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18-05-2020, 22:05   #1
KiKi III
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How to negotiate a rent decrease

My housemate and I moved into a house in Dublin 6 three years ago. At the time the rent was €1600, now increased to €1750.

We accepted the two rental increases (max amount) because to move would have cost a lot more, which is no longer the case. There are currently a number of two bedroom properties in our area being advertised for €1200, €1400 or €1500. The increased supply is having an immediate effect on rent prices in the area.

We take care of the place, we always pay our rent on time and we don’t ask for a lot. I’d like to think we’re considered good tenants.

The landlord owns about 20 houses in the area. I don’t know him personally, we only communicate through the agency.

I’m self-employed and my income has reduced, while my housemate was laid off for a few weeks and just went back to work today.

We think we’re in a reasonable position to renegotiate our rent, but don’t know the best way to approach it.

Do I just lay out the facts as above? Do I say we’re going to move out if they don’t accommodate us somehow? (Realistically this would be a fairly empty threat, I don’t actually want to move house)

Our goal would be to get back to our original rent of €1600. They’ll probably want to meet us in the middle so do we ask for €1500 and move to that?
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18-05-2020, 23:05   #2
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Originally Posted by KiKi III View Post
My housemate and I moved into a house in Dublin 6 three years ago. At the time the rent was €1600, now increased to €1750.

We accepted the two rental increases (max amount) because to move would have cost a lot more, which is no longer the case. There are currently a number of two bedroom properties in our area being advertised for €1200, €1400 or €1500. The increased supply is having an immediate effect on rent prices in the area.

We take care of the place, we always pay our rent on time and we don’t ask for a lot. I’d like to think we’re considered good tenants.

The landlord owns about 20 houses in the area. I don’t know him personally, we only communicate through the agency.

I’m self-employed and my income has reduced, while my housemate was laid off for a few weeks and just went back to work today.

We think we’re in a reasonable position to renegotiate our rent, but don’t know the best way to approach it.

Do I just lay out the facts as above? Do I say we’re going to move out if they don’t accommodate us somehow? (Realistically this would be a fairly empty threat, I don’t actually want to move house)

Our goal would be to get back to our original rent of €1600. They’ll probably want to meet us in the middle so do we ask for €1500 and move to that?
Send a list of similar stuff from Daft showing the lower prices and ask for €1500. Fairly straightforward.

But you would be mad to stay if they say no.
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19-05-2020, 09:44   #3
Ray Palmer
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Paying your rent on time and being little bother is the basics not anything making you a good tenant. Besides how your income has dropped has the landlord changed anything to decrease the property? Do you have a lease?
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19-05-2020, 10:00   #4
KiKi III
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Paying your rent on time and being little bother is the basics not anything making you a good tenant. Besides how your income has dropped has the landlord changed anything to decrease the property? Do you have a lease?
What else would be required to be considered a good tenant?

I signed a lease when we moved in, but it was with a different agency and for 12 months at €1600. We have now been there three years and accepted two rent increases without complaint because it was in line with the market.

However, the market has now changed and there are similar properties charging a lot less. So no, the landlord hasn’t changed anything but the market has. It’s unlikely he’ll get the €1750 he’s charging us if we were to move out and the agency put it back on daft.
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19-05-2020, 11:26   #5
Ray Palmer
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What else would be required to be considered a good tenant?

I signed a lease when we moved in, but it was with a different agency and for 12 months at €1600. We have now been there three years and accepted two rent increases without complaint because it was in line with the market.

However, the market has now changed and there are similar properties charging a lot less. So no, the landlord hasn’t changed anything but the market has. It’s unlikely he’ll get the €1750 he’s charging us if we were to move out and the agency put it back on daft.
A good tenant would need to do more than their basic requirements. You stated you met your basic requirements therefore just not bad but that doesn't make you good by default.

Give your proper notice for length of time you stayed.
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19-05-2020, 11:30   #6
KiKi III
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A good tenant would need to do more than their basic requirements. You stated you met your basic requirements therefore just not bad but that doesn't make you good by default.

