Episode 173: Learn how to control what you pay for rent with Justin Pogue, an author and real estate consultant who’s been featured on Fox News, SFGate, and Realtor.com.
Justin is using his years of experience to share some insights from his new book, Rental Secrets. Here’s what you need to know about your rights as a renter and how to get the best possible experience.
How Can You Influence Your Rent?
Renters are the foundation of the rental market. There are 43 million rental households in the US and bring over half a trillion dollars to the table every year. An income that the property generates is what appraisers use to indicate the value of the property.
Another consideration is that a vacant apartment makes no money. It’s similar to hotel rooms— once that day (or month, in this case) has passed with no tenant, you can never get that opportunity back.
This creates a bias toward action. As a renter, looking at apartments that have been vacant for more than a month, you have an opportunity to make a low-ball offer to a landlord. In many cases, landlords will take this deal because it means making a little money versus making no money. It’s important to remember that a lot of rental properties are owned by small-time investors that don’t have the same resources as large property managers.
What Does “Competitive Rent” Mean?
Many renters hear the term “competitive with the market” when they’re apartment shopping. What does that mean? Probably not what you think it means.
When someone says their rates are competitive with the market, it means they’ve looked at their immediate area and evaluated what other people are charging for similar rentals.
However, what people aren’t looking at is the larger radius where you’re casting your net while shopping around. For example, this might be a nice apartment on a good street 15 minutes East of your work, what about the same set up 15 minutes West of your work?
As a renter, you can cast that wider net and use it to negotiate. It gives you the option to say “I really like what you have to offer, but these people are offering the same for cheaper. What can you do for me on pricing?” This is a great option to knock off some money. Remember, everything is negotiable.
Keep this in mind when your lease comes up. You are in a position to negotiate. Yes, it’s inconvenient for you to have to move. It’s more inconvenient for your landlord.
Do I Have to Pay for Apartment Damages?
There is leeway to get out of paying for apartment damages and refreshments when you’re moving on from one rental to the next.
There’s a concept called “useful life” which stems from accounting, which indicates how long it takes for something to depreciate. Paint, for example, takes two years. Carpet has a useful life for five years. So, if you’ve been in an apartment for a year, it isn’t your responsibility to pay the full price for paint. If you stay beyond the useful life, you have more room to negotiate. You can also argue for normal wear and tear.
Disclaimer: Kevin and Sean are not professional financial advisors. Do not take any advice they give without first speaking with a professional and performing your own due diligence.This post may include affiliate links.