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If you’ve finally found an apartment you love, or you want to renew your current lease, but wish the cost of rent was lower, take action. 

Negotiating rental costs isn’t against the rules, however, it isn’t always guaranteed to work in your favor. Sit down with the landlord or property manager and discuss how you can lower rent with these negotiation tips:

Know the Market
Research rental costs in the surrounding area to get an idea of what other properties similar to yours are listed at. For example, if you are interested in a luxury apartment, check other luxury apartments in your neighborhood or city. If you can get a competitive, lower rate in writing, bring it with you to use as a negotiating tool. 

Exchange Services for Cost
If you are willing to put in work elsewhere for a lower rate, offer it up. Most properties provide seasonal maintenance, such as shoveling snow or mowing lawns, that you may be willing to perform. From landscaping to maintenance, taking on tasks around the property may be just what you need to offer to score a lower monthly bill. 

Change Lease Terms
Rather than paying your rent monthly, offer to pay a lump sum 3 – 6 months ahead. If you offer up a larger payment upfront, the landlord may be willing to knock down the cost per month. You can also discuss reworking move-out dates to fall during peak seasons that may convince the property manager of a better chance of vacancy once you’re gone.

Sell Yourself
If you’re looking to move into a new complex or apartment, arm yourself with letters of recommendation showing that you can and will be a great tenant. If you plan to renew, remind your landlord that you have never missed a payment and have always politely communicated any sort of maintenance issues. Having proof and good word that you’re a model tenant can be a significant help to cut costs.