When it comes to renting a property, potential tenants can negotiate more than they might realize. There are many reasons why landlords put their properties up for rent, and chances are that they are just as anxious to sign a lease as you are. The success of a negotiation is often dictated by supply and demand but, even when there’s a housing crisis, you can often settle some terms in your favour.
With that in mind, here’s a list of things you should try to negotiate before you sign your lease.
Some landlords will be willing to fork out the money for the general upkeep of the property, but usually, that falls on the tenant. However, you can probably negotiate to get your landlord to pay for a deep clean of the carpet and interior living spaces on a regular basis to maintain the integrity of the building since it benefits both of you. Short of this, ask for the landlord to do a deep clean of the property before you move in.
According to provincial regulations, the landlord is responsible for cutting grass and shovelling snow. Make sure that you check the lease since some landlords will try to foist the responsibility onto tenants. If you notice that one of the requirements in your lease is the removal of snow and care of exterior common areas, discuss this with the landlord before signing because it can be a sign of suspicious behaviour.
The rental agreement must always be in writing as the rental market is constantly changing, and the property needs to be affordable for the tenant. Tenants should also ensure that their rental and living expenses should not exceed over 40% of their gross income, including utility bills. When signing your lease, you can negotiate with the landlord over rent to avoid becoming house poor.
Within the first eight months of your lease, your landlord can give you one month’s worth of free rent. Traditionally, what happens is that a little bit of rent is taken off each month. Then, after eight months, you’ll go back to paying the full amount. They can also provide a two percent discount for rent that is paid early or on time every month. This discount is the only one that doesn’t have to be in writing.
Some rental units will come furnished or with appliances, which will save you precious dollars and time when it comes to moving in. Ask your landlord what the property comes with, and try to negotiate for new appliances if it doesn’t already come with some or the ones provided are outdated.
Whenever the market is in high demand, the cards are not exactly in the tenants’ favour. Still, if you have a pet, you won’t be getting rid of it just because you’re moving (and nor should you), so you should still try to negotiate if you’ve found a place you like. Tenants should also be transparent about owning pets, however. If the tenant is renting from a condo, the rules may be different, so bear this in mind.
Shared Accommodations or Not?
If landlords are opting for shared accommodation, this may indicate that it’s better to not rent from them. It could potentially hint that they are doing something suspicious, like having a grow-op on the property, or that they don’t wish to make renovations that maximize tenant privacy. On that note, any landlord has to provide the renters with 24 hours of notice before entering what is deemed part of your rental unit.
If you’re looking to rent in Oxford County and the surrounding areas, contact the Jennifer Gale Real Estate team. We have representatives available specializing in helping find ideal properties and arranging the best terms for your lease. It’s never been so easy or convenient to find a new home!