10 Tips for Finding Cheap Housing


Negotiate with the Landlord

Sit down and negotiate a lower rent with your landlord.
Sit down and negotiate a lower rent with your landlord.

A lot of renters don't realize that their monthly rents are not set in stone. Rent, just like the price of a house, is negotiable. Often, simply sitting down and negotiating with a landlord can score you a deal. Of course, you need to negotiate within reason. A landlord won't entertain an offer that is ridiculously lower than what they will be able to get from someone else. But, landlords would rather be collecting rent from someone than letting an apartment lie empty for a month or more [source: Vander Broek]. Understanding that can give you leverage in negotiations.

Make sure you negotiate from a position of strength by first researching rents in the area. You can ask neighbors, browse classifieds or talk to brokers to get that information [source: [source: Vander Broek]. Come in with a reasonable figure in mind. If you can, call the property manager's office and ask if they will tell you how many vacancies there are in the building or complex [source: Solomon]. The more openings, the more desperate the landlord will be to fill the empty units. It's also good to negotiate toward the end of the month when landlords will be more likely to offer a deal once they start to get wary about missing a full month's rent payment [source: Grant]. Finally, be prepared to make concessions of your own. Signing a longer lease can often get you a discount, since it offers the landlord stability. The same is true for offering to pay several months' rent up front [source: Solomon].