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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Jenny
    • By MSE Jenny 26th Jan 09, 2:58 PM
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    MSE Jenny
    Great ‘How to haggle down rent’ Hunt
    • #1
    • 26th Jan 09, 2:58 PM
    Great ‘How to haggle down rent’ Hunt 26th Jan 09 at 2:58 PM
    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?

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    Last edited by Former MSE Rose; 27-01-2009 at 8:17 PM.
Page 1
    • MissMoneypenny
    • By MissMoneypenny 26th Jan 09, 3:22 PM
    • 5,184 Posts
    • 8,426 Thanks
    MissMoneypenny
    • #2
    • 26th Jan 09, 3:22 PM
    • #2
    • 26th Jan 09, 3:22 PM
    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 http://www.landregisteronline.gov.uk/lro/index.html 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.
    Last edited by MissMoneypenny; 28-01-2009 at 8:22 PM.
    • aless02
    • By aless02 26th Jan 09, 3:24 PM
    • 5,115 Posts
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    aless02
    • #3
    • 26th Jan 09, 3:24 PM
    • #3
    • 26th Jan 09, 3:24 PM
    Look at Rightmove.co.uk & Findaproperty.com 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 on...my husband's a lettings agent by the way, so I'm happy to feed any questions in his direction!
    Last edited by aless02; 27-01-2009 at 9:53 AM.
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    • hellokitty08
    • By hellokitty08 26th Jan 09, 4:17 PM
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    hellokitty08
    • #4
    • 26th Jan 09, 4:17 PM
    • #4
    • 26th Jan 09, 4:17 PM
    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.
    • clo5
    • By clo5 28th Jan 09, 2:59 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 29 Thanks
    clo5
    • #5
    • 28th Jan 09, 2:59 AM
    Always offer!
    • #5
    • 28th Jan 09, 2:59 AM
    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!
    • chiny
    • By chiny 28th Jan 09, 7:44 AM
    • 131 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    chiny
    • #6
    • 28th Jan 09, 7:44 AM
    • #6
    • 28th Jan 09, 7:44 AM
    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 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
    • By Gorgeous George 28th Jan 09, 8:05 AM
    • 7,792 Posts
    • 8,484 Thanks
    Gorgeous George
    • #7
    • 28th Jan 09, 8:05 AM
    • #7
    • 28th Jan 09, 8:05 AM
    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!

    GG
    Last edited by Gorgeous George; 28-01-2009 at 8:08 AM.
    There are 10 types of people in this world. Those who understand binary and those that don't.
    • mystic_trev
    • By mystic_trev 28th Jan 09, 8:06 AM
    • 5,147 Posts
    • 15,365 Thanks
    mystic_trev
    • #8
    • 28th Jan 09, 8:06 AM
    • #8
    • 28th Jan 09, 8:06 AM
    Interesting that MSE takes one side; exactly how is arguing to pay less rent, money saving for the other half of us.
    Originally posted by chiny
    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
    • By stevetodd 28th Jan 09, 8:32 AM
    • 996 Posts
    • 1,222 Thanks
    stevetodd
    • #9
    • 28th Jan 09, 8:32 AM
    • #9
    • 28th Jan 09, 8:32 AM
    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
    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
    • By golddustmedia 28th Jan 09, 9:09 AM
    • 796 Posts
    • 374 Thanks
    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!
    • golddustmedia
    • By golddustmedia 28th Jan 09, 9:13 AM
    • 796 Posts
    • 374 Thanks
    golddustmedia
    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!
    Originally posted by madkitty
    I would suggest writing to the landlord pointing out that the boiler hasn't been serviced and that for her own legal obligations it should be. Also that your requests to have the overgrown plants trimmed have been ignored.

    Then say that if she cannot meet these reasonable requests that, for your own safety (from a potentially faulty boiler) you will have to consider seeking alternative accommodation etc. That should at least get the work done.

    As for negotiating your rent down, well I'm not so sure about that one. Have they put the rent up at all in the last 4 years?
    • mmoore
    • By mmoore 28th Jan 09, 9:24 AM
    • 10 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    mmoore
    I'm not sure that trimming plants is the Landlords responsibility!

    You'll be wanting the washing up done next....
    • EagerLearner
    • By EagerLearner 28th Jan 09, 9:27 AM
    • 4,942 Posts
    • 7,869 Thanks
    EagerLearner
    We achieved a lower rent by e-mailing our landlord links to various properties in our area recently, showing the current rental values had fallen since we moved in (and some were in better condition). The landlord took those on board and initially was not going to budge, however we pointed out that in all the time we have been there rent has been paid on time, the property has been maintained and they have had no issues whatsoever as we are good tenants.

    If we had chosen to move due to another landlord offering cheaper rent, our current landlord would have possibly suffered a month with no occupancy and, more worryingly, a possibly unreliable tenant coming in.

    In these times of a bird in the hand being better than 2 in the bush, our rent has been reduced (actually by more than we had put forward) and it's all been very mutual and both sides have benefitted - us with a lower rent to help offset rising bills (and no payrises) and the landlord with solid dependable tenants, during uncertain times.

