Life can feel pretty uncertain at times, especially when you’re exploring a new job opportunity or navigating a complicated relationship. If you need a change of pace or require a temporary move, a short-term lease is often the way to go.
With that said, there’s a few things to keep in mind — short-term rentals can be hard to come by, and they can get a bit pricey. That’s why we’ve come up with the best ways for negotiating a short-term lease agreement so you can find a place that meets your exact needs.
Top 5 ways to negotiate a short-term lease
Negotiating an apartment lease is somewhat of an art, especially if you want your potential landlord or leasing agent to concede to a shorter period. Even so, shorter stays are ideal for people in a transitional season of life, like when they’re deciding to commit to a particular city or saving up to buy a home of their own.
No matter your reasons for wanting a short-term lease agreement, it can be tricky to get management to grant you one, especially at a fair price. The following are the top five negotiation tactics for securing a short-term contract at the price you deserve.
1. Promote your strengths as a tenant
When you’re asking a landlord to amend their standard lease, it can sometimes be a hard sell. But highlighting the many attributes that make you a great tenant — and why they’d be lucky to have you in their building — can have a strong influence on the decision-making process. Talk about what a reliable, responsible tenant you’ve been in previous units, and provide a list of references (i.e., your former landlords) if appropriate/applicable.
If you promote the fact you always pay rent on time, you’re polite to fellow tenants, and you treat your home with respect, it’ll be music to the agent’s ears (considering they’ve probably dealt with some disagreeable renter’s in the past).
2. Offer to move out during the summer
It’s no secret summer is the most popular time of year to move, so asking to end your short-term lease agreement between May and September could put you at an advantage. Since many renters have flexible schedules during the summer — like college graduates looking for their first apartment — offering to move out during one of these months can have a very persuasive effect.
What’s more, ending a short-term lease in the summer means you likely signed on some time in the winter, which just so happens to be the season with the lowest rental demand. In other words, this arrangement is really a win-win for the landlord any way you look at it.
3. Do some background research
Doing background research on short-term lease furnished apartments may not sound like an exciting endeavor, but it’ll be worth it in the long run. Look up the average rent rates in your zip code by searching online or talking to local landlords. When you know the typical prices in your neighborhood, you’ll have more leverage to negotiate and have a better idea of whether management is trying to price gouge.
Also, you can do some research on bigger apartment complexes in your area and check out how many units are currently vacant. If there are tons of spaces sitting empty, you may have an easier time getting a short-term lease (since having a renter for a few months is preferable to not collecting any money at all).
4. Be kind, but firm in your ask
Whatever you do, don’t argue with a prospective landlord during your negotiations. Instead, maintain a level of professionalism; try your best to be kind but firm as you ask for exactly what you need. Although meeting face-to-face is recommended, talking over the phone can be effective, as well. Either way, be sure to follow up within 24 hours by sending a brief email thanking them for their time and restating the terms you’re looking for.
5. Create a viable backup plan
In case you run into a landlord who’s unwilling to compromise or make updates to the lease agreement, you’ll want to have a viable backup plan in place. During your negotiations, you’re wise to keep another apartment, condo, or guest house on your radar. Additionally, inquire about getting temporary furniture for the duration of your short-term lease at plan b apartment. You can even tell the leasing agent you’re in talks with other properties, as they’re more likely to adjust the terms of the lease rather than risk losing a renter altogether.
In certain scenarios, your backup plan might involve knowing when to walk away. If you notice any warning signs or red flags with how the property manager handles things, you may decide to move onto plan b.
Furnish your short-term rental with CORT
Once everything is squared away with your short-term lease, it’s time to get settled in. CORT’s furniture subscription packages are the best way to get set up quickly without sacrificing on style! When you rent furniture for a short-term lease, you can avoid having to move your old furniture or invest in all-new pieces for a space you won’t be living in long-term.
So, why wait? Start curating your apartment furniture rental package today!