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Tips for Negotiating with Your Landlord

Tips for Negotiating with Your Landlord

Tips for Negotiating with Your Landlord


Tips for Negotiating with Your Landlord

Renters are rarely in the power position when it comes to the landlord and tenant relationship. However, you can still find a way to gain advantages, protect your rights, and safeguard your tenancy when you are signing a brand-new lease, extending a lease, or revisiting the terms of an existing lease. Whether you're searching for a new apartment and it's just a little out of reach, or your lease is up, and your landlord is asking for a rent increase, there are helpful ways to negotiate with a landlord. Certain questions may arise about your rights and whether you can remain in your apartment or whether the rent increase is legal. Although, each situation is different, here are some general tips to help you negotiate a lease agreement with your landlord:

Check For the Possibility of Negotiation: Before you dive in, test the water, and see what the temperature is like. Is the landlord open to discussion?

  • If it's for a new place, you need to do your research to find out who the landlord is because that can help determine your likelihood of negotiating. For example, if the landlord is a smaller company or "mom and pop" landlord, they may have more flexibility to change terms, rather than a large property management company.
  • If you're an existing tenant, you already have some idea of what you're facing. You can initiate communication. First, politely ask the landlord if they are willing to discuss the issue.
  • If they are willing, proceed. Although you can use various communication channels, you should be sure to put it in writing if you do come to any sort of agreement.

Perform your Research

Before you even start the negotiation process, do your research so that you go in being well-prepared.

  • Make sure that you know what your unit is worth. You can do online research to get a rent history for the apartment and find out about the housing market. Also, you can check with neighbors about rent for comparable units. Being aware of property values of the neighborhood or finding out vacancy rates can go a long way in this process.
  • Gather all information that the landlord needs and organize it, so that you're ready to go.

Emphasize your Tenant History

If you have been a good tenant, use it to your advantage and remind your landlord; they may want to keep, rather than find someone new.

  • State how you always pay your rent on time, and that you haven't damaged any property.
  • Note that you are a considerate neighbor and don't make noise or cause disturbances.
  • Reiterate that you have followed the terms of a prior lease.

Offer Money or to Extend the Lease

  • For a new lease, you can offer more money. Some landlords may accept up front money instead of an increased rent.
  • While some landlords won’t offer multi-year leases, you may be able to get them to agree to a lease extension.

Get Legal Help with Your Negotiations

Following a good negotiation plan can help things go smoothly, but if there's doubt you can also consult with an experienced tenants' rights' attorney. If you need more guidance, talk to one of our Wolford Wayne attorneys who can help with ensuring that rent increases are legal, understanding lease terms, and protecting your overall interests. Contact us today.

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For more information or to discuss your legal situation, call us today at (415) 649-6203 for a phone consultation or submit an inquiry below. Please note our firm can only assist tenants residing in San Francisco, Oakland & Berkeley.

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