How to ask your landlord for a rent reduction

If you’re paying the same rent as you were 12 months ago, you might be spending too much.

Back yourself up

The best way to ask for a rent reduction is to provide evidence. Send your landlord/property manager an email with links to other comparable properties in the area. This will move you away from looking like a whinging tenant, but someone with market evidence ready to enter a negotiation.

Depending on your state’s property market, landlords and property managers may be in a position to compromise. If you don’t feel you’re getting the best possible deal, negotiate. But remember that not all markets are in freefall.

You might also like: 
– Applications: How long before I am approved for a property?
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– Can I apply for a rental without viewing it first?

Set up a meeting with your landlord/property manager

As a good, loyal tenant, you will be able to make a strong case for why your landlord or property manager should be willing to negotiate a lowered rental payment. Here are a few points to consider in your discussion:

  • Remind them that you’re a good tenant, that you pay your rent on time and don’t cause any trouble.
  • Tell them that you’re not necessarily looking to move out, but given the market has changed since you first entered your agreement, you’d like to discuss the terms.
  • Even if you’re working with an existing lease, falling rents and increased vacancy rates can give you leverage to ask for a better deal from your current landlord or property manager.

Your landlord or property manager will need to have in mind how tight the current rental market is. If vacancies are not filling quickly, then it could be worthwhile for them to negotiate with you. Reducing the rent can be a prickly subject, so be respectful in your approach and use data to back up your request.

When am I entitled to rent reduction?

Your lease agreement is a contract with your landlord or property manager. While this contract varies from state to state and lease to lease, most lease agreements contain an express clause regarding rent reductions in certain circumstances. So when are you entitled? Here are a few examples:

  • The rental is now uninhabitable – For reasons you did not agree to, you can no longer reside in the premises. If, for example, asbestos is discovered in the property, the structure will be rendered potentially dangerous and uninhabitable.
  • The rental is illegal – Your property might have been rezoned into a retail or commercial property.
  • The bank has foreclosed on your rental – If the property owner has not kept up their mortgage repayments, the bank can decide to foreclose on your property. What this means is that you’ll likely be subject to some prospective purchasers arriving to view the property.
  • Your rental has been destroyed – You can seek a reduction in your rent in circumstances that part or the whole of the premises have been destroyed due to flooding or fire.

If any of these circumstances apply to you, you should have the right to request a rent reduction, but you’ll need to make that request in writing with supportive photographs and evidence.

If in doubt, it’s always a good idea to notify the landlord or property manager right away if you need urgent repairs made at your rental property. But if issues aren’t resolved, you may have a good case to seek a rent reduction.

You might also like:
– When is a good time to negotiate a rent reduction?
– The pros and cons of month-to-month (periodic) agreements
– Writing a rent reduction letter

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  1. What if you can’t afford the rent anymore because of unemployment due to medical reasons and can’t afford to pay moving costs? I am living on $233 a fortnight. I can barely buy food, pay utilities and maintain my car, which I need. I have emphysema, arthritis, sciatica and scoliosis. All this stress has caused my anxiety to return.

    • Hi Lynn,
      Thanks for taking the time to write in. Sorry to hear about your current situation, that would be incredibly difficult. It may be worth checking out the Ask Izzy website to find a local service that can assist you. Ask Izzy helps people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless to find the services they need, right now and nearby. I hope this helps!

  2. Hey, I was wondering if we would be able to ask for reducing our rent, as we have a apartment coming just in front of our apartment and we can’t use the balcony anymore and all of our outdoor furniture is covered in dust from the construction and digging. There is always high level of noise from all the drilling and different machine, this effects our sleep as both me and my partner are shift workers. We had sent a message, complaing to the rental agent and she got back to us saying she will have a meeting with the body corporate.

  3. hello,
    I want to ask my agent for a rent reduction and to sign a 2 year lease, currently they have me on a month to month with a $10 increase starting in April, I am a 5 star tenant, I love the house its just that I need to either move out, or have the rent reduced, would love some tips, on how to approach this.
    Many Thanks Cheers di

    • Hi Di,
      It’s always worth asking the question, but there could be a reason your agent has indicated a $10 increase is incoming. Your rental market conditions may have changed since you first signed the lease and the property’s value could have changed with it. You’re within your right to ask ‘Why’ and try to justify your reasoning for a reduction, but be prepared to be knocked back if there’s good reasoning. We do have an article on writing a rent reduction letter that you might find helpful too: Hope this helps!

  4. What happens with the current circumstances regarding corona virus and I get sick or my work changes and I can’t afford rent can they kick me out of my property

  5. Hello,

    I have recently been informed that the swimming pool, gym and function room facilities in my complex will be shut until further notice. Am i entitled to ask for a reduction in rent?

    I would be grateful for any advice!

  6. Hi, what’s the current guidance on asking for a rent reduction even though you are not financially affected by COVID 19? I have two months left on my 12 months agreement and currently paying $150 a week more than market average. Can I negotiate a rent reduction during a fixed lease?