Undoubtedly the pandemic is transforming New York’s housing market, especially as rental vacancy rates are climbing. With so many homes sitting vacant, landlords are now attracting potential tenants with discounts and irresistible incentives like free WiFi. Because tenants now have the upper hand, don’t be surprised if you wonder how to negotiate rent in your current or future apartment. Here’s everything you need to know to make the best deal.
How to negotiate Rent? Do Your Research
The most powerful weapon you have at your disposal for negotiation is knowledge of the market. Sure, you know rents are falling, but you need to go to the table with concrete numbers.
Exploring current begging rents in your current or, hopefully, future building and neighborhood are both great places to start. Fari, read StreetEasy’s lists. Here’s a pro-top. Lists will also share how long an apartment has been vacated under the title, days on market. Listings over 10 days may give you some extra negotiating power.
Additional housing research resources include StreetEasy’s market reports that decipher NYC’s housing market. You can also get the thin medium demand of rentals of town and neighborhood through the StreetEasy Data Dashboard.
Negotiation as a Possible Tenant
Using your research on current rents in the building or area will help start negotiations. It is also good to know the different rental concessions and good deals.
“Many times, landlords will give one or two months for free and a second year at a similar rate,” Karen Davidson, co-founder of the Davidson Martin Team at Compass, told StreetEasy. “Know that landlords lose about 15 percent of their tenants or more and will offer large concessions to stay competitive.”
Negotiating as a Current Tenant
Existing residents also have bargaining power. Now is a great time to ask our landlord to lock in a lower rate for a two-year lease. Not sure if you want to stay? Many landlords also allow month after month, sometimes with lower rents, which gives you the flexibility to find your next rental, possibly a purchase.
Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts or incentives if you’re in the middle of your rental. Do new tenants get rent breaks? Ask for the same. Landlords are also more willing to set up a favorable individual payment program that keeps an existing tenant.
“I represent a landlord whose tenants have asked for a rent reduction in the middle of their tenancy,” said Becki Danchik of Warburg Realty. “They chose to move to the north for a few months. Since this is not a good time to look for a new tenant, the landlord wanted to work with them and reduce the rent for the remaining six months of their lease. “
The great lesson learned? No landlord wants to risk losing a responsible tenant, so recognize that negotiation is always appropriate.
Don’t Forget to Negotiate Benefits.
Rental negotiations do not have to be strictly financial. Of course, it’s tempting to ask for a lower rent, but you could ask for things that make life at home a little better.
“You can ask for an improvement to a kitchen or bathroom, new windows or new lighting fixtures,” says Gerard Splendore of Warburg Realty. You can even request a larger apartment at your current price. Free services, WiFi or parking are other requests you could consider. Regardless of what you are negotiating – lower rent or bonuses – it is imperative to document all negotiations, and, when agreed, be written and signed by both parties.