Pandemic giving tenants upper hand in rent negotiations

Reduced rent, free amenities used to entice renters
Posted at 8:34 AM, Sep 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-03 08:34:58-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — There are advantages and disadvantages to renting during this pandemic. In some cases, you may not physically see the inside your new place until after you sign a lease. Video tours, facetimes and zoom calls have become the new norm for apartment shopping.

But the pandemic has also given tenants the upper hand in rent negotiations. A study from Zillow shows rental listing concessions have nearly doubled over the last few months. Brian Carberry, Managing Editor Apartment Guide, says that can be an important negotiating tactic.

“Upgraded parking or upgraded features that you might have in in the unit, access to different amenities that you may or may not have to pay extra for,” said Carberry. “You might be able to bundle all of that into just one rent price and get those extra ones for free.”

The pandemic has also given tenants the upper hand in rent negotiation. If there’s a place you know has been on the market for a few months. Call and see if they’re willing to reduce the rent.

“Landlords are going to try to get rid of those,” said Carberry. “Even if they have to rent it for $50 less a month than they want to that’s better for them than not being able to collect rent on it for another couple of months while they’re trying to find somebody to move in.”

Carberry also says with the pandemic it’s a good time to ask for a flexibility with your lease. Instead of a standard one year agreement ask for six or nine months.