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7 Ways to Effectively Negotiate for a Lower Rent

7 Ways to Effectively Negotiate for a Lower Rent

Getting a decent accommodation these days is not a piece of cake at all. Although, there are many owners that are more than happy to rent out their place, but skyrocketing rents prevent many people to move into a comfortable apartment. Apart from that, the present economic status of most individuals also imposes limitations on the options. Knowing the right ways to successfully negotiate for a lower rent will determine the success of the transaction.

In few tight markets, where there are more renters than apartments, it’s very unlikely that you will get a decent deal. A bit smarter way while negotiating a deal is to find a way to gain upper hand by using some out of box strategies. However, you must do your homework before negotiating a deal with your landlord.

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1. Sign up for a long term lease:

When a landlord has to rent out a vacant apartment, he loses a lot in broker fees, cleaning costs, and transaction costs. All that can be recovered if you can convince him that you will be staying for more than couple of years. Highlight these points while making a deal with the landlord.

2. Get ready to pay several months in advance:

Some landlords prefer to receive large sums of money and may be willing to provide discount, if you can pay a couple of months of rent in advance. He can use that money on several things that he may have delayed due to insufficient funds. From a landlord’s perspective, it is better to rent an apartment as he may be losing out money by keeping it vacant.

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3. Let your landlord know about your available options:

Just like an offer in hand that can help you to ask for a better pay packet from your current employer, it may be much easier to negotiate with landlords when you have some options in hand. Use this strategy as leverage to build a strong case in front of your landlord. If the apartment has been vacant for a long time, then make your landlord realize that it would be fruitful to negotiate a deal, else it will be an additional cost on his part.

4. Do more research:

You can go online and check if there is any better deal available on any rental website. Check out what other landlords are charging for the same space. This information is available free of cost on a number of websites. A quick Google search will let you know about various sites depending upon your current location. Talk to others in the apartment building to find out what they pay per month. You can then use this comparison chart to avail some reasonable discount from your landlord.

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5. Be ready to carry on small repairs:

Tell your landlord that you can pay for minor repairs from your own pocket and won’t bother him for such issues. This tip may come in handy as most of the landlords find it pretty frustrating when their tenants come on their doors every month with the request to carry on some small repairs.

A better idea is to make a list of minor repairs that you can carry on your own in order to avoid any last minute hassles. While negotiating for an extension of lease, you can point out the repairs that you carried out even though the contract states that it is their responsibility.

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6. Show your positive characteristics:

Every landlord would like to have a tenant who is courteous, polite, reliable and trustworthy. No one wants to sign a deal with a tenant who cannot afford to make payment on time, proves to be a nuisance to neighbors, keep the noise levels up and starts fighting over minor issues. If you can portray some positive characteristics by providing some referrals of your previous landlords, this might help you to save few dollars in your pocket every month.

7. Provide some referrals:

You can offer your landlord some referrals in case if he has some vacant units that could be rented out. After all, an empty unit might put extra burden on the pocket of the landlord. You could also use social media to spread a word among your peers about the vacant apartment. This can help you to strike a better deal with your landlord.

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Rinkesh Kukreja

The founder of Conserve Energy Future, trying to educate people how to save energy and sharing entrepreneurship and management tips

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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