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Rent Reduction. How to ask in Canberra?

By YeahBuddy - 25 November 2013 13

Afternoon all,

I have a question that I would like some Riot-Act input to …

I am currently renting a property in Canberra for lets say $570/ week. As many of you have commented, rents seem to be dropping and there isn’t a huge market at the moment. Due to this, a property that is directly behind my house is currently on the rental market and sitting vacant. Now I haven’t been inside this house, but from all appearances (and a quick allhomes.com.au check) it seems to be consistent with the house I am renting i.e. same number of bedrooms, baths, living space, block size etc.

This being said, the property behind me is being rented at $530/week. I know its only $40 a week, but over the term of a 12 month lease I could be saving around $2,000. The only properties in my suburb that are renting for what I currently pay are WAYYYY bigger and updated.

My question is, do I have any grounds to ask my landlords (who I really like, hence not wanting to actually move) for a reduction in rent? Or am I just being a tight a$$?

What’s Your opinion?


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13 Responses to
Rent Reduction. How to ask in Canberra?
Cyph 9:46 am 02 Dec 13

Ask and ye shall get. I did the same thing you did – compared my unit to other comparable units being rented out (same number of bedrooms, carpark spots etc) and found that other properties were on the market for $40-70 less than what we were paying. Sent email to agent, lease is about to run out etc etc, agent replies saying oh yeah, landlord is willing to offer no rental increase this year. I’m like whoopdee doo, thanks – but no thanks. Heres a couple of listings – what does landlord say now?

Landlord came back with a number, and I said… yeah… no. Long story short – I got rent reduction of $55 per week. The truth is, with the cost of marketing the property, even letting it sit vacant for one week will mean significant outlays for the landlord. Plus – lets face it – if the landlord still chooses to keep their price – theyre going to have buckleys in getting a new tenant to pay above market rates. Of course, the catch is, youll have to be prepared to call your bluff and move if they dont budge – but with high vacancies and a soft market like this – you’re much better off elsewhere anyway.

So the lesson is, if your rent renewals coming up and youre a good tenant that looks after the place well – ask for a reduction. Good luck! Lemme know how you went.

ThatGuy 11:46 am 26 Nov 13

sbugden said :

as a thank you i offered to sign on for 12 months and was told that wasn’t necessary.

Me smells a sale in the near future. It’s normally a bit of a warning sign if landlords/agents aren’t super keen to lock you in for another 12 months.

sbugden 11:31 am 26 Nov 13

I was paying 380.00 pw for a 2 bd unit in griffith i have been in the unit for 7 years, my landlord had always kept the price of the unit cheaper than identical units in the same complex due to the fact i am viewed as a long term tenant (same realestate for 15 years) i have always known and appreciated this but this year i decided to look at the market and noted that other units or similar ones were up to $35.00 pw cheaper. I sent realestate a letter asking for a drop of $20.00 pw they said we will check with the owner his reply was only $10.00. I knew i could do better so i responded with the questions -how much notice do i need to give to vacate and how much do I have lodged with the BOND board and also sent them the listings for 5 cheaper units in the complex and copied this to the real estate owner (who has known me for 15 yrs) they re approached the owner and he agreed to the $20.00 drop pw still on a month to month but as a thank you i offered to sign on for 12 months and was told that wasn’t necessary. Dont ask dont get.

zorro29 9:46 am 26 Nov 13

once the contract/lease term is up, ask for a review of the rent given the current market (and comps in the area)…they should be amendable to this if you’re a good tenant (and, for a landlord, having to re-lease is an issue esp if they know they won’t get that rent again…and even one week off the market is often the “loss” made of a whole year of rent reduction)

i definitely wouldn’t stay and pay too much…if they don’t agree, say you will move elsewhere and i am sure they will start changing their tune

enrique 8:16 am 26 Nov 13

Good on you for wanting to the do the right thing for yourself and the landlord. By the sounds of it you’re thinking things in the right way – i.e. professionally.

