How to negotiate rent as Austin's market soars
It's no secret that rent is on the rise in Austin.
State of play: The average monthly rent in Austin was $1,869 in May, up more than 18% since last year, according to Zillow's Observed Rent Index.
- Plus, a recent analysis by real estate brokerage Redfin named Austin the top metro area in the U.S. for fastest rising rent year-to-year.
The red-hot rental market means that landlords often have the upper hand, but that doesn't mean you should give up on negotiating.
What they're saying: Unfortunately, most Austin renters either renewing a lease or looking for a new place will face rent hikes, according to Taylor Marr, the deputy chief economist for Redfin.
- "Your best bet to minimize any increase in your monthly payment is to negotiate a more favorable renewal rate with your current landlord, who has an incentive to keep a good existing tenant," Marr told Axios.
Here's a few tips for those of you dreading your renewal notice:
- Understand the local rental market and rent at nearby properties, including the amenities at surrounding apartment complexes. If there's a discrepancy, make a note of that to your property owner.
- Sell yourself as a valuable tenant. Landlords want someone who's quiet, pays their rent on time and maintains their space.
- Make a note of the things going on around you and use that to your advantage. Are there a lot of vacancies in your building? Loud construction nearby? Frequent issues with neighbors or the property?
- Remind your landlord how costly it is to turn over a rental unit: "If they want to charge the market rate for new asking rents, it will likely cost them one to two months rent by the time they clean and spruce up a unit, fix any issues, and advertise for and find a new tenant," Marr said.
- Consider offering to shorten or extend your lease so that your move-out date is in the summer months, which may be more attractive to the property owner.
- If you can't negotiate down the rent, ask for other concessions like updated appliances or a fresh coat of paint on your walls.
The bottom line: It's worth a shot.
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