If rent payments are straining your budget each month, it may feel like an unavoidable cost. However, there are several effective ways to lower your rent and free up more of your income. Even reducing your rent by a few hundred dollars per month can make a big difference.
Check out these ten tips for saving money on rent, which could help whether you’re looking for homes for rent in Texas or anywhere else:
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1. Negotiate Your Rent
When you’re searching for a new place to rent, don’t just accept the advertised rent amount. Negotiate with the landlord to try and get a lower price, especially if the place has been vacant for a while. Come armed with data on comparable local rent prices to support your suggested price. Offer incentives like paying a few months of rent upfront in exchange for 10-15% off the monthly price. The worst they can say is no, but many landlords would rather make a deal than have the property sit empty.
2. Ask About Unadvertised Deals
Many apartment communities and landlords offer unadvertised specials, like 2-3 months of free rent when you sign a lease or $500-$1000 cash if you apply by a certain date. Simply asking about current special offers or promotions is an easy way to uncover a deal that could lower your overall rent by up to 15-25% per year. There is often more flexibility than landlords advertise.
3. Consider A Shorter Lease
If allowed, consider a shorter 3–6 months lease initially, especially when first renting a home or apartment. Shorter leases often come with a small monthly price premium, but they ultimately provide more flexibility to test out a new place before committing long-term. You can use the initial short-term lease to negotiate a lower rate for signing a year-long renewal once you’ve decided the place is right for you.
4. Lower Utilities By Renting Inclusively
Look for rentals that include the cost of most utilities like electricity, heat, and hot water in the monthly rent. Inclusive utility rents are often a bit higher overall, but will frequently save more than if paying for utilities separately. Paying for expensive utilities on top of rent each month can really impact your budget. Even including one or two major utilities in the rent can help lower overall housing costs.
5 Consider A Roommate
If living alone, think about renting a larger space and finding one or more roommates to share the costs. A roommate or two can lower your portion of the rent, often by 50% or more. Of course, communication and setting ground rules are important when living with others. But as long as you find trustworthy roommates with similar living habits and shared space sensibilities, renting with roommates can be a great way to save.
6. Ask About Discounts
When you find a rental you’re interested in, ask if any special discounts apply like teacher, student, military or senior discounts which could save you 5-15% off rent. Some places also offer discounts for bundling other services like home security which can add to your savings. Most property managers are willing to work with reliable tenants, so it never hurts to explain your situation and ask for the best deal possible.
7. Look For Low-Income Housing
Some apartment communities offer subsidized low-income housing for qualified applicants with limited means. The amount of rent you pay is based on your annual household income. Many subsidized housing options are quite livable, allowing you to save hundreds off the standard rent amount each month as long as you continue to meet income eligibility guidelines.