    It's not something I have ever done before but local prices are lowering and it affects both sides of the fence.
    Last edited by EagerLearner; 28-01-2009 at 12:56 PM.
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  • sarastark86
    We knocked our rent down from £575 to £500 because they were advertising that the place came with permit parking but when we contacted the council they said it didn't and that a permit for the public car park next door would be £85 a month. We wanted the place but told the agency that the most we could afford was £500 due to parking charges. The place was empty so they accepted straight away. It then turned out that the car park next door was free 6pm-8am Mon-Fri so we didn't need a permit after all! So we're saving £75 a month. And they never checked whether we actually had a car anyway. Fairly specific circumstances but definitely worth a try if the property doesn't come with parking.
    • loveandlight
    • By loveandlight 28th Jan 09, 9:31 AM
    • 1,177 Posts
    • 932 Thanks
    loveandlight
    posted by madkitty
    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!
    So your complaints against your landlord have nothing to do with them being genuine but more as an excuse to get the rent reduced!

    Threads like this although are supposed to be tips to empower the tenant will serve no real purpose other than to encourage a lot of tenants to abuse the rules & regs and will serve no real purpose than to irritate a lot of decent landlords.

    I really appreciate this thread because it empowers me now as a recent landlord myself as it shows me all the strategies that tenants use to try and get off paying their rent or get it reduced. It's my property so any tenant lives by my rental terms. If they don't like them then they can move on.

    I am a very fair person but if I get a tenant trying to pull a fast one with me or be a demanding tenant then I won't bother being reasonable anymore. I won't argue or spend any time trying to sort the situation out. I will just serve a notice to vacate and have nothing more to do with them. It works both ways you know!
    Last edited by loveandlight; 28-01-2009 at 9:58 AM.
  • mellymell
    Liverpool
    We rented our flat over a year ago when there weren't so many flats spare in Liverpool and demand was higher, we successfully negotiated the rent down from £750 per month to £675 for a penthouse flat over looking albert docks, plus we got them to fully furnish it. The only landlord condition was that we sgn a contract lockingus in for 9 months, we could have go the rent cheaper if we'd signed a longer contract I reckon!

    But anyway, if you dont ask you dont get, and if we managed to do it when there was more demand, it shouldnt be too hard to do it now. It's also easier to reduce the rent if you either deal directly with the landlord or a less popular letting agency (our primarily deals with commercial premesis so they're used to haggling and also not many people would check them out for a domestic property.).

    My only other tip is make sure you're dealing with someone who has the authority to reduce the price, and make sure they actually call the landlord if it's a letting agency, some just say no automatically because they get more bonus if they let properties for higher.

    But in Lverpool now, I think you should never pay the list price!
    Money burns a hole in my pocket, but I'm trying to be good!!
    :confused:
  • madkitty
    So your complaints against your landlord have nothing to do with them being genuine but more as an excuse to get the rent reduced!

    Threads like this although are supposed to be tips to empower the tenant will serve no real purpose other than to encourage a lot of tenants to abuse the rules & regs and will serve no real purpose than to irritate a lot of landlords.

    I really appreciate this thread because it empowers me now as a recent landlord myself as it shows me all the strategies that tenants use to try and get off paying their rent or get it reduced. It's my property so any tenant lives by my rental terms. If they don't like them then they can move on.

    I am a very fair person but if I get a tenant trying to pull a fast one with me or be a demanding tenant then I won't bother being reasonable anymore. I won't argue or spend any time trying to sort the situation out. I will just serve a notice to vacate and have nothing more to do with them. It works both ways you know!
    Originally posted by loveandlight
    Im sorry but they are genuine - it is the legal responsibility of the landlord to make sure that the boiler is fully maintained and serviced and also according to my contract that the bushes are kept in order...im not throwing away £700 per month for the fun of it and so any minor issues should be resolved! Do you not think that perhaps the reason I have been in the same property for so long is because I am a good tenant!
  • mellymell
    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!
    Originally posted by madkitty
    madkitty- offer to renegotiate your contract, look on rightmove etc to see prices for similar properties, use this as evidence. You may have to sign a fixed term contract to entice your landlord to drop the rent, after all point out to them that you are a relible tenant and they are guaranteed rent for the duration of the fixed term-and that's very important right now!!
    Money burns a hole in my pocket, but I'm trying to be good!!
    :confused:
  • seraphina

    I really appreciate this thread because it empowers me now as a recent landlord myself as it shows me all the strategies that tenants use to try and get off paying their rent or get it reduced. It's my property so any tenant lives by my rental terms. If they don't like them then they can move on.
    Originally posted by loveandlight
    Not quite - many rental terms that landlords include are not actually legally enforceable.

    MSE are to be commended for this. I don't understand why some people (usually landlords, admittedly) think it's fine for people to find the cheapest utility company, phone up Sky/Virgin/your mobile provider and bargain for a better contract but as soon as it comes to negotiating rent all tenants are trying to pull a fast one. Being a landlord is a business, just like any other, and renting is just a utility that puts a roof over your head. So landlords, by all means storm off in a huff because you think tenants are taking the mickey - it's not like there's a shortage of rental properties at the moment...*

    Anyway, back to the point - we've found that pointing out what other similar properties are going for in the area, combined with the fact we are known good tenants is generally good for either no increase or a decrease in rent. Recently we've pointed out that if the agency wished to remarket the flat they would have to pay for an energy certificate thing as well, adding to their costs.

    *Disclaimer: I know that some tenants treat properties badly/don't pay rent, but them's the breaks, as they say. It's part and parcel of the landlord business, and if your business can't cope with such events, you are doing it wrong!
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