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Guide to negotiating rent

Negotiating rent prices is rarely done. Most landlords and tenants operate a "take it or leave it policy". However, in many towns and cities where there is a rental surplus, there is certainly room for a little negotiation. Why not give it a try - you won't have anything to lose, after all!

Know your value as a tenant

When negotiating rent, the most important thing to keep in mind is your value as a tenant. What are your most attractive selling points from a landlord's perspective? Are you a quiet, tidy non smoker with a steady job? Are you hoping to move in immediately? Are you willing to do some work to the property? Do you have the deposit and first month's rent readily available? Factors like these can be used as bargaining tools.

For example, if the landlord wants £660 per month and your budget is £600, you might make the case that you'll move in right away - and the price difference can be recouped through not having an un-tenanted property for another month.

Know the rental value of the property

That said, it's important to be realistic about the rental value of the property and how sought after it will be. If you know that the property has been on the market for a number of weeks, there may be room for a little negotiation. If, however, the property is new to the market and in a highly sought after area, it's likely to be snapped up by another tenant who's willing to pay full price.

Negotiating your existing rent

Not everyone who's interested in negotiating rent is looking for a new property - perhaps you want a better price for your existing home. The same rules apply: know your value as a tenant and approach your landlord from this perspective. It's best to wait until the end of your lease to raise the negotiations.

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