real estate

Please lease me: 7 tips for renters

Haggle over rent
Haggle over rent

Rent is negotiable, according to Damien Barr, co-founder and CEO of KangaRent.com, a rental brokerage based in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Landlords don't always advertise this fact.

"Everything is negotiable, including the rental price," Barr says. "However, it definitely depends on your local market. If your market is turning around listings in 48 hours, the likelihood of getting a lower price is low. On the flip side, if the unit has been on the market for a month with no movement, that's a pretty good indication that you have some negotiating room."

To secure a reduction, Barr advises prospective tenants to show the landlord they're serious about renting by being ready to sign a lease as soon as they agree to the tenant's offer. Tenants trying to persuade their current landlords to reduce rent face a tougher battle because walking away isn't as easy.

But, says Barr, if you can convince your landlord that waiting for another tenant will be costly, you just might be able to knock a few bucks off the monthly bill. Of course, taking that approach can have its risks, and if it backfires, you might end up paying the higher rent or moving.

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