Exclusive 'Sherpa' hacks - from our in-house tenant concierge, Octavian.
Found your dream property and eager to sign that tenancy agreement? Make sure you get the best deal and don't leave any money on the table.
Tip #1: Keep your cool
Even if you are standing in virtually the best property on the planet that fits your budget, never show how excited you are about the prospects of living there. Don’t get pushed into making an emotionally-driven decision. (Yes, this is speaking from actual experience!) Remember, even the best property is not 100% suited to your requirements, simply because you did not get it built yourself.
Tip #2: Be well informed about the property
The more informed you are on the property, the better equipped you are to negotiate a fair tenancy agreement and a good rent. Information that could be helpful for you to frame your offer include:
- Property vacancy: For how long has the property been on the market? If it has been on the market for long, the landlord may be more willing to accept a lower rent than the asking rate.
- Size of landlord’s property portfolio: Does the landlord own multiple properties or just a single property? If he just owns a single property, the he / she may be dependent on the rental income to pay for the mortgage, whereas a larger landlord may think of his overall portfolio income first, which can make him more flexible on tenancy terms like monthly rent, break clause, minor improvements to the property, etc.
- General condition of the property: Any factors that may give you some space to negotiate a discount on the asking rent? For example, is the furniture worn down? Are there minor repair works that would ideally be needed but that you are willing to do without? In these cases, you may be able to negotiate a discount on the asking rent on the basis that the landlord will not need to spend money on getting things fixed before you move in.
- Comparative rental information: we recommend that you do some research to find out the asking rent on comparative properties in the area, as well as the rent the current tenants of the property are paying. You can also do a general Internet search (on sites like Zoopla, MousePrice) to find out if this property has been listed there by other agents for a lower price, or to find out previous rents for this property.
Tip #3: Get out of the "scarcity mindset"
The most critical aspect that will help you negotiate well is to have 2 or 3 good alternative properties on your shortlist. These properties should be within your budget, provide similar quality living space (location, area etc.) and be available for similar terms (duration of lease, etc.).
This will put you in a position where you can afford to ‘let go’ of a property and not feel pressurised to accept terms that may not reflect the market value of the rental property or not present a balanced deal.
It’s also helpful to plan your search so you have sufficient time to find the right property before needing to move out of your current accommodation. The general recommendation is to start searching within 4 to 6 weeks before your moving date.
So when you get a copy of the tenancy agreement, make sure you fully understand the terms that are outlined. This will include the agreed rent, notice period, break clause, etc. For more details, please see our detailed blog article Tenants’ Rights, Responsibilities & Tenancy Agreement.
And don’t forget... you will not get a lower rent or better terms unless you ask for it!
If ever in doubt on the tenancy agreement, make sure to consult a specialist. Our professional Sherpas are also very well-versed in these matters and can support you throughout the negotiation and tenancy agreement discussion process.
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