Living expenses are outrageous these days and with fewer people buying home and opting for renting, the prices to rent seem to be going up and more and more complexes are being built every day. There are some ways you can reduce your rent if you are trying to get in a cheaper place and even if you are hoping to stay where you are at. Here are some of those tips.
How To Reduce Your Rent
The first obvious answer is to move. This can mean moving to a different part of town or an entirely new city or state. The cost of living varies greatly state by state and region by region. Don’t think you are stuck paying the prices you are to stay semi-close to your friends and family, either. Just 50-100 miles down the road and the price might be vastly different.
Get a job as an apartment manager. You will often get a free apartment (or at least very reduced) and since you live on site, you can work from home many times. This job is not without its problems though. Remember, tenets will be coming to you for all sorts of problems from personal ones to maintenance issues, so you will have to be available most of the time to handle them.
Get a roomie. Having roommates is not just for college students. You can have a roommate no matter what your situation is and it will usually lower your rent and utilities as long as you have a reliable one. While it may seem like a grand idea to let a close friend move in, it often backfires, so make sure you are a good fit to live together before you take the leap into roommate status. On the other hand, you might be able to find a great roommate online or in the paper. Just do your background checks and make sure you get referrals from others who have lived with the applicant.
Be willing to help out your landlord. This is often an option for those that rent from private landlords, but is it possible that you could do snow removal or summer lawn care for the property in exchange for lower rent? Do you have skills such as painting you could offer in exchange for lower rent or deposit? It never hurts to ask! I once had a landlord knock off $100 a month on my rent simply for agreeing to water the property all summer.
Ask around. People you know may know of a private landlord situation or a of a person needing a roommate that you can get great rental rates from. If you are a family needing to rent a home, asking around could give you the opportunity to find a private seller who may be willing to rent their home out to you for a while.
Don’t turn down an oldie, but goodie. You may have your eye set on a newer complex, but many older homes and complexes are still good deals and if they are well-maintained and updated, they may be the best deal for you. Older homes have a lot of charm to them and offer something unique besides the typical white walls and tannish-cream colored carpets that pretty much every apartment has now.
Be willing to negotiate– Sometimes, a landlord may be willing to allow a good tenet to negotiate a lower rent. Just make sure you are prepared to hear no. And, be a rock star tenant before even attempting to ask. Additionally, come prepared. Know the prices of apartments are going for in your area and know the laws on what your landlord can do when it comes to lowering or raising rent.
Never go month to month unless you are in a temporary situation– Unless you are just living somewhere for a season for a job, you should always sign a lease. Some apartments will even let you sign one for 6 months or 2 years to lock in a rate. If you are month to month, you have very little protection in the case of price increases.
See if they will credit you for referrals– Some apartments will credit you for any good tenant referrals that end up in a rental agreement you send to them. Ask if there are any ways for you to do this where you live. You may be surprised.