Despite the current stamp duty holiday, there are fears that the housing market could collapse over the next few months. As more people are made redundant following the closures of businesses across several industries and the no deal Brexit deadline quickly approaching, if you’re in rented accommodation or looking to rent, now could be the perfect opportunity for you to renegotiate a lower rental price.
Get to know your landlord
Getting to know your landlord will help you gauge the amount of wiggle room there is for negotiation and the best way to approach a conversation. In most circumstance, ‘accidental landlords’ – i.e. people who didn’t intend to rent out a property, but due to a change in circumstance have ended up doing so, are far more likely to be open to renegotiation compared with large management companies.
Research comparable listings
To get an idea of how much you might be able to lower your rent by, do a bit of research online and visit local estate agents. Search and compare prices for similar rentals in the area, and if you live in a block of flats you can even ask your neighbours how much they pay.
If you see properties for rent that are much cheaper than yours, then you have a good point of reference of what you can ask for. It’s also worth noting how long a listing has been on the market. Typically, the summer months are the best time for house sales and rentals, so autumn and winter could be the perfect time to strike a lower rental price as demand for the property is lower.
Review your financial situation
It’s important to be realistic about how much rent you can afford. With continuing uncertainty surrounding jobs, if your landlord does agree to a lower lease for a 12-month period, would you be able to pay it should the worse happen? If not, perhaps agreeing to less of a rental reduction, but the ability to rent on a month-by-month basis could work out better for you in the long-term.
If you’re landlord is unwilling to negotiate on the rental amount, there are still ways you can reduce the overall cost of the rental. For example, you could ask them to pay some if not all of your tenants insurance. Similarly, if there is a charge for parking i.e. through a local council, this could be negotiated as part of the rental agreement too. Just because your landlord might not budge on the rental price, doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate on additional costs.
Understand your power as a tenantAbout one in five households in the UK live in private rented accommodation – that’s 4.5 million families. Existing tenants in good standing who are looking for discount have real power in an uncertain market – after all, if a property is empty, the landlord isn’t receiving any income. Even if you have suffered a fall in income due to the pandemic, if you have been a good tenant and are able to explain the situation to the landlord, they are far more likely to reduce the rent to an amount you can afford than run the risk of being unable to find tenants.