Recessions are difficult. A tenant may have accepted a lease arrangement in good faith with the expectation of continued income, but then find circumstances change. Rent that once was easy to pay can suddenly become difficult, or even impossible, to pay. As a result, many renters consider asking for a rent decrease in such trying conditions.
Considering asking for a rent decrease is not the same as asking for or getting a rent decrease. It takes a combination of honesty, planning, courage and desperation to be able to successfully negotiate a rent reduction. If you need to reduce your rent, there are some essential tips on how to approach your landlord with your request.
Landlords often find that it is preferable to grant a rent decrease instead of forcing an existing tenant to move and then to incur the expense of finding a replacement tenant. Tenants who are able to negotiate a rent decrease also are spared the time and expense of looking at other rentals.
While no landlord wants to hear a tenant say that they are unable to pay the rent as previously negotiated, during extended economic recessions, landlords often are willing to be flexible for existing tenants. If you are unable to pay your rent, it is preferable to be upfront with your landlord, so be prepared to approach them as soon as you are aware of your situation.
When meeting with your landlord, explain why your income has dropped. Your employer may have cut your hours down, reduced your wages, or both. Avoid being emotional about the situation; discuss this in a logical manner with your landlord. Experienced landlords will have weathered economic downturns before. The chances are good that they will understand and perhaps even appreciate you coming to them as soon as you are aware of your decreased income.
Particularly during lengthy recessions, it may be useful for you to ask about rental rates for similar units in your area. Providing current rental rate comparisons to your landlord may give you an additional bargaining chip.
If your research shows that other tenants in your area are paying lower rates for similar units, this can be helpful in negotiating a lower rent. Landlords will generally desire to keep some income coming in rather than losing all of the income from your rental unit.
Be sure to negotiate directly with your landlord. If the complex uses a management company, negotiate with the highest ranking person available to you. Have proof available as to the reason your income is reduced and be sure to remind them that you have always paid your rent on time in the past.