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Haggle On The Rent


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The worst tenant from a landlord's perspective is a self-employed person, because you cannot trust their statements of income (equivalent of liar loans, but tenants do it to landlords too). I once let to one of them - never again without six months up front. This one made exagerrated claims about his income, backed up by an accountant with the last accounts posted 2 years ago, and then failed to pay rent, or delayed it, for months and months, always promsiing funds were "in the mail". Some tenants are just evil and completely cavalier, but of course you never hear about them - it's always the landlord who is blamed, sometimes simply it seems for existing.

I am self employed, I hope it doesn't go against me because I choose to have the freedom. I've been asked to provide 6 months of bank statements which should be more than sufficient to prove that I'm gainfully 'self- employed'

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I got a haggling story, my sister who is currently moving, seemed to have successfully haggled down and paid deposit+holding fee on property.

I thought holding fee meant they dont talk to other tenants but the day before she was due to move in and pay first month rent they refunded her saying they found tenant to meet asking price.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I am self employed, I hope it doesn't go against me because I choose to have the freedom. I've been asked to provide 6 months of bank statements which should be more than sufficient to prove that I'm gainfully 'self- employed'

My brother was also self-employed, he’s a freelance webdesigner. I am the one who usually negotiate with the landlord and until now he didn’t experience delayed payment from my brother. We just provided them the necessary documents proving that my brother has the capacity to pay the rent. Actually the haggling issue is fine if you could see that the price of the property is not applicable to the property itself.

Right now I am also looking for my own apartment and I am not at ease in haggling with the landlord, possibly I could try it for me to save :rolleyes:

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  • 2 weeks later...

You should definitely haggle, where ever you are. When a landlord takes a new property to a Letting Agent, they talk money. The LA estimates the likely rental income - but here's the point.... they give a range.

So let's say for the sake of argument the LA tells the LL they can get in the £550 to £600 range. Well, *obviously* they ask you for £600. But if you offer £550 they get a quick 'sale' (and their own cut starts coming in), and it's still within the range they told the LL was achievable, and the LL agreed would cover her costs. Everyone's a winner.

They've set a price they are prepared to haggle down from a little way. So you are totally missing a trick if you just pay up on their first ask.

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Rather a sweeping generalisation about the state of the rental market! I'm a Jonny-cum-lately scumbag btl'er (Forum users description, please feel free to add more derisory names/expletives) and have just let a property and had 3 people "fighting" for it at the full asking price. I'm obviously not very good at this BTL thingy-me-jig stuff either because the potential rental income we used to calculate the purchase ended being 17% less than the rent we achieved.

Perhaps then you will share with all this 'hotspot' where there are 3 tenants all bidding for your property. There are so many btl landlords in denial at present, just recently had one voluntarily hand his property back to the bank, another hasnt told us a dickie bird about the bailiffs letter the tenants have recieved giving them a few days to leave before they arrive with the locksmith. On the ground there are many failed/failing btl's so its good to see a story of success(?) like i say perhaps a few more details to validate wouldnt go amiss.....

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Definitely haggle - don't even consider paying the advertised price - there are always new properties coming on the market.

I looked for ages to decide the area and type of place I wanted, then told all the local letting agents my criteria. One included a property well above my price range in the ones they showed me - hoping to encourage me to pay more.

I wanted that one (obviously) but refused - despite much discussion - to go over my maximum.

End result.. I'm renting a lovely 2 bed 2 bath place for the price of a 1 bed. :)

Edited by barelythere
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  • 2 weeks later...

Wonder if anyone has haggling tips for my situation...

I've served noticed on my current rental and will move out at the start of April. Managed to quickly find some places I'd like to move to and these are available now or in the next few weeks.

Now, I'm at an obvious disadvantage in terms of haggling. Surely if I can convince the landlord to hold the property for me, I can't then say 'oh and by the way, how about £50 off as well?'

Perhaps if I offer them a 12-month agreement?

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I'm currently in the same position as you... and I have been looking at places to rent over the past couple of weeks.

I've put in a couple of lower offers on new build apartments, but so far I haven't had much luck with negotiating the rent down.

In both cases, the properties were sitting vacant (for at least a month), and were asking for close to £800 pcm.

