Are you a savvy shopper? Then you probably know when to catch the best sales and biggest discounts. Did you know the same is true when it comes to renting apartments? If finding the cheapest rent is a top priority for you, it’s all about apartment hunting in the winter months when you can get the best deals on apartments and moving costs. Learn about the benefits of searching in the “off-season,” and find out how to use the cold winter months to your advantage when negotiating rent!
There is less competition during the winter.
The busiest season for apartment hunting is between May and September, for several reasons. Students are out of school, graduates are moving home or moving to new cities, and you’re not stuck moving in snow or the bitter cold.
Because so many people are eager to find new apartments mid-year, landlords have it pretty easy. They often have several applicants applying for one apartment, so they can cherry pick tenants who agree to their terms.
In the winter, landlords don’t have it so easy. Fewer people are apartment hunting, and it can be hard to fill a vacant apartment. As a renter, you’re in high demand. The odds are in your favor. Landlords are eager to fill their empty apartments, and they want YOU! That being said, there are also fewer apartments to choose from in the winter. Make sure to prioritize the factors that are really important to you in an apartment, and decide which things you’re willing to compromise on.
Rents tend to be lower during the winter.
Vacant apartments aren’t bringing in any money, and landlords want to get their apartments filled ASAP. However, because there are fewer renters searching for places in the winter, landlords may try to entice you with low rents. This is your major advantage. An apartment that might rent for $1,000 in the summer could go for $900 or even $800 a month in the winter when the demand has slowed down.
Landlords may be more willing to negotiate during the off-season.
Renters don’t come around often in the winter, and landlords know this. They don’t want to lose their opportunity to rent their apartment and may be much more likely to negotiate with you in the winter than in the summer. Approach the prospective landlord or leasing agent with confidence and see what you can get.
What should you try to negotiate? Some things to negotiate include:
- Lease terms: If you want a shorter or longer lease term than what they’re offering, ask!
- Fees: See if they’re willing to waive fees, like a pet deposit or certain utilities.
- Amenities: Maybe you love the unit but wish there were nicer appliances in the kitchen – see if you can get upgraded appliances before you move in!
- Rent: Negotiating rent is the holy grail of apartment hunting! During the peak months, landlords probably won’t be willing to negotiate. After all, there are plenty of renters to choose from. During the winter months, they need renters and will likely be more flexible on the details!
Now that you’re in the know, go ahead and strike while the iron is hot – or cold, in this case. Get help finding an apartment you like at a price you can afford on ApartmentSearch, the only apartment site that actually pays you for using it!