If you’re nearing the end of your lease, and you wish to continue to live in your apartment, it’s not unusual for a rent increase to occur. You do have the right to approach your landlord and ask if you can keep the same rent. Be sure to organize your thoughts in advance whether you are putting your request in writing or making a plea in person.
Use these strategies to strengthen your case to keep your rent the same when you renew your lease.
Tout your History as a Tenant
If you’ve been an exemplary tenant: paid your rent on time, never had noise complaints, haven’t had conflicts with neighbors – share this positive history with your landlord. If that's the case, you can tell your landlord that you’ve been a standout tenant and that you love where you live but you simply can’t pay any more rent. Sometimes, landlords will realize your value and will keep your rent the same if you renew your lease.
Consider Signing a Longer Lease
If you can lock-in your rent for 18-months or 2 years, your landlord may be willing to skip a rent increase. If you have good credit, a strong history of paying rent in time and in full, bring up these points to your landlord. From your landlord’s perspective, knowing that they have a trustworthy, reliable and responsible tenant for 18 to 24 months may sway their decision to keep your rent the same. You can even strengthen your case by adding more to your security deposit if they ask.
Introduce Vacancy Trends
If there are vacant apartments in your own building, or other comparable buildings, gently tell your landlord that it may be a challenge to find qualified renters who can take over your lease. Having an empty apartment is less appealing than having a steady rent check from a renter. Make sure to present this argument as a fact and not a threat. Just state your case based on information that is true. If the landlord values your worth, they will consider your request.
Offer to Change up the Payment Terms
It may be worthwhile to introduce the option of pre-paying your rent to show your good faith. For example, if your rent is $900 per month, offer to pay three months up front to demonstrate your willingness to be flexible - if you have the means to do so.
Use your Charm
We all know that often it’s the way you ask for something that can yield the best results. Try to seem humble and kind and simply be as honest as possible. Explain you’re on a tight budget, you love being their tenant and ask if you can stay at the same rent. Sometimes a little humanity can go a long way.
A Good Tenant is Priceless
As the end of your lease approaches, it is often customary for your landlord to ask for a rent increase. If you are on a fixed budget, and are not interested or able to pay more rent, approach your landlord and ask to keep your rent the same. There are several strategies you can try: explaining your value as a stellar tenant; pre-paying rent, offering to put down additional money towards a security deposit and share with them potential hassles of finding a suitable tenant. Another good strategy is to be humble, kind and charming – let your winning personality shine as you negotiate with your landlord. They will soon learn that a reliable and responsible tenant is priceless!
Erica Lamberg is a freelance business and personal finance writer.
*Contributions are solely guest opinions and don’t reflect the opinions of or are endorsed by WYL, our staff, clients or other interested parties.