My strategy was to offer low, but to point out the strengths of my position, in that I could move in straight away and that I would be willing to go for a longer tenancy, 12 - 18 months.

I made offers of £725, but these were rejected. In one case, the agent told me that the landlord's mortgage was £850 a month.

I think the problem is that in these cases the landlords have overpaid for the properties, and they are looking to recover close to their mortgage interest payments. Of course, if they continue to remain empty then they may loose £850 a month for several months, rather than just £100 a month by accepting my lower offer.

Looking at the cost of buying vs renting in my area, renting is definitely the better deal even if I were to pay full asking. If we take one of the properties I was looking at.

New build 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment

Cost to buy approx £200,000

Monthly Mortgage Interest (on 100% LTV), fixed rate 3 years @ 5.35% = £890 (interest only) per month

Service Charge and Ground Rent = £100 per month

Total monthly charges = £990

Compared to the rental of £795 a month.

Essentially the landlord is taking a gamble on increasing capital values, and paying £200 a month for the priviledge.

Wouldn't the landlords mortgage still be £850 pm if the flat remains empty, meaning that he would be losing

the full amount rather than having it reduced by whatever he can get, as opposed to what he wants. Those days

are gone. :ph34r:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here to cheer!

My husband & I have been in a property for a year, we did haggle in the first instance, and got a £10 a week reduction in rent; our contract was up for renewal, and we were told we were very lucky because the landlady was happy to keep the rent the same! We decided to haggle some more, and we've just secured another £9 off the weekly rental.

Woo Hoo!!! Horray!

We simply pointed out that we were great tennants, a few things that would need to be done before the property could go on the market again, and that it would cost a lot more if it was empty for even a few weeks. We win!

Yipee!

thanks, & sorry for gloating. it's not nice.

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  • 1 month later...

ive just renewed the rent on our flat.

2 bed, modernish development (early 90s) in zone 2, west London... it is in a bit of a none area as there are no decent shops/pubs/bars/cafes in fact anything within 20mins walk really, however there is a night bus that has a stop 300meters from the flat and the central line is 10mins walk away (my commute to work is 35mins and i always get a seat there) its an ok area (safe etc) just a bit dull.

rent was 230pw last year, this compared to identical flats in the same development being on for 275pw (i don’t know if they let for that much)

i said i only really wanted to pay 800pcm (185pw) so asked them to reduce it, came back with 220pw! .... in the meantime i was watching a flat (on the same development but nearer the main road) which had come on at 277pw, it came down to 231pw after about 3 weeks, just as negotiations started, i contacted that agent and asked what’s the lowest they’d go to and was told 219pw was the absolute minimum.

back to my agents and at 220pw i said that wasn’t enough and they dropped to 215pw and said that was their final offer and the flat would be advertised if i didn’t agree to it... it was then the other flat agents sent me an email offering the flat at 209pw (as its now available immediately ;) ) so i return to my agents and say ive been offered an identical flat for less can they at least match it... and they have :)

so our rent has gone from 997 to 910pcm... i should add although its only a 9% reduction, the cost of moving to another flat actually equates to about £29pm (£350 ish for van hire, agent fees, internet cancel/move fees etc) so it is in effect an 11% drop... not massive, but as our flat was the cheapest last year (by 40quid a week) i don’t think its bad.... not to mention there are 3 of us living here (me, my g/f and a mate) so its now only 300quid ish each and i cant really argue with that (for London prices anyway, before you all start)

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Phoned up the agent in february and said we will be moving if you don't reduce the rent from 790 to 690 per month. Landlady wasn't happy but agreed if we signed a 3 month contract. Agreed. Now 2 months left and will actually move next time because rents are still falling here.

Renters have been right royally shafted for some years now so it's time to get some of that money back.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It didn't work that way for us. My sister and I rent out our parents house in Notting Hill, West London, ever since my dad died back in 2000. The house became vacant again at the end of February. We decided to completely refurbish it, then go for another rental, rather than sell it in the current depressed market.

We finished the renovations on March 22. We saw three EA's on March 23 and placed the house with all of them. Two sets of renters wanted the house, so a bidding war started, and the house went for the asking price. We had pitched the asking price high, expecting to be knocked down, so we were very pleased when we actually got a higher price than we expected, with the tenants signing a contract for a year with two months rent as a deposit.

