To ask for a reduction in rent? Or is that really cheeky?

(31 Posts)
TheElephantIsADaintyBird Wed 20-Feb-13 08:21:02

We're renting a 3 bed detached house in the north, currently paying £750 a month. We've been here nearly a year now and they've asked if we want to carry on for another year, would it be really cheeky to ask to put rent down to £725 a month?
No idea what the etiquette on stuff like this is!

Sugarice Wed 20-Feb-13 08:22:54

I'm not a Landlord but would be prepared to say no if I was.

I think it is cheeky.

CSIJanner Wed 20-Feb-13 08:23:24

IME, unless you sign a long term lease (I had to sign for at least 2 years) then it's more likely for the rent to be reevaluated and go up. Can you afford more? The real questions is do you you want to rock the boat if you're settled?

HecateWhoopass Wed 20-Feb-13 08:23:33

You can ask, but why would they? What's in it for them? That's not me being a cow grin just realistic.

What are similar properties going for? Is there a shortage of rental housing? Are they likely to do it or to respond by saying they'd rather find someone else to rent it?

SavoyCabbage Wed 20-Feb-13 08:26:15

Usually ll put the rent up a little each year.

whois Wed 20-Feb-13 08:27:19

It is expensive to find new tenants and risky, if you have already shown yourself to be impeccable (not hassling the LL, keeping the house as you would your own, paying on time always, clean and tidy) then it is worth asking.

That's from the perspective of someone who rents out a house.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 20-Feb-13 08:29:52

Are similar properties avaliable at the lower rent? If they are then it is reasonable to approach the landlord and explain that you could move and reduce your rent to that amount, however, you really love the property and would stay if he would consider lowering the rent.
If the climate has genuinely changed around you and rents have dropped the landlord should know this and realise that by not dropping the rent for you he will incur costs finding a new tenant and then be renting at the lower level.
If, however, rents have gone up in your area you may find him calling your bluff because he feels he could get more rent if there were different tenants.
Only you know your own area and what rents are doing there.

Shakey1500 Wed 20-Feb-13 08:29:57

I'm a landlord and would absolutely consider it and not find it cheeky to be asked.

Hecate Regarding the what's in in for a landlord it would be to continue to have a tenant who looks after the property, is reliable in paying, trustworthy etc. Better the devil you know and all that jazz smile

TheElephantIsADaintyBird Wed 20-Feb-13 08:30:31

Well what's in it for them is someone renting their house for another year! Other houses for rent are going for around £700 PCM or less, depending on the area. The 4 bed ones are going for £800 shock

I think it would take them quite a while to find someone else.

How would you go about asking without offending them? We go through the estate agents to pass any messages on, not actually allowed to speak to the LL confused

feetheart Wed 20-Feb-13 08:30:51

What is the local going rate for your type of house? Are things static, going up, going down? Could you get something much better for the same rent?

I am a landlord and in our area rental prices have been pretty static for a few years. I have had the same tenants for 4 yrs and the rent is the same as when they moved in.

I would be a bit surprised to be asked to lower the rent but would look at local rental prices and the tenants' basis for wanting it lowered and base my decision on that.

TheElephantIsADaintyBird Wed 20-Feb-13 08:35:28

Oh well I don't really know if they're staying static, how would I find that out? I remember when we were looking for somewhere to rent that this house had been available for at least 4 months, no idea if it had been any longer than that though.

MoreBeta Wed 20-Feb-13 08:35:45

First things first.

I assume you are on a an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement in England.

Look at this Shelter link that explains the law.

At the end of your 1 year fixed term you do not need to sign a new agreement or agree a price rise. If you and the landlord do nothing and no one gives notice all that happens is you go on to a rolling Periodic Tenancy.

No new agreement is required.

If the landlord wants to raise your rent he has to give you notice and if you dont agree he then has to give you formal notice to quit with the specified two months minimum period.

I suggest that if you woudl be happy to move out and take the risk of being given notice to quit then just tell the landlord you are prepared to stay on with a Periodic Tenancy at the end of the current period at the old £750 rent. That puts the decision in the landlords court. In the current environment he would be a fool to tell you to leave.

