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Reduce Rent Payments

If you’re a renter, you know that monthly rent payments can make up a big chunk of your budget—30% for the majority of Americans today. If you’re currently feeling the crunch of juggling rent costs with everyday expenses, we’ve put together a list of strategies that could help you keep more money in your pocket and minimize rent-related stress.

1. Negotiate with your landlord.

One of the most straightforward ways to save money on your rent payment is to negotiate with your landlord. If you make payments on time and communicate when maintenance issues arise, your landlord may be amenable to a conversation around rent reduction.

Instead of simply asking for a lower rate and hoping for the best, think about what you might be able to offer in exchange for a lower rate:

  • Property improvements
    Consider any maintenance, cleaning, or odd jobs that you might be able to offer that add tangible value to the rental property. Do you have a green thumb or a knack for small home repairs? What services might cut down on expenses, thus justifying the price reduction you’re seeking?
  • Rental incentives
    Another negotiation tip is to provide incentives that could potentially benefit other tenants. Are you willing to give up a coveted parking space or storage room for example?
  • Cash payment
    If your budget allows, you can offer to pay several months’ rent upfront and in cash in exchange for a reduced payment. This could be an attractive option for your landlord if they have any large repair or renovation expenses on the horizon.
  • Tenant referral
    Some landlords might be willing to offer a rental discount if you can refer qualified tenants. You’re saving them time and effort of having to screen candidates themselves, and if there are upcoming vacancies in your building, you may be able to negotiate a discount for each tenant you refer.

Our HUD-certified counselors can begin a conversation about where you are today. Take the first step and call.

2. Propose alternative lease terms.

Securing future tenants can be a time-consuming process for landlords, as it often includes posting ads, scheduling tours, and vetting applicants and their references. If you’re willing to sign a longer lease (18 or 24 months for instance), your landlord might be willing to negotiate a lower rate in exchange for not having to source future residents for another year.

Alternately—and assuming you’re flexible here—you can suggest a shorter lease term that might position them more favorably in terms of season (for example, ending your lease in spring or summer when rental rates in your area might be more competitively priced.)

3. Share your living space.

If you’re willing to share your living space with a roommate even for a short-term period while you save, you could cut your rent payment in half or even more. While this requires time investment on your part in terms of arranging prospective roommate meetups and vetting references, it could save you significant money in the long term. Just be sure that before you secure a roommate, you make sure that doing so doesn’t violate any terms outlined in your current lease agreement.

4. Trim expenses.

If your landlord isn’t willing to lower your rent payment, this is the time to examine your budget and take inventory of areas where you might be able to cut costs that are contributing to your overall financial stress.

Are there any subscription services that you might be able to cancel or temporarily pause? Can you negotiate lower rates on car insurance or your cable service provider? If you’re attending school—or have a family member who is—are there scholarships you can apply for that will reduce program costs?

Our HUD-certified counselors can begin a conversation about where you are today. Take the first step and call.

5. Scout new neighborhoods.

Sometimes it literally pays to do your research on your current neighborhood. If you’re living in a neighborhood that’s experiencing a rent surge, explore surrounding neighborhoods that might boast a lower cost of living or rent-controlled areas. (Pro tip: when possible, hunt for housing in the winter when rates—and the competition—is generally lower.)

6. Reach out for support.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with managing rent payments, know that you are not alone. Whether you need immediate, nonjudgmental support or a long-term roadmap, our HUD-certified counselors at 995Hope will create a plan with your needs and budget in mind. The call is free.