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Great ‘How to haggle down rent’ Hunt

The house price slump means there are more properties on the rental market, so tenants looking for a new pad may be able to haggle down the cost. We'd like to tap MoneySavers for their top tips on how to find a property’s market worth and negotiate down the cost.

Are there ways to boost your bargaining power when looking for a new flat to rent, for example, by taking a place unfurnished or volunteering to do up the garden?



  • MissMoneypenny
    Using Firefox as an internet browser and installing PropertyBee, will then show on rightmove how long the landlord has been trying to get a tenant and how much they have already dropped the asking price. Propertybee shows the drops in rental prices and selling prices.

    Some landlords are offering incentives to try to attract tenants to their propety, such as free broadband.

    Don't forget to check the landlord has permission from his mortgage lender to let the property. Housing Associations, corporations and councils ask landlords for proof from their lender that they have permission to let, so private tenants should ask for it too. Without this consent from the lender, a tenant could be thrown out of the house will little or no notice. Letting Agents don't always ask for this proof either, so don't just assume they have checked this if your rent through a letting agent.

    Visit the land registry site and download the property details for just £3. These should show that the mortgage lender has the landlord's address listed at a different address to the property the landlord is trying to rent out if they have a Buy to Let mortgage.
    RENTING? Have you checked to see that your landlord has permission from their mortgage lender to rent the property? If not, you could be thrown out with very little notice.
    Read the sticky on the House Buying, Renting & Selling board.

  • aless02
    aless02 Posts: 5,119 Forumite
    Look at & for "Let Agreed" properties in the same area/street as the place you are looking at. Keeping in mind that some of this data may be a bit old, use that a guideline for what the property is roughly worth.

    It's not really haggling so much as going in with low offers, getting those countered, and meeting in the middle somwhere - it's just like buying a house, folks. Always always offer first and then see where the landlord wants to go from there - even if you're prepared to pay what they're asking. The only time it's worth it to agree to the advertised price straight away is if you're desperate or if you know the place will go fast.

    Offering to take it unfurnished rarely brings down the price - if a landlord has furnished a place, that means they probably don't have anywhere to put the furniture! Your best bet is good research and reasonable offers. If the flat needs modernising or is a bit run-down, use this to your advantage when offering because that obviously make the place worth less.

    Pretty much, the rental market has shifted some. 2 years again, you either paid full asking price or you didn't get the flat - nowadays, EVERYONE offers and agents welcome them. My husband works in London, so of course your mileage may vary - the market is probably different in more rural areas. What's happening now is landlords are catching onto the fact that the rental market is very 'offer-friendly' and thus putting their asking prices up, because they know they'll have to take a price slightly below that.

    There's not really any secret tricks or hints to get the price down other than clever negotiating. Offering to do up the garden or paint the place isn't really going to get your price down any, since the landlord doesn't really care if the place has pretty walls!

    I could go on and husband's a lettings agent by the way, so I'm happy to feed any questions in his direction!
    top 2013 wins: iPad, £50 dental care, £50 sportswear, £50 Nectar GC, £300 B&Q GC; jewellery, Bumbo, 12xPringles, 2xDiesel EDT, £25 Morrisons, £50 Loch Fyne

    would like to win a holiday, please!!
    :xmassmile Mummy to Finn - 12/09; Micah - 08/12! :j
  • hellokitty08
    hellokitty08 Posts: 1,878 Forumite
    Debt-free and Proud!
    In my neck of the woods, you would stand little chance of getting anything off. We do not seem to be having any problems shifting our rental properties. I always say to our customers that they are always wlecome to ask, but im talking £10-£25 a month. I could have let two properties three times on Saturday, so not much chance of getting too much off the rent.
    Debt free since July 2013! Woo hoo! The bank actually laughed when I said I have come in to cancel my overdraft.
  • clo5
    clo5 Posts: 20 Forumite
    Debt-free and Proud!
    I have just put in an offer on a new flat which will save me £300 per year and did on my last flat which has saved me £1500 over 2 1/2 years.
    Always good to try your luck first!
    Proud to have dealt with my debts!!!
    Official DFW nerd no 1213
    DFD - 01/03/2010
  • chiny
    chiny Posts: 194 Forumite
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Post First Anniversary
    Interesting that MSE takes one side; exactly how is arguing to pay less rent, money saving for the other half of us.