I'm sure West London is not typical of the rest of the UK, but our experience as landlords in a 'renters market' was certainly a good one.

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  • 2 weeks later...
It didn't work that way for us. My sister and I rent out our parents house in Notting Hill, West London, ever since my dad died back in 2000. The house became vacant again at the end of February. We decided to completely refurbish it, then go for another rental, rather than sell it in the current depressed market.

We finished the renovations on March 22. We saw three EA's on March 23 and placed the house with all of them. Two sets of renters wanted the house, so a bidding war started, and the house went for the asking price. We had pitched the asking price high, expecting to be knocked down, so we were very pleased when we actually got a higher price than we expected, with the tenants signing a contract for a year with two months rent as a deposit.

I'm sure West London is not typical of the rest of the UK, but our experience as landlords in a 'renters market' was certainly a good one.

Well, the refurbishment obviously worked then! A lot of rented places are grubby and often you can get a lot more interest in the property just by cleaning it properly or in your case doing a refurb.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Im off to look at a flat in a few days. Newly re-furbished, looks very nice in the photos. They are asking £600 and according to property bee its been on the market for over 6 months and had a price cut from £700 a couple of months ago. How low should I offer do you reckon? I was thinking at starting on £450 or maybe even £400, which given the time its stood empty seems pretty, i didnt think was so bad. Will I get laughed at?

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  • 2 months later...
Im off to look at a flat in a few days. Newly re-furbished, looks very nice in the photos. They are asking �600 and according to property bee its been on the market for over 6 months and had a price cut from �700 a couple of months ago. How low should I offer do you reckon? I was thinking at starting on �450 or maybe even �400, which given the time its stood empty seems pretty, i didnt think was so bad. Will I get laughed at?

A slightly more realistic figure would be 550-575pcm. They're not going to let you have that flat for 400-450pcm.

Ged

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Not read all the replies as there are so many but wondered what peoples thoughts were on trying to haggle on rent once you are actually in the proeprty. I am currently renting and had a 6 month contract which I took out in October, its £595 a month and the property is a new build, we have had some settling in problems with the house needing work that has still not been carried out in full and wondered if should contact the agent and see if I can get a rent review for a better rate?

An y suggestions? I don't want to upset the landlord or get in to any sort of dispute as I am really happy in the proeprty??

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest AuntJess
Why not use the carpet bombing method.

Find and view lots of properties offering what you think they are worth on each.

Someone always bites due to desperation/voids etc. If you cant get close to 20% off for 12 months your not trying enough.

Also you can often get reduction by increasing upfront rents too.

Another idea is to lie, I know it's immoral but the EAs do it all the time. Say you have secured (insert nearby property) for X per month can the vendor do the same as you'd prefer to rent through X agent , prefer the property etc.

Also dont forget to include fees in your calculations. Huge agency fees = lower offer. Make sure the agent knows this.

Finally remember that renting is currently a buyers marketplace with lots of properties empty.

I have a problem in that the area I want to rent is East Devon. :o I am already in one rented property and am considering moving into a larger one, as my furniture in storage is costing, and I'd be able to unpack it - thus saving a few bob.

It is quite a bit dearer tho' - why not eh? - and altho' generously proportioned has a oil fired Aga and night storage heaters. Has anyone ever used an Aga! I sure as hell haven't. They look too cumbersome and slow to cook - to me.

I don't know how a reduced rent offer would take the renter. They are pretty up themselves here and have large ideas about what their properties are worth.

It is 895 and I'd offer 800 pcm. But I ain't sure they'll bite.

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You're underdoing it AuntJess. The Aga is probably grounds to knock them down to £750. You've got to be called Jemima to use one of those things and even then it's only for drying your clothes on.

I take it there's a 'real' oven somewhere else in the kitchen? Or failing that, a good take away within 100 yards.

Agas (& Rayburns, which I have) do the following:

1. Cost the earth in every sense of the phrase if oil-fired ( I assume there's no gas?)

2. Give you gallons of hot water in 2 hours but take 20 minutes to heat up a couple of pints

3. Make the house like an oven in summer if you are running them to get hot water

4. If solid fuel belch out smoke & soot whenever you feed the brute &

5. Need feeding in the middle of the night in order to stay in properly unless you spend forever stacking it with meticulous care

6. Need tender nursing back into life in the morning

7. Need an ACAS negotiating team to organise a Sunday dinner - variations in temperature require 2 hours written notice, please.

