Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Top 10 Ways to Lower Your Rent

If you are a renter, believe it or not you may be able to lower your rent. Check out the following list of suggestions from MSN Real Estate.

    1. Negotiate with the property-owner

    Before you renew your lease, research the prices that are charged for similar rental houses or apartments in your area. Write a respectful letter detailing your understanding of the current average rents in your area and make sure you emphasize your excellent record as a tenant. Property owners may be willing to negotiate rent prices with current tenants rather than going through the hassle of finding new tenants. (Bing: Are there any "gotchas" in your state's landlord and tenant laws?)

    2. Use Craigslist to secure a roommate

    Craigslist's "rooms and shares" section can be a good way to get a roommate or roommates who can help reduce your monthly rental costs dramatically. You could cut your rental costs in half, and typically, the more roommates, the more you can expect to save. Make sure to screen any potential roommates for poor hygiene, bad boyfriends or body odor ahead of time or suffer the consequences.

    3. Be willing to walk or ride the bus

    In larger cities with well-established public-transportation systems, apartments that are closer to train stations and bus stops can be more expensive. If you are willing to walk a block or two, you could save yourself a couple hundred dollars a month. It also could be cheaper to rent an apartment when you do not need to reserve a parking space for a car.

    4. Help out the landlord

    Some landlords will be happy to give a discount if you offer to do some extra work around your rental unit. If you are renting a house, offer to perform seasonal work, such as cleaning out the gutters or shoveling snow. If you are in an apartment, offer to paint the walls or refinish the cabinets. When you can perform the maintenance yourself, the property owner will not have to hire someone else. You and the owner can save money.

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