    My tenants usually stay 2 - 5 years because the flats are better than others around and looked after, by me. The idea that tenants might do gardening is laughable :rotfl: Tenants can be lazy, even at their own expense (not reporting a fault for me to fix) - I guess zero effort required is a good reason for renting.

    Only one tenant has ever asked for a rent reduction to which I agreed as the tenancy change took place near Christmas making it a likely void. It was agreed the discount was for 6 months, at which point the tenant left (after saying he would not). Of course, we were now at peak letting time, so my problem vanished with the tenant.

    Are posters sure they want to make notoriously fraught relationships more combative ?
  • Gorgeous_George
    As a LL I may be a little biased ;)

    I keep the rent at a sensible level and aim to be lower than the market to avoid voids. I have just proposed a rent increase (7.1%) which is in line with RPI (over 22 months). It will still keep the rent £25 per month below the (Rightmove) asking price of a three bedroom property and therefore at least 10% below market price for my property (which is larger with four bedrooms). I consider it good value. Let's see if my tenant agrees.

    Driving down the rent could:
    • delay repairs
    • reduce the tenant's security of tenure
    Possibly a price worth paying of course but it is important to remember that some LLs are tied in to mortgage deals of 6%+. They still want to make a decent yield to make it all worthwhile. New BTL mortgages are rather high and the falling base rates are not being passed on to most BTL mortgages. Faling house prices mean that the rental yield is more important than ever before.

    I suggest a polite challenge to any proposed new rent followed by some negotiation is the order of the day. However, if I expected to negotiate I would start the bidding higher.

    Good luck!

    There are 10 types of people in this world. Those who understand binary and those that don't.
  • mystic_trev
    mystic_trev Posts: 5,430 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    chiny wrote: »
    Interesting that MSE takes one side; exactly how is arguing to pay less rent, money saving for the other half of us.

    I suppose the arguement would be, that because mortgage rates have dropped, Immigrants going home, recesssion etc etc Lower rents are able to be achieved by Tennants. Certainly on many Forums Tennants are reporting that it's fairly easy to get a rate reduction as many Landlords are desperate. The recession effects us all I'm afraid.
  • stevetodd
    stevetodd Posts: 1,016 Forumite
    The last time I rented out a property (last August), I had a few prospective tenants putting in low offers which I didn't entertain, one in fact ended up increasing his offer over the rent I was asking, but I had learned enough about him to know I didn't want him as a tenant by then and went with one of the tenants that appreciated that I was asking a fair rent, had the flat fully maintenaibed via a British Gas maintenance contract for central heating, electrics and plumbing/drains cover. It's not just about the money it's about finding someone that is going to look after and respect your property and someone that you think you can build a good landlord and tenant relationship with. That works two ways as I have had tenants come to me that no longer wanted to go via an agent due to bad experiences
  • madkitty
    madkitty Posts: 447 Forumite
    any thoughts on negotiating with an existing landlord - I have been in my house for 4 years now and 18 months of those with a new landlord and would be interested to see if I could knock a bit off of what I am paying but Im not too sure how to go about it. She is pretty useless anyway as she has never had the boiler serviced since she has taken over and I have asked a number of times for a huge pyracanthus to be cut back near the garage but to no avail!
  • golddustmedia
    In my region (Mid Devon) it seems the rental prices are holding or even increasing. There is a serious lack of any good quality rental property and with so many first time buyers unable to get on the property ladder they're turning to the rental market which has increased demand.

    Being a small town we didn't have many migrant workers so there isn't a sudden oversupply of property and the town isn't big enough to mean there are lots of cheap rental flats etc like in London.

    So if you want to be landlord, do it in a small town! :D
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