We own our house that we have now, but we did rent three other places before we finally bought a house. We didn’t negotiate or strategize for the best prices, but we should have!

There are many ways to get the best value for the place that you choose. I’m not saying that you should try and swindle your landlord, just try and search for the best deal.

Remember to be nice when you are talking to the landlord. You don’t want to start with an outlandish offer such as offering $200 on a $1,000 asking price for the rental.

Below are some ways to save money on rent that you can do right away:

1. Research, research, research

There are TONS of places that are available for rent. Look online and search for the best location, value and price. Compare all of the places that you are looking at and try making a positives and negatives list if you can. This will help you compare the value and may help you when you try and negotiate the price with the landlord.

Also, when driving around, you’ll probably start noticed more “For Rent” signs as well, look into those also.

2. Ask for free things

Many rentals at apartment complexes will offer perks. Compare these perks and maybe ask for more. See if they can include water or any other utilities. Some places might also offer free cable or gas in your rental, look into this as well.

3. Search places that are a little further away

Yes, some people prefer to live close to all the action, their work, friends and family. However, if you search for rentals that are a little further away, you can possibly save more money. You DO need to keep in mind that you might be paying additional on gas and commuting costs, so factor these into the rental price as well.

4. Ask for a discount

Even a discount of $25 is better than nothing. Ask to see if there is anything that they can do or if they can budge on the rent at all. Make sure the discount that you ask for is realistic, as you don’t want to offend the landlord.

5. Try to find a place to sublet

Renting a room and sharing the rent with another person can make a place very cheap. Not all places allow for this, but some do. Search the local advertisements in your area and see if anyone is looking for a roommate. You can also ask your friends or family if they know anyone.

6. Ask for a longer contract

If you know that you will be living in the place for an extended period of time, see if you can get a discount on your lease. Usually you can get a cheaper price if you sign up for a longer lease than if you signed up for a month to month or only a 6-month lease.

If you sound more stable, this can help your case for cheaper rent as well. A higher risk for the landlord might mean that they will charge you more (less risk might mean you can ask for a higher discount).

7. Ask if you can do the maintenance

Ask your landlord (or future landlord) if you can do the maintenance on the house (such as mowing the lawn) in return for slightly cheaper rent. They might say yes and it would be a great way to save additional dollars on your rent.

Have you ever negotiated your rent?



Michelle Schroeder is the founder of Making Sense of Cents and Diversified Finances, a personal finance and lifestyle blog about budgeting, traveling, life, and student loans. Read further on her story and life.