In the current property market sales are down, it is having a big effect on many financial institutions because the decrease in transactions is causing net lending to shrink. This is well established and brokers as well as banks are in the news talking about the ‘changing’ (sometimes we prefer the plain English term ‘crashing’) market.
So if you have decided that you don’t want to buy, or you do and you can’t find a motivated seller (we’ll be doing a post later on how to find motivated sellers) then you have likely come to the conclusion that you will rent for a while. The nice thing about renting is that you can live in the area of your choice with little cost in changing locations (compared to buying in an area). If there are problems with the property then they are the landlords problems and all in all it’s a fairly handy existence.
The downside of renting is that you don’t and will never own the place (assuming the landlord doesn’t offer to sell you the gaffe). And you can’t really make the property ‘your own’ in many respects, you can’t put on an extension or feel that in 30 years you’ll be living there for free (after a mortgage would be paid off). In fact, renting, for all of its advantages, still fails the test of the Irish psyche, we want to own. It’s all about pwnage.
However, today we will talk about ways to negotiate cheap rent and some of the things you need to do to ensure that you negotiate a good price with landlords. For a start the current market favours renters because interest rates have gone up and rental prices have dropped while supply of properties for rent has shot up. Supply far outweighing demand means prices will drop. That’s day one material in foundation level economics.
So, knowing that what are the actual steps you can take to negotiate good rent? Here are a few:
1. Firstly, ensure that your landlord is registered with the PRTB who help resolve disputes between landlords and tenants. This won’t get you cheaper rent but it’s a good first step towards dealing with somebody who is at least taking the correct steps towards being a responsible landlord.
2. Check out Daft.ie for the area you are interested in and see how many properties are for rent in the area and roughly what the asking prices are. You can also look at daftwatch to get an idea of how many are for rent in general which will give you a better idea of overall supply v.s. demand. You can also check out the Myhome lettings area as well as other popular sites like let.ie. Then you should have a good idea of all the properties available in an area. Then find the cheapest version of the kind you want, view it, find out if there is a reason its cheaper, if it’s because the owner needs to rent it out fast then bingo! You found a motivated landlord, don’t be cruel, offer less than asking but don’t try to be ridiculous, it’s already the cheapest one around!
3. If there are any issues with the property after you have gotten the one that suits and which is a great price then make sure everything works, showers etc. and if not then say you can’t move in until things are fully operational. Another vital component is to see if you can talk to the neighbours, make sure that the area is a good one and go by at night to check that there is not anti-social activity in the area which might be why the place hadn’t rented so far. People tend to be brutally honest if you ask what the area is like so get over your inhibitions because if you do get a place with cheap rent that is quickly outweighed if the folks next door are blasting Jungle music at 4 a.m. every night.
4. Share and share alike: Sharing with other people/couples etc. is a sure fire way to get the amount you pay down. It can also be a sure fire way to have arguments because invariably somebody doesn’t clean up as much etc. but if you can cope then get people into rooms that are not being used! Make a price per room based on the size, some people do it by dividing by the number of rooms but this alwasy breeds resentment because the person with the box room feels ripped off [and after a while they’ll just move out], the bigger the room the more the person pays.
Taking some of these steps should help you to find a nice property to live in and a price that will suit, a part of me almost feels mild jelousy for renters in the current market because you can realistically live in any neighbourhood you want, something that buyers still can’t do! Please leave a comment if you have any other worthwhile ideas or something to add!