HecateWhoopass Wed 20-Feb-13 08:36:13

If they're currently charging you more than the going rate for a 3 bed detached then you're in a stronger position.

Print out as many examples you can of 3 bed detached properties in as good an area, similar garden etc and demonstrate that you are paying too much.

If they see that they won't get the same amount of money even if they do go through the hassle of getting new tenants, then they might just say ok.

If you aren't allowed to speak to the ll then what's in it for the estate agent to actually pass on your message? How do you know they won't claim to ask, just say no and never actually say anything to the landlord?

BeechAvenue Wed 20-Feb-13 08:39:18

We rent out a house and would be absolutely fine with you asking. Good tenants who want to stay are a great thing.

calypso2008 Wed 20-Feb-13 08:39:58

Not cheeky at all and I would ask.

If the house is left unoccupied even for a few weeks, there is the shortfall instantly. You are relieable tenants and there is everything to be said for that (speaking as someone who both rents out and rents a property!)

I live in Spain, so slightly different, but totally the norm here to ask for a reduction after a year. In fact - my rent has just been reduced.

Personally I would go for 700. I don't see why offence would be taken - they can always say no.

Put it in writing and ask for it to be passed on. Clearly the estate agent is getting comission on thsi which might cause a problem.

feetheart Wed 20-Feb-13 08:40:51

If you are going via an agent be prepared to be thwarted before you even get to the landlord as an agent's fee is based on the rental value.

If you do get through just put it clearly and concisely. Be positive about the house and how you want to stay there but point out lower rents for similar properties locally.

Good luck with the devil's spawn agent smile

StuckOnARollercoaster Wed 20-Feb-13 08:46:06

Given your latest comment I'd say its worth a try.
(As a landlord I've not yet had that situation - what I have had is rising rentals in the area and I've always left the rent the same to keep good tenants)
I would give your estate agents a call and talk to them - particularly if they have similar rental properties available at the lower rates. Ask them to pass on a message to the landlord.

TheElephantIsADaintyBird Wed 20-Feb-13 08:49:54

So is a rolling periodic tenancy better than a fixed one? Sorry I'm a bit dim on stuff like this!

cashmere Wed 20-Feb-13 08:55:58

I'd ask for £700, for a decent saving and so a compromise is possible.

Knocking off £25 a month only saves you £300 per year which would be swallowed up in agents fees/van rental if you moved anyway.
£50 a month less is £600 a year so still less than a months lost rent if you did move out.

That said my landlord refused an offer of £50 less rent per month before we moved in....poss a mistake got them as the property was then empty for 3 months losing them £1800- we'll have to stay for 3 years paying the extra £50 for them to recoup this loss. I wonder if they regret it or were just focused on getting the full amount/ what their house was 'worth'

LessMissAbs Wed 20-Feb-13 09:23:47

It depends on how easy or hard it is to find properties for rent in your area. Personally I wouldn't risk pissing off my landlord for £25 a month.

I have rental properties and can find tenants very easily. However one runs at a loss and one at a small profit, offset for tax reasons by the loss on the other, once the mortgage payments are made. I don't think I am unusual. I don't expect to make worthwhile profits from them until I retire and the mortgages are paid off. Hence I would rather have the property temporarily empty than deal with an awkward tenant, or one who asked for a rent reduction for no good reason. More losses for me means less likely I have to pay any tax on the small profit, and I've figured loss into my finances anyway in that large repair bills may be quite likely.

I do the tenant finding and agency myself and draw up the lease so it only costs me time to put new tenants in. I also have to deal with inflation, and tenants asking for rent reductions just annoys me.

btw it also writing into the lease, or at least a formal letter setting out the amendment to the rent, referring to the lease.

As a LL I would say ask and you never know the answer. If a tenant was really good and the rent was not under market value to start with then I probably would agree.......however, if the rental market was booming then I would tell them to take a hike.

Just ask, you have nothing to lose smile

beamme Wed 20-Feb-13 10:12:04

Have you made any improvements to the house? I'm a LL and reduced my tenants rent for 6 months as they redecorated. They bought all the materials themselves and did the work.

