While it’s never been particularly simple to locate a good price on an apartment rental in the summer, this year is proving to be particularly challenging.
Renting a new property has suddenly become much more expensive due to a variety of economic variables, including record-high inflation surpassing slow income growth, rising interest rates pricing potential homebuyers out of the market, and apartment landlords making up for cancelled Covid deals. Rent prices only recently experienced their largest monthly increase since 1986, which is more than three decades ago.
Select spoke with Lily Liu, CEO of Piata®, a rewards and credit-building platform for renters, on how to deal with these price increases as rent costs continue to rise across the nation. She discusses four excellent practises for renters who want to save money.
Consider not moving between April and September
MovingLabor.com reports that the “peak” moving season, which is seen as lasting from April to September, is when 80% of all moves in the United States take place.
Since there is such a high demand for rentals now—especially with the kids out of school—buildings tend to have less inventory and charge higher rents for available units. It’s a typical example of how a lack of supply and excessive demand drive up costs.
You’ll pay more not only for a new lease, but also for moving services because demand is higher then.
So, what time of year is ideal for renting? Winter is “usually the slowest season for property managers to fill vacancies,” according to Liu, who cites RentHop.com, so there’s a strong possibility you can save money if you sign your lease then given the reduced demand. This is because the winter months of December through March are less busy for landlords.
“Between the holidays and unfavorable weather, fewer people are apartment hunting, which means you’ll have less competition for that dream corner unit with a washer and dryer,” Liu says.
Any additional fees should be negotiated
Be cautious of the costs you find when you are ready to look for an apartment in the cooler months. Make sure you are fully aware of the monthly cost of renting before becoming overly thrilled. Some landlords may add additional monthly fees on top of the regular rent amount.
Expenditures for dogs, pest treatment, trash, internet and television, parking, and other amenities could all be included in these extra costs. Ask prospective landlords in advance what costs the lease will and won’t cover, and perhaps try to negotiate any additional costs into your rental agreement.
Signing a longer lease offer
Although 12-month lease durations are the norm, landlords frequently offer cheaper monthly rent rates for lease terms of 15, 18, or 24 months.
Let your landlord know you’re willing to stay longer as leverage for a cheaper cost even if they don’t provide discounted rates for longer lease terms up front since they will profit from fewer turnover of your apartment.
Not just from a potential decrease in monthly rent, but from other advantages as well. If you intend to remain in the same city, locking in a rate now for, say, two years is a wise decision because landlords will probably raise the price once your lease expires and it’s time to re-sign.
When you have to pay rent, be smart about it
Even though the last suggestion might not help you as a renter instantly save money, it could have a long-term effect on your finances. Renters can now benefit from financial instruments that offer rewards for on-time rent payments, so you might as well capitalise on your thrifty habits.
For instance, Piata® rewards users for paying their rent on time by giving them points. These points may then be used for benefits like free food, workout classes, gift cards, travel discounts, and other services through apps like TaskRabbit and DoorDash.
Even better, you might want to think about using a credit card like the Bilt Rewards Mastercard to pay your rent. When eligible U.S. tenants use the Bilt app to pay their rent, they can begin earning rewards through the stand-alone Bilt Rewards programme. The co-branded Bilt Rewards Mastercard allows cardholders to accumulate additional points by using it to pay for purchases like rent and other expenses.
Your points can be exchanged for vacation by using one of Bilt’s hotel or airline transfer partners, exercise courses at SoulCycle and other facilities, one-of-a-kind artwork and home décor, the following month’s rent, or even a down payment on a house.
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