Give your proper notice for length of time you stayed.
Cool. Any advice on how to negotiate a rent decrease?
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19-05-2020, 11:32   #7
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A good tenant would need to do more than their basic requirements. You stated you met your basic requirements therefore just not bad but that doesn't make you good by default.

Give your proper notice for length of time you stayed.



What is a good tenant then? A tenant that refurbishes the apartment and doesn't charge the landlord? That pays above market rates or bids for a property?


Quite a unrealistic view of what a good tenant is IMHO...
Good manners, paying rent on time and looking after the property should certainly make any tenant a good tenant.
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19-05-2020, 11:37   #8
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Cool. Any advice on how to negotiate a rent decrease?

Hopefully some realistic advice as I happen to know people who managed to negotiate a rent reduction.


They've all had a temporary loss of income due to covid (employer reduced wages by 10%). What they've managed to secure was a temporary reduction in rent to match their loss of income.


Now the key here is the nature of the reduction - temporary. Given how fluid the situation is it is unlikely that any landlord will accept a permanent reduction. You'll just have to wait it out, which is what everyone seems to be doing.
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19-05-2020, 11:38   #9
KiKi III
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What is a good tenant then? A tenant that refurbishes the apartment and doesn't charge the landlord? That pays above market rates or bids for a property?


Quite a unrealistic view of what a good tenant is IMHO...
Good manners, paying rent on time and looking after the property should certainly make any tenant a good tenant.
Yup, I’d have thought the fact that we’re there for a significant amount of time with no issues would count in our favour too.

And we don’t have a lot of dealings with the agency but we’re always polite when we do.

When we have made requests like asking for curtains because the place gets cold in winter, they were turned down and we didn’t make a big deal of it.
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19-05-2020, 11:51   #10
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You mention that you see properties for less than your one. Are they in the same location, ie same size, same apartment or house etc?
What is the condition of the others like?
Are there any available properties that are also 1750?
A drop of 10pc is quite high. I know I’d personally decline it but it depends on the situation. This drop might only be temporary and once the full lockdown is over. Rental prices might go back to normal - I know in my own case, one tenant wanted to leave and I offered them the place at 50pc for one month when we were peaking with covid and then it will be back to normal price, they were leaving so it was fine but in your case if you intend to stay on. Dropping the amount by 10pc could take 2 years or more to get it back up to that level.
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19-05-2020, 11:55   #11
Ray Palmer
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Originally Posted by GocRh View Post
What is a good tenant then? A tenant that refurbishes the apartment and doesn't charge the landlord? That pays above market rates or bids for a property?


Quite a unrealistic view of what a good tenant is IMHO...
Good manners, paying rent on time and looking after the property should certainly make any tenant a good tenant.
You just described the basic obligations. That does not make you good nor bad. The same way a good landlord is not simply somebody who does what they are meant but goes above and beyond the basics.

It is very simple view and if you judge a minimum as good you must make a great employee.

OP
I told you how to negotiate, give notice. Are you sure the abundant rentals are not short term leases?
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19-05-2020, 12:05   #12
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Cool. Any advice on how to negotiate a rent decrease?
The first rule of negotiation is to know where you draw the line, and not to make empty threats.

You've already said you don't actually want to move. Obviously the agency doesn't know this, but it puts you on the back foot immediately. So you're not really "negotiating", just "requesting".

I think all you can say is "we've been here 6 years, have never given any trouble. We have been impacted by the current situation, and would like to request a reduction in rent to €1,600 a month, which is still higher than other similar properties in the area."
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19-05-2020, 12:05   #13
KiKi III
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You mention that you see properties for less than your one. Are they in the same location, ie same size, same apartment or house etc?
What is the condition of the others like?
Are there any available properties that are also 1750?
A drop of 10pc is quite high. I know I’d personally decline it but it depends on the situation. This drop might only be temporary and once the full lockdown is over. Rental prices might go back to normal - I know in my own case, one tenant wanted to leave and I offered them the place at 50pc for one month when we were peaking with covid and then it will be back to normal price, they were leaving so it was fine but in your case if you intend to stay on. Dropping the amount by 10pc could take 2 years or more to get it back up to that level.
The places I’m comparing to are within 500-600m of where I live now and also two bedrooms of similar size. Ours might be slightly more recently done up.

