and answer politely and honestly as possible. Of course, there is no need to negotiate for a lower rental fee if the price is already within a reasonable range (that is why you need to research about the average rental fee in the area). The goal of your talks should be to create the best situation possible for you both, not to create tension and mistrust. You should be willing to budge if the landlord cannot lower the rental fee any more, which means that the price you initially had in mind should only be starting point of the negotiation, not the final option.

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