Given your starting point, I’d say if you had a conversation with them you could both come to some mutually beneficial agreement. Keep if courteous and don’t get offended if they initially say no – just work through it. Their initial reaction might be defensive (since you’re asking to take income away from them) but if you give them some time to think about it and then get into the negotiation it’s likely you’ll both understand each other’s point of view clearly.

Good luck.

thebrownstreak69 8:09 pm 25 Nov 13

I have always found that if you look after your tenants well you won’t get arguments about the rent.

JC 5:54 pm 25 Nov 13

The first question is are you currently on a fixed term or month by month? If fixed term then really you are locked into the current rate until the end of that term, then you can negotiate.

If you are on a month by month basis (which should be automatic at the end of your first fixed term) then you will find the lease advises how often there can be a rent review whereby you can negotiate a lower price. Clearly on a month by month basis your negotiating power is increased because you can always say you will leave. A tad harder on a fixed term.

goosepig 5:23 pm 25 Nov 13

The first thing my ex-landlord did when I gave them my notice to vacate was to call me and offer me a rent reduction they saw me as such a good tenant.

johnboy 3:36 pm 25 Nov 13

Personally I’d ask them to suggest a number they think is fair given the current market.

It appeals to their sense of still being the big man while giving you a better picture of the negotiating position.

Also in the current market they’ll likely be panicking about losing a tenant and facing months of vacancy.

arescarti42 3:34 pm 25 Nov 13

ThatGuy said :

If it’s a good situation (agreeable landlords, flexible, maintain the property, etc) then maybe that fact can offset the extra $$. Not having to deal with sh!tty landlords can sometimes be worth $40 a week.

I feel that the initial reaction to a price reduction request will be met with resistance. The landlord may figure that they’ll easily find someone else willing to pay that price. If you do ask them, make sure you point out the dipping market and have examples.

Although, not having to deal with a sh!tty tenant is definitely worth $40 a week. The landlords may only be too obliging if you’ve been a good tenant (pay rent on time, look after the place, etc). If you’ve been a crappy tenant then I wouldn’t even entertain the idea.

This basically.

Even if they don’t agree to the full $40/week reduction, they might counter your request with a smaller reduction (which is probably what I’d do if I were them). Surely it wouldn’t hurt to ask.

spleenville 3:29 pm 25 Nov 13

I would contact them in writing requesting a rent review. Provide examples within your neighbourhood (the one you already have is perfect, find a few more).

Some additional stats that may help your cause are that rental vacancy rates have increased across the territory from 2.8 per cent to 3.6 per cent (year to June – sorry that’s the latest from the Real Estate Institute).

Additionaly there are currently 2344 homes listed on allhomes for rent. The same time last year there were 2007 – so 337 more properties with many more new developments being completed between now and the end of the year, many of which will be put up for rent.

Finally the “rent” component of the CPI (for Canberra) fell in the September quarter for the first time since 1998.

Good luck and be nice! (…from a landlord who recently reduced his rent by 10 per cent)

thebrownstreak69 3:26 pm 25 Nov 13

You can always ask. Just be prepared to either negotiate your position, or be told ‘no’.

ThatGuy 2:57 pm 25 Nov 13

If it’s a good situation (agreeable landlords, flexible, maintain the property, etc) then maybe that fact can offset the extra $$. Not having to deal with sh!tty landlords can sometimes be worth $40 a week.

I feel that the initial reaction to a price reduction request will be met with resistance. The landlord may figure that they’ll easily find someone else willing to pay that price. If you do ask them, make sure you point out the dipping market and have examples.

Although, not having to deal with a sh!tty tenant is definitely worth $40 a week. The landlords may only be too obliging if you’ve been a good tenant (pay rent on time, look after the place, etc). If you’ve been a crappy tenant then I wouldn’t even entertain the idea.

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