How to haggle your rent down

Three steps to negotiating a rental reduction

1 Feel the force
Remember that today is a tenant’s market. You have the power – landlords are eager to maintain good occupancy rates and keep hold of their income.

2 It’s all about the economics
According to legal experts, it is this convenient economic situation that should be relied upon to negotiate rent down or to arrange to pay with more cheques, rather than turning to the law. Nick Turner, partner at Dubai-based law firm Herbert Smith LLP, advises that tenants put commercial pressure on landlords, rather than legal, threatening to move if they refuse to negotiate. ‘That’s the best weapon. Historically, if you moved, landlords could just get a new tenant. Now, tenants have more choice, so are in a much better negotiation position.’

3 Set up a meeting
Legal firm Davidson and Co’s head of corporate services, Alex Watson, stresses the importance of face-to-face negotiation. ‘There is nothing specifically in the law that the tenant can rely on to force the landlord to reduce the rent,’ he says. ‘The key here is communication. Tenants should concentrate on providing credible evidence of the rents in their area, and present a business case for reducing their rent. Landlords are realising that retaining a tenant at a reasonable rent is better than scrambling around for a new one.’

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