8. Whatever the blurb says are NOT good at heating more than, say, 6 radiators (if solid fuel, that is)

9. Again, if solid fuel, require labouring to and fro from the wood-pile ( & your normal source of supply is always under pressure & can't deliver for a week when you are about to run out)

10. The top rings are USELESS for cooking on ( half a pint of milk for a hot chocolate possibly excepted.

Good points? er...

1. do wonderful stews overnight

2. Do succulent roasts (eventually. Lousy pork crackling though)

3. Give a lovely warm ambience in winter

4. Insulate you against power cuts ( though the central heating won't work.)

Cue outrage from Aga fans....

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Guest AuntJess
Agas (& Rayburns, which I have) do the following:

1. Cost the earth in every sense of the phrase if oil-fired ( I assume there's no gas?)

2. Give you gallons of hot water in 2 hours but take 20 minutes to heat up a couple of pints

3. Make the house like an oven in summer if you are running them to get hot water

4. If solid fuel belch out smoke & soot whenever you feed the brute &

5. Need feeding in the middle of the night in order to stay in properly unless you spend forever stacking it with meticulous care

6. Need tender nursing back into life in the morning

7. Need an ACAS negotiating team to organise a Sunday dinner - variations in temperature require 2 hours written notice, please.

8. Whatever the blurb says are NOT good at heating more than, say, 6 radiators (if solid fuel, that is)

9. Again, if solid fuel, require labouring to and fro from the wood-pile ( & your normal source of supply is always under pressure & can't deliver for a week when you are about to run out)

10. The top rings are USELESS for cooking on ( half a pint of milk for a hot chocolate possibly excepted.

Good points? er...

1. do wonderful stews overnight

2. Do succulent roasts (eventually. Lousy pork crackling though)

3. Give a lovely warm ambience in winter

4. Insulate you against power cuts ( though the central heating won't work.)

Cue outrage from Aga fans....

Thanks for the heads up.The house heating is by storage heaters - I hope the modern kind, as the old ones are a bluddy eyesore.The hot water is by immersion. Only the Aga is oil-fired. All these methods sound pretty expensive to me, but this bungalow is ideal for a rental for me for two reasons - its size AND its location.

My Ma was a professional cook and could cook a gourmet meal on a camp fire. Sadly - although a pretty fair cook - I am not she. :unsure: She DID say that coal-fired oven gives the best flavoured roasts and stews - more moist joints as you say - and when we stayed at the country mansion where she worked, we discovered it for ourselves.

As a kid in an old house, I was reared on food cooked in a coal oven: we had a coal fire grate with an oven at the side. Mum made some lovely grub. The rice puds were fab, so were the stews and it was a cheaper way of cooking, as they took all day to cook through slowly aside a small fire. Meat was very tender and the whole thing yummy and tasty.

I do have a mini electric halogen oven - which would probably do for some stuff. I could manage with an Aga just by adjusting the menu. Baked spuds and stews would seem to be the favorite!! :lol:

I guess I wanted to know what you guys knew about bartering, given the equipment on offer and type of dwelling. As Ian says, it isn't exactly everyone's idea of heaven, so I could get a bargain. But Devonians are pretty stubborn as regards what they feel they - and their belongings - are worth. :(

I think there is some snobbery about an Aga, The Ma in law had one and she seemed to consider it a badge of superiority. That is why I thought the renters might not go for a knockdown in rent " Whaaaat, you mean you want us to rent you this bungalow with our AGA, for a pittance? Be on your way!"

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Guest AuntJess
You're underdoing it AuntJess. The Aga is probably grounds to knock them down to £750. You've got to be called Jemima to use one of those things and even then it's only for drying your clothes on.

I take it there's a 'real' oven somewhere else in the kitchen? Or failing that, a good take away within 100 yards.

Sadly not. But thanks for the advice about the price to offer. It IS a bungalow tho' and therefore in short supply here - especially with large rooms AND three bedrooms. Most bungys here are like rabbit hutches. I'd get claustrophobia living in one of those.

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