Renter Library

As lockdown 3.0 kicks in you may be becoming increasingly anxious about being able to pay the rent in the coming months or years even. And in previous blogs we’ve covered what you can do if you can’t pay the rent,  in this one we want to focus on how you can go about asking your agent or landlord for a reduction in the rent to help put some money back in your pocket and to relieve some of the tension. 

If you are considering talking to your landlord or agent directly here are our top tips on what you should and should not do;  

1. Be Polite 

First and foremost, be polite. While the situation is tough right now and you may be feeling  anxious and stressed about having a roof over your head, remember the landlord/agent is human too! They may also be worrying about the impact of the pandemic too - especially if they are relying on the rent for their income. So avoid bad or threatening language - as this won’t get you anywhere. 

Hopefully your mutual concern will help open up a conversation about being more flexible on the rent - either from a reduced rent perspective or a delayed payment option.    

2. Use the right comms channel

Use a communication method that suits you and the landlord or agent - so for example if you’re renting from a company that has loads of rentals or a build to rent company that has multiple tenants, each with their own apartment then email might be the best method to start communications about your rental agreement. Most of the big agents and build to rent companies have social media channels too - where they have posted how you can get in touch with them too. So worth checking out.  

However if you’re looking to contact the landlord directly then you may be better off with a one on one conversation either by phone or by facetime (so you can at least see each other), so you can check out the reaction you get. 

3. Be Prepared

Make sure you have all your documents to hand and be ready to make a case for the exact price you want to pay. Things to have ready to show your landlord/agent about how trustworthy and responsible you are include things like your past rental history credit score, and references from previous landlords. If you’ve filled out a RentPassportTM  then you should have all this to hand pretty easily! 

Like being prepared for an interview if you have all your documents to hand you’ll be in a better position to ask for a lower rental agreement and make the process of negotiating this much more seamless.

4. Explain why you need a rent reduction

Be clear, open and honest about your current financial situation. If you’ve been furloughed, or have recently been given notice by your employer your landlord or agent may ask for some sort of paperwork or proof. So make sure you have this to hand or be able to communicate clearly about your current job situation.     

5. Do your homework

Finally, Do your research and arm yourself with all the info you need to help get a fair and reasonable outcome from your negotiation.  Look at what others are doing to adjust at the moment.  Look at any data you can find about the area you are renting in, look at local listings or property rental portals to see if there has been any rent reductions recently.

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