ErikNorseman Wed 20-Feb-13 10:21:53

I can't imagine this as I live in the south where rents are constantly going up. However after the first year in my house the agents proposed a rent increase, I wrote to the LLs c/o agents requesting the rent stay the same, citing rise in living costs and lack of pay rise. They agreed and have kept the rent the same for 3 years now. My house is now £50-100 below market rate but my LLs are lovely and value me as a tenant.

EllieArroway Wed 20-Feb-13 10:27:41

So is a rolling periodic tenancy better than a fixed one? Sorry I'm a bit dim on stuff like this!

Not necessarily - it depends how secure you want to feel. If you sign another contract then you are guaranteed the right to live there for 12 months (or however long the contract is) no matter what happens. If it lapses into a periodic tenancy then you can be given notice to quit at any time.

If you're 100% sure you want another 12 months, sign the contract. It offers a security that a SPT does not.

RedHelenB Wed 20-Feb-13 10:32:47

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush so I would definitely ask. What would you do if they said no out of interest?

PootlePosyPerkin Wed 20-Feb-13 10:45:31

It would definitely depend on the situation of the rental market where you live. From what you describe (similar properties for less, significantly bigger ones for little more, house having been empty for at least 4 months previously etc.) it might be worth the gamble. Here though, decent rental properties are scarce and are often taken before a board even goes up. It's usual for rents to increase annually (hardly anyone gets more than a 6 month tenancy agreement at a time), and I think it would take a major change in the state of the market/available stock for tenants to be in a strong enough position to ask for a reduction.

Mind you, as Landlords can afford to be very picky about who they let their houses to here they can generally find another tenant with a squeaky clean credit record, ample income, references etc. etc. waiting to move in.

TheElephantIsADaintyBird Wed 20-Feb-13 11:13:25

Well I've asked the agent, will wait and see what the LL says. I think we would stay here anyway even if they didn't reduce the rent, although may be tempted to go on to a RPC until we have available funds to move elsewhere.
We haven't made any changes to the house as they said they don't want anything changing. Shame cos the house is soo bland, every room is a varying shade of cream.

I hope we don't piss them off, hopefully they will see we just want to save money where we can.

holidaysarenice Wed 20-Feb-13 15:39:44

from a ll point of view I would say, 25 a month x 12 months = 300 pounds = no rent for two weeks.

Wud it be empty longer if u moved/would I have work to do.

Ultimately it wud depend on, if ur a fab tenant, but if ur just ok sod off. Had my bills gone up, eg insurance, how easilyt rented, agents fees, hassle, setting a standard to ask every year etc. How reasonable ur rent is now, compared to other properties too.

Bear in mind they may say no, and ask you to leave. You can ask there is no harm. Maybe even mention something u have improved, or say you wud like to repaint/tidy (something that you plan anywayt, and wud help the ll too - mutually beneficial)

MoreBeta Wed 20-Feb-13 23:16:00

TheElephant - agents always try and push up rents and always try and push you into signing a new contract. It is a scam and that is why so many agents push you into signing a series of 6 month contracts, they get more fees. They get a fee every time a new contract is signed - if you just go to a rolling periodic tenancy they get no fee.

Many LL simply have no idea they can just roll a contract on and agents take a fee off them too. Money for old rope and most LL would be happy with a tenant that just stays on and pays the rent.

BallyGoBackwards Wed 20-Feb-13 23:21:08

We renewed our tenancy last july. We had moved in on a six month contract and only expected to stay that long however loved the area etc. Spoke to the landlady and she reduced it by 75 pound per month.

We are also rent out a house and if we were asked to reduce it we wouldnt as the monthly rent is reasonable and we know they wouldnt get better in the area.

TheElephantIsADaintyBird Thu 21-Feb-13 07:58:21

Thanks for all your advice! They're thinking about it and will get back to me tomorrow. If I could actually meet them and deal and get to know them a bit then I'd be tempted to just go on a rolling tenancy, we did that with our last landlords cos they were lovely. Hard to put trust in someone you've never met though!

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