Tips On Negotiating Rent Increase With A Landlord
The pressure of skyrocketing rent prices is felt particularly by low-income middle-class families, who struggle to pay high rents while meeting other family needs. With rent increase being an inevitable scenario in Indian cities, a potential tenant should be aware that there is always scope for negotiations. Most property owners adhere to the common rule of 10% increase in rent each year, with a slight margin for negotiation.
A landlord has the right to revise the rent provided he sends a notice to the tenant, clearly written according to the norms stipulated in the section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882. However, a first-time renter or an experienced tenant should know that an effective negotiation is possible without causing any discord in the landlord-tenant relationship.
Also read: Raising Rent? Here Are The Rules
MakaaniQ lists some points you should consider when negotiating with a landlord:
Do your research
A tenant should be well-informed about what the average rents are, in the locality he/she is living in. One easy way to do that is to browse through property portals to get a fair idea about the prices of rental properties in the neighbourhood. You can check with brokers or neighbours to know about the market rates. So, if you have rented a 2-BHK apartment in an area, you can negotiate based on what the asking rents in the area are.
Know what your apartment is worth
It is also crucial to understand what the apartment is worth before you start the discussion. If you feel that you are not getting the value for the amount you are paying, discuss with the owner to identify the options available before you. Find out about the local rent laws and guidelines in the area and confirm if the increase is legal. However, if the apartment was tenanted previously, the owner is likely to expect the last received rent as the minimum rent.
Ask for what you want
You could exchange something you can do, in return for a decrease in rent. If there is no parking space and you don't own a vehicle or intend to buy one, you could be at an advantageous position if you can give up these amenities. However, if the landlord does not budge on an increase, you could always request for some perks like some specific repairs to your apartment or painting to be done before you move in.
Also read: Why Renting Is Back In Fashion
Propose an extended lease agreement
For some landlords, longer association with a tenant might have more worth than an increased rent. The guarantee that the apartment would not be vacant, is reassuring. Most lease agreements are signed for one year. However, if you do not have any plans to relocate in the immediate future, you could perhaps consider a two or three-year agreement with your landlord.
Prove your worth as a tenant
For a landlord, a bad tenant can cost more than less rent. Your track record as a good tenant, could become a great bargaining tool for you. If you have been paying your rent on time, you stand a better chance to negotiate a proposed rent increase. If you have made efforts to keep the apartment in good condition, try highlighting it since the cost of renovation matters a lot for a landlord. Alternately, you could offer to share the monthly maintenance expenditure or prepay three-months' rent in advance, in return for a marginal decrease.