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Three Tips For Negotiating an Apartment Lease Agreement

February 2, 2015


Apartment plans

If you are looking for a new place to live, you have likely realized that there are a lot of reasons to rent an apartment in your area. While every market is different, apartments typically have a lower cost of living than other options, and you can often find a wide variety of choices among your local apartment listings. Moreover, apartment lease agreements typically provide a great deal more flexibility than other contracts. However, when it comes to apartment leases, there are a number of steps every prospective tenant should take before they agree to a landlord’s terms. Read on to make sure your next apartment has a lease agreement you can live with.

Negotiate Your Rent Payment, But Tread Carefully
It may not always be clear, but rent is negotiable, and haggling over this price can save you quite a bit in the long run. However, this approach will be more effective in some situations than others: if housing in your area is in high demand, a landlord won’t feel the need to meet your asking price. But if the listing has been up for a month with no signs of movement, you may have a good chance. From this point, you can only improve your chances by being polite and proactive: be friendly, and let the landlord know that you would be willing to sign the lease immediately for the lower price.

Don’t Pay Too Much For Your Pet
It’s common for landlords to include a pet deposit if a likely tenant has an animal. Others, however, will require a monthly payment in these situations. Both are understandable fees, as animals can cause damage or call for extra cleaning once you move out, but you should not have to pay both a deposit and a monthly fee. Feel free to negotiate if you really like the apartment, but bear in mind that a landlord may not see the need if he has other interested applicants.

Discuss Any Changes to the Unit
Most tenants know that making significant changes to the apartment they rent will likely only cause them to lose their security deposit. However, small fixes, like a new coat of paint, are often fair game. When you’re looking at the apartment, ask the landlord what their policy on this is; after all, the worst they can do is decline your changes. Still, if you’re going to be stuck with that ugly shade in the bathroom or those outdated light fixtures, you should know about it before you move in.

Have you had good or bad experiences with landlords and apartment leases in the past? What do you think other renters should know before they sign the agreement? Tell us about it in the comments below!
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