Looking for the right apartment can be time consuming. However, don't forget to spend some time looking at the lease. You can negotiate the lease with your landlord so that you get the contract that you want. Below are three tips for getting the most out of your lease.
1. Lower Monthly Payments
Think about asking your landlord for lower monthly payments. Some landlords would be willing to do this if you offered them something substantial in return. You could offer to sign a 24-month lease instead of the standard 6 or 12-month lease.
A better bet to lower your monthly payments would be to offer a larger deposit. You would have upfront costs, but you will also get your deposit back at the end of your lease. The large deposit gives your landlord piece of mind and gives you lower costs overall.
Don't be afraid to show your landlord your credit score if it is at or above 750. Some will ask for it as part of the application process, but having it on hand shows your landlord that you are serious and a good fit. Credit scores range from 300 to 850. Having an excellent credit score shows your potential landlord that you are to be trusted. Ask for $25.00 - $50.00 less in rent per month.
2. Ask for Perks
Some landlords won't lower the rent, and you can't force them to. However, you could ask for perks such as free parking. Ask about getting the apartment repainted or new carpet. If you don't ask for improvements to the apartment, you won't get them. But you won't know until you ask.
Some leases will include a statement allowing the tenant to paint the apartment themselves, as long as it is repainted neutral colors before the lease is terminated. An apartment customization clause could also include the rights to install your own light fixtures. These are great options to include. Painting your apartment gives you freedom to decorate the apartment to fit your style.
Landlords will sometimes plan to repaint an apartment before a new tenant takes possession. Work with your landlord to see if you can pick out the colors and pay the cost of the paint while he/she handles the labor. You could also offer to pay for the new paint at the end of your lease. That way the landlord knows that the re-paint job will be done to his/her satisfaction.
3. Always Be Kind
No matter what, make sure that you are kind and respectful to the landlord. This is someone that you may be working with for a long time. You want to have a good relationship with him/her. Never get confrontational. Remember, you need to be willing to make sacrifices and concessions. The deal you make with your landlord should benefit both of you. For more information, visit Renters Guide.