Are you a tenant? Have you paid your rent on time, not trashed the place, or had the police knock at your door at 3am for noise disturbance? Then you fit right in the category of good tenants. Congratulations!
As a landlady, I have had my share of good and bad tenants. Luckily, they all paid well. I rent a 3 bedroom flat to three different people, so at any given time, I am expecting three payments, dividing or multiplying my risk by three, depending on how you see it. I also constantly hope that the three, who didn’t know each other before the moved in, are getting along.
My ”bad tenants” were noisy, dirty, loved a good scandal, and my golden perfect tenants hated them. I was lucky they accepted to move out quickly. Getting new tenants is stressful for all.
But let’s focus on the good tenants. Both stayed for three years with me, automated their rent payments so never went late on paying rent, were clean and considerate. On top of that, they screened potential roommates (not very well, since the chose on several occasions what ended up being a bad tenant), avoiding me a trip to the UK to do that. They also fixed stuff around the house, and let me know asap if something was wrong. They forwarded my mail to my mum’s address. They were perfect, and the left last month, so I don’t know the new guys, I just hope they are perfect too!
Usually I increase the rents once a year. But at the end of year 1, I thought that I might drive them away, so I froze the rent! I wrote to them, explaining that I was really happy with them, thanking them for keeping the flat pristine, and that as such I wouldn’t hike the rent. After consideration, I think I should have hiked the rent, and waited for them to maybe negotiate the rent down.
But the next time I rent a place, I will surely negotiate. If you have a history of being a good payer and a discreet tenant, you should too.
You lose nothing by trying
Your landlord will think
”ok, I don’t care, I will just evict him and have some other guy move in and pay me more…. wait, I will have to clean the place/hire an agency/find a new tenant/pay for credit check/paint the place…”.
You name it. There are plenty of fees associated with losing a tenant. Your flat may be empty for weeks, or months (my flat hasn’t been empty for a day in 4 years, but it could happen), realtors charge you about a month rent to screen a new tenant, so there are many reasons why your landlord should accept to freeze, and even lower the rent.
I considered that possibility with my perfect tenants. Had they come to me saying ”sorry, I am having a hard time paying rent this month, I lost my job/got sick/helped my mum/…”, considering their perfect payment history, I would have given them a delay, and probably a discount.
What is the worst thing that can happen? Your landlord says no, you can either stay in the house and keep paying rent, or move somewhere cheaper. One important thing: ask for a discount way in advance. A couple of month before your lease renewal date, or as soon as you lose your job and fear financial struggle. A landlord won’t appreciate if you ask for a rebate while being already ten days late on rent.