Many renters are under the impression that in order to lower their rent in Malaysia, they have to move to somewhere cheaper. This is because they think of their rent as a fixed cost – a set rate that’s not at all flexible.
For most renters, rent is the biggest expense in their monthly budget. You can keep trying to cut costs, be it with your groceries or utilities, but even relatively small savings in a hefty bill like rent add up over a year.
Don’t fall into that trap. What most renters do not know is that rental costs are negotiable, and there are several ways you can lower your rent in your current home.
When Is The Best Time To Negotiate Your Lease?
Regardless of how badly you want to lower your rent in Malaysia, timing is one of the most important factors in a successful negotiation.
Here are two of the best times to negotiate your rent:
- At the end of the month, when your landlord is looking for new tenants.
- When you know you can stay for an extended period. Many landlords are open to negotiations if they do not have to search for a new tenant in the next 12 months.
Negotiating your rent is easier if your lease is almost up and you’re looking to sign a new one because you’ve honoured your previous agreements and have more leverage. However, you can also try negotiating at any time.
Smart Tactics To Lower Your Rent In Malaysia
1. Be Honest With Your Landlord
An open and honest discussion can be challenging for some, especially when it is about one’s finances. However, it’s important to remember that empathy and understanding can go a long way.
Reach out and explain to your landlord about your current financial situation. Be clear and know what you want when you ask for a lease negotiation. While it is crucial to remember that there is no guarantee your landlord will lower your rent, being upfront, honest and reasonable definitely won’t hurt your chances.
2. Form A Good Relationship With Your Landlord
It might not be the first thing you think of when you move into a new property, but your relationship with your landlord can significantly impact your renting experience.
A good landlord knows it’s crucial for both parties to get what they want from the arrangement. They may be willing to negotiate a lower rent, especially if you are a good tenant, so that both parties are satisfied.
However, negotiations can only begin if you have a good understanding of who your landlord is. When you meet your landlord for the first time, ask questions to get to know them. By showing an interest in them, you are developing a positive relationship and a good foundation for a relationship that can last for many years.
Furthermore, establish early on how your landlord prefers to keep in touch. Find out the best way to reach them for general enquiries and emergencies and, in turn, communicate how you would like to be contacted.
READ MORE: How Does Room Renting Affect Credit Score in Malaysia?
3. Look Up Comparable Listings
One negotiation strategy is to show that you can easily get a better deal from a property nearby. Look at property listing websites to find the rental rate in your area and whether it’s dropping.
Being informed of comparable listings is essential when negotiating. This will not only give you an idea of how much you might be able to lower your rent, but it also sets the tone for the discussion.
Presenting definite research on rental prices to your landlord allows them to ascertain and appraise realistic rates of their property. You can also gather data about rental rates in your area by talking to other landlords or your neighbours.
4. Work for the Property Manager for Lower Rent
A property manager’s tasks are never-ending, so why not lend them a hand? Landlords are no different, as they usually have another unrelated full-time job.
If your property manager or landlord will not lower your rent, doing tasks like cleaning the yard around the property or showing empty units may earn you a nice rent reduction.
5. Get Lower Rent With Referral Fees
Ask your landlord or property manager whether they’re willing to pay referral fees for introducing new tenants to them. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Your landlord will be able to fill their vacant units faster and with qualified tenants referred to them from a trusted source. On the other hand, you as a tenant will get a lowered rent and live close to your friends.
READ MORE: Partially Furnished vs. Unfurnished: Basic House Furniture Checklist for Tenants
6. Highlight Your Strengths As A Tenant To Lower Your Rent
Lower turnover rates mean higher profits for landlords. You can show you’re financially stable by offering the landlord a few concessions, such as signing a longer lease, offering to pay early and paying rent in bulk.
You can also show your landlord how reliable and responsible you are as a tenant. For example, pay your rent on time, be polite to other tenants and keep the property in good shape. Make sure to highlight these points to your landlord, as it can give them an incentive to lower your rent.
7. Be Willing To Compromise For A Lower Rent
If you cannot afford the rent from your landlord, suggest a compromise amount that you can afford. For instance, if the rent is RM100 higher than you’d like, offer to pay RM50 instead. Back up your offer by mentioning your research findings and focusing on your stability as a tenant.
Renting With Rumah-i
Tightening your belt, especially when it comes to rent, isn’t always easy. However, whether you choose to stay in your current home or move, remember that lowering your rent in Malaysia is possible.
Rumah-i handles all aspects of your renting experience — from a smooth application process to housekeeping, moving, laundry services and more. Tenants looking for their dream home can download our Home Renting App, available on Google Play and the App Store.
If you’re a landlord and are looking for tenants, check out our rental management service to make renting hassle-free for you and your tenants.