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Negotiate for a Long-term Rental Lease

Negotiate for a Long-term Rental Lease

When scrolling through property sites, or during those first chats with agents, long-term leases are rarely on the table. It seems that there are so many hopefuls vying for those 12-month and six-month leases, that negotiating anything more would kiss goodbye to your chances. But the experts agree that longer leases work for both renters and landlords alike, giving investors the security of income they desire, and renters the ability to create a space that feels like home over a number of years. But how exactly are these elusive deals arranged? It takes a strategic approach to negotiate a rental lease like this, and there are a number of tips for long-term lease success.

Come Across as the Perfect Tenant

First of all, you want to come across as the ideal candidate for the house, in order to knock out any competition. In order to stand out as the obvious choice, you’ll want to cover two key areas: that you’ll pay on time, and that you’ll take good care of the house as if it were your own. This latter category includes having a good relationship with your agent and proactively reporting any issues as they arise.

While these factors might be difficult to prove when you first sit down with an agent, after a year of good behaviour you might see the odds stacked in your favour to negotiate a rental lease that better suits your long-term goals. That’s why one of the most common tips for long-term lease success is to rent there for a year first to prove yourself.

Negotiate for a Long-term Rental Lease

Back It Up With Evidence

While you may have spent a year making sure no toe is out of line, your agent is only going to rely on hard evidence to pass on to their client. Throughout that first year, collect your receipts for rental and bill payments, have your income figures ready, and even chat to someone at your long-term job about being a referee. Approaching an agent to discuss a longer term lease is almost like completing that first application—make it so compelling that they can’t refuse. As well as chatting face to face, having your request in writing can be a good strategy. Make sure that your tone isn’t overly presumptuous; no matter how well you dress it up, you are still essentially asking a favour of your landlord.

Sell It From Their Point of View

Just like with any argument, try to negotiate a rental lease from the opposing point of view. If you can convince your landlord that it makes complete sense for them to agree to a longer term lease, then you’re as good as signed. When renters move out on a yearly basis, there’s a period of time when the landlord won’t be making any income. Added to that is the cost of putting the place back on the market and reviewing applications, and it can be a huge dent on an otherwise profitable investment strategy.

Your angle to your landlord should be that as well as guaranteeing year-round rental income, you’ll also minimise the wear and tear that accompanies moving furniture in and out every 12 months. If your neighbours can also put in the good word that there are no quarrels, then a longer leases immediately seems like the right choice.

Negotiate for a Long-term Rental Lease

Look Towards the Future

One of the most common reasons why landlords stick to traditional 12-month leases is because they can easily raise the rental costs without consequence in line with demand. If you want to know how to get the right rental lease, you have to be aware of the current market and exactly how much your property is worth and will be worth into the future. A five-year lease might need to incorporate a rental increase for inflation, for example. Alternatively, you might opt to discuss a flat price which is slightly above the market value, in order to accommodate this future increase.

With the right approach, a long term lease is achievable, and it may be easier to attain than you might think. At every opportunity you get, drop into conversations with your agent that you’d like to work towards a longer term lease and build a life in the home you’re renting. By gently increasing their confidence and trust in you as a tenant, that final discussion is going to be much more easy to navigate.

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