There are some that are still being advertised at €1750+ (this is Dublin 6 after all) but I think the agency would find it hard to get it for ours as it’s a small place. They are basically two single rooms that they have shoehorned double beds into.

We paid 50% of our rent last month as we were both on the Covid payment but that is to be paid back.

I doubt the rent prices will go back to normal. There’s a huge amount of International students in the area who most likely won’t be back this year, plus the increases supply from Airbnb lets now on the market.

Rent is due on the 6th so I’ll take another look on daft 10 days or so before it’s due and see if the situation has changed further.

If most properties now being advertised are in the €1400-€1500 range that’s what we’ll ask for but will agree to €1600.
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19-05-2020, 12:07   #14
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Originally Posted by GocRh View Post
Hopefully some realistic advice as I happen to know people who managed to negotiate a rent reduction.


They've all had a temporary loss of income due to covid (employer reduced wages by 10%). What they've managed to secure was a temporary reduction in rent to match their loss of income.


Now the key here is the nature of the reduction - temporary. Given how fluid the situation is it is unlikely that any landlord will accept a permanent reduction. You'll just have to wait it out, which is what everyone seems to be doing.
The key here is the nature of the market. The landlord undoubtedly raised the rent because “supply and demand indicated that that’s what the market rate for the property is”. It didn’t matter if the OP’s salary increased to meet the market demand.

Therefore now the OP is in the driving seat. What they need to decide before they do anything is whether they are willing to take action if they don’t get an decrease? If not, then all they can do is ask. If they are, then they can negotiate the same as any job offer.

I’d say start by showing them comparable properties in the area. Even better if you have viewed and been accepted to any. Don’t mention salary or pay cuts. Just talk about the market. The increase in rentals properties available. The decrease in rent prices. And then, if you don’t get a reduction, you move.
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19-05-2020, 18:50   #15
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The places I’m comparing to are within 500-600m of where I live now and also two bedrooms of similar size. Ours might be slightly more recently done up.

There are some that are still being advertised at €1750+ (this is Dublin 6 after all) but I think the agency would find it hard to get it for ours as it’s a small place. They are basically two single rooms that they have shoehorned double beds into.

We paid 50% of our rent last month as we were both on the Covid payment but that is to be paid back.

I doubt the rent prices will go back to normal. There’s a huge amount of International students in the area who most likely won’t be back this year, plus the increases supply from Airbnb lets now on the market.

Rent is due on the 6th so I’ll take another look on daft 10 days or so before it’s due and see if the situation has changed further.

If most properties now being advertised are in the €1400-€1500 range that’s what we’ll ask for but will agree to €1600.
Personally based on tHe info you have provided so far. I probably wouldn’t give you any reduction for a few reasons.
1)Once you decrease rent. It takes much longer to increase rent.
2)the extra influx of Airbnb will end soon as there are only so many that will change to standard rentals and most of them have already done this
3)if the lockdown continues as per the phases the government have setup. Most industries will
Be back to semi normal in 1-2months
4)the fact they have already granted you 50pc payment and now you are back for more so soon would annoy me personally and at that point I’d probably just say to myself “I’d prefer if you were out. I’d keep the 50pc from your deposit to get my money back quicker and get in a full paying tenant again”
5)movement of people has slowed down and come to a standstill due to covid but as things open up, people will go back to normal and demand has still not decreased.
6) I do see house purchase prices decreasing but at the end of the day people still need to live somewhere so demand for rents will remain as is in my opinion.

You can ask if you want as you don’t have much to loose. Personally I would remember it and wouldn’t give much leaway in the future considering you already got 50pc rent payment.
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