Monthly rent: every renter pays it, and every renter hates it. However, if you want to keep a roof over your head, it’s an unavoidable expense. Sadly, rents have been soaring in areas all over the country, even outpacing home values. So, what can you do when it’s poised to go up? You might be surprised to find that your hands aren’t necessarily tied. Get tips to avoid a rental increase from your friends at ApartmentSearch!
Negotiate a lease that lasts longer than a year.
Each time you re-sign your lease, your rent can go up. That said, one way to avoid a potential rent increase is to simply reduce the number of times you have to re-sign! When you find an apartment you love and you’re certain you won’t be moving anytime soon, ask your landlord if you can sign a lease that lasts longer than a year for a slightly decreased rent or with a clause that rent increases are not allowed during the term of the lease. Vacancy is the biggest expense for landlords, so it’s a win-win for both parties. You’ll get to lock into a certain rent for the length of the lease, and your landlord doesn’t have to go through the hassle of finding a new tenant anytime soon.
It’s tempting to sign on the dotted line as soon as you find a home you love, but press pause. Have you checked out your other options? Apartment rents vary greatly, and you may find another space you love equally with a lower monthly rent. If you choose the $800 a month apartment instead of the $1,000 a month apartment, you’ll have a bit of wiggle room in your budget for any potential rent increases.
Research your rights as a renter.
Different states have different laws regarding renter rights, and it’s important to know and understand the ones that apply to you. That way, you can avoid any shady practices and make sure you aren’t paying more than you should! For example, some states only allow landlords to raise their rent once in a 12-month period. Other laws state how much advance notice the landlord must give the tenant. Read your lease front to back before signing, know your lease lingo, and make sure to research the tenant laws in your state!
Help reduce your landlord’s expenses.
Landlords can raise their rent prices when the cost of maintaining the property goes up. In other words, saving your landlord money will end up saving YOU money. Ask your landlord if there is anything you can do to help them around the property. If you’re open to doing manual labor, you may be able to mow lawns, shovel snow, perform maintenance and repairs, and so on in exchange for a reduced rent. If you’re not as handy, you may be able to help them with clerical work. Don’t be shy – you’ll never know if this is an option until you ask!
Be an all-around awesome tenant!
This may come as a surprise, but landlords are humans just like you. The more they like you, the more willing they’ll be to compromise. If you continuously pay your rent late and get noise complaints, they probably won’t be willing to work with you. If you’re a timely, respectful, clean, and considerate tenant, they’ll likely want to keep you around… and thus help keep the rent within your budget constraints!
If you’ve tried everything and your apartment is simply no longer in your budget, don’t fret. There are plenty of other fish in the sea…err apartments to rent! Use ApartmentSearch.com to find a new, affordable apartment. Even better? We’ll actually pay YOU! We are the only free apartment locating service that will actually pay you for using us… so what are you waiting for? Happy hunting!