The lease on our current house is coming up for renewal and comparing our current rent and what’s available elsewhere in the area it’s clear that we’re currently paying over the odds.
I’ve been keeping an eye on asking prices on Daft and compared to this time last year there seems to be a lot more availability, gaffs that were being snapped up in days last year are taking weeks and price drops before they’re shifting this time around. (Thanks property-bee, what a great resource. )
So in view of this, I’m wondering what the best way to go about seeking a better deal on the lease this time around? Basically, I’m happy to stay but not at the current rent and more importantly, the GF is of the same opinion, if not more so.
It could be a moot point as the LL seems quite bullish and could be counting on achieving the same rent again, but if he’s prepared to strike a new deal it’d be nice to have the benefit of other people’s experience in this area.
Make him an offer at current market rent minus say 5% (round it obviously). Point out the market rent and likely void period if you depart. However, you have to be prepared to follow through but as both you and the GF are prepared then this is not an issue. You will have 4 weeks to sort yourselves out.
I’ve never done it myself, but just keep it civil, point out that similar properties in the area are not achieving what you’re paying, and stress your good points as tenants (I’m assuming you are good tenants ).
As a last resort and if you’re very attached to the place or just couldn’t be bothered moving, you could offer to stay in situ paying rent but facilitating viewings for people, on condition that if no one is willing to rent it at price X, then you stay on but at lower price Y.
Might be messy what with notice periods and whatnot, but if what you think regarding rents is true then it looks like you’re going to have to go to the trouble of moving, he’s going to go to the trouble of finding new tenants, and neither of you will be better off than if you’d just settled on a lower rent.
Your landlord has started the negotiations by ‘seeming quite bullish’
Have a look around. Once you’re happy you can get a better deal, mention to the landlord you will probably be moving as you can get better value elsewhere, seem quite bullish yourself… Ideally give him a little extra notice, just a little… a week or so more … Should give him/her enough notice to see the wheel has turned, but not enough time to do too much about it… and leave u in a strong position with the next step, hopefully with him looking to sign you for a new year.
If the landlord cant be arsed looking at the market or changing the rent, still seems quite bullish… don’t bother wasting time with them. its not about winning an argument just about getting the best deal.
I think that we’re in a strong position as we are good tenants, similar local properties are cheaper and we are genuinely willing to move on to pastures new for a better deal.
I’m not interested in winning an argument, or being anything other than civil, whether we bid a fond farewell or do business for another year. I think that’s the way I’ll approach it too, if he can agree to current rent less X, then I’m happy to sign again. Though I won’t forget to throw into the conversation the downsides of losing good tenants and how his current rent compares unfavourably with other similar gaffs.
I suppose in the end it comes down to his view of the market, if he reckons that he’ll get the same rent again, or close to, without a significant void then he won’t have much of a hesitation in letting us go. (I’d wager he won’t, but that’s another debate.)
I did this with my landlord a few years back. He eventually came around to my price which I didn’t budge from. From his point of view we were fantastic tenants and he told me that he didn’t believe the BS that EA’s told him about what he could achieve. He still provided the same degree of service to us so I wouldn’t worry on that score.
He did get his own back last summer though we are still paying under the market rate.
I am already looking forward to this summers battle…
If you’ve got a good house and a good landlord, a 5% drop in rent isn’t worth the risk/hassle of moving.
What happens if you get a landlord/neighbour from hell? You can’t just up and leave cos you’ve got a lease to fulfil.
It would be more like a 10-15% drop to justify moving.
I think though that for anyone entering the rental market things can only get better and better. Given the sheer number of new flats coming on stream, you’re likely to get a fully furnished, brand-new flat. Once landlords can’t compete on quality, then they’ll start dropping their prices. Those scabby landlords who don’t bother doing repairs and decorating will find their bank balances deteriorating.
Don’t know if it’s relevant or not but I have a mate who was renting a small shop unit, his rent was substaintially increased in Feb. '07. This year coming up to the rent review he gave the LL notice to quit. The LL has now reduced his rent to pre Feb. '07 levels in order to keep him.
I had a word with the landlord, in which I basically outlined my position as above. I said that I’d been looking around and had my eye on a few other places that were similar but with cheaper rents. The landlord didn’t share my view of the market, which wasn’t entirely unexpected, and was unwilling to move on the price. That impasse being reached, we agreed politely to go our separate ways.
We’ve also put theory into practice and went and found a new home, which in addition to being a little under 10% cheaper, is more modern and generally nicer. In fact, if I had to choose between the old and new, at the same price, I’d take the new every time even with the hassle of moving. Needless to say I’m very happy with our decision.
Out of curiosity, I’ll be keeping an eye on the old house to see how quickly it rents again and if it achieves the same rent.
[q]Out of curiosity, I’ll be keeping an eye on the old house to see how quickly it rents again and if it achieves the same rent.[/q]
Do keep us informed as well. I’m in a rather similar situation to you with a lease that will be up next Jan.