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Five Tips for Negotiating A Covid-19 Rent Reduction

Five Tips for Negotiating A Covid-19 Rent Reduction

Five Tips for Negotiating A Covid-19 Rent Reduction


Five Tips for Negotiating A Covid-19 Rent Reduction

Who doesn't want a rent reduction?! With rising vacancies and eviction moratoriums triggered by the pandemic, San Francisco renters are finally in the driver's seat when it comes to negotiating rent reductions. Landlords are cutting rent by 10 or 20 percent, offering gift cards, free rent, or other incentives for signing a new lease. This might be your chance to take advantage of the climate. Even with this leverage, you can still benefit from some helpful information about the best ways to achieve a successful result.

Rent Reduction Tips

Here are five tips for negotiating rent reductions:

  1. Make sure you know who you're dealing with. If you have a good idea about who your landlord is, you probably can predict the outcome a little better than without this knowledge. For example, is your landlord the type that is respond to repair requests or do they blame you for the problem?  These type of background facts can contribute to your overall understanding of your landlord's mindset. In reviewing available units online the general consensus seems to be that it is the newer multi-unit buildings that are offering the most incentives.
  2. Prepare your research. Before you begin the actual negotiations, do your research! Information about the market and specific to you is readily available:
    • It's useful for the negotiations to know what other buildings (offering similar amenities to yours) in your neighborhood are charging. If you know any neighbors, you can ask them, or you can check Zillow or other sites.
    • If you're a long-term tenant, you can use this to your advantage by pointing out a good history with your landlord. For instance, your track record of on-time payments.
    • Have all your documents available and be ready to make a case for the exact price you want to pay.
  1. Lay out your exact financial situation. Be straight-forward about your specific financial situation and provide an explanation about why your rent should be decreased. Providing your landlord with your past rental history, credit score, and other financial information can help to make the negotiations run more smoothly.
  2. Be aware of alternatives. If a rent reduction isn't possible, then you can consider asking your landlord for an alternative month-to-month payment plan. Or you could possibly ask them whether they could let you break your lease early. Try to use your knowledge about the landlord when making these inquiries. Some landlords don't want to reduce your rent unless you intend to stay for another year.
  3. Be Prepared to Move. The best possible leverage you can have is a willingness to move if your landlord won't agree to a rent reduction. If you're not prepared to move then your landlord has no incentive to negotiate.

Get Immediate Help with your San Francisco Rent Reduction Negotiations

Now that you've learned some fundamental tips about negotiating, you'll want to continue to explore your options. Consider getting some guidance from a skilled legal professional who can help you navigate through the complex territory of tenants' rights during the pandemic. At Wolford Wayne, we are the team of experienced attorneys you want fighting for you. If you need a helping hand, Contact us today to schedule a consultation to prepare a strategy that works for you or if you have other rental issues.


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