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Tips to Saving on Rent

In some US metros, almost 40% of the median income is paid each month to rent. In Denver, rental rates are rising as the demand grows and supply falls short. Luckily, if you are moving to Denver we have a few tips for you on how you can save on rent.

Ask for a discount. Ask your landlord or property manager if they’d be willing to give you a 5 percent discount in exchange for paying a few months of rent upfront. Emphasize two points: First, they could probably earn more than 5 percent if they invest that money (or used it to pay off their investor loans). Therefore, they’ll financially benefit from having the money upfront. Second, remind them that this reduces their workload. They don’t need to hunt you down, ask for the check, and track whether or not the payment cleared. Your upfront payment will reduce their management headaches.

Try to get an extended lease and negotiate lower monthly rent. The goal of a landlord is to have a tenant in their property. By locking in a longer lease, you are giving them time off from worrying about searching for a new tenant. Ask for a discount in exchange for a longer lease term, such as a two-year or three-year lease. Vacancy is expensive. Every month your unit sits empty is a month that they’re forgoing rental income. By signing a longer lease, you’re protecting your landlord from that vacancy. Turnover is a hassle. Your landlord needs to conduct a move-out inspection, post advertisements, answer calls and emails, host showings, meet the new tenant for a lease signing and move-in walk-through … these tasks demand their precious time. And time is money. By signing a longer lease, you’re reducing their workload.

Get a roommate. You might have dreams of living solo, but having a roommate can seriously cut down on living expenses. What if you live in a one-bedroom or studio apartment? When your lease term expires, look at moving into a two-bedroom that you share with a roommate. Your personal portion of the rent will likely be lower. Paying for half of a two-bedroom unit is usually cheaper than paying for a single one-bedroom, because the “overhead” (the kitchen, the living room) is consolidated.

Use less energy. Even if your rental rate won’t budge, you can lower expenses by consuming less energy at home. Add weather-stripping around your doors and windows. (This only costs a couple dollars at the hardware store, and it can make a massive difference in your utility bill.) Buy a “window insulation kit” (sometimes called “insulation film” or “window shrink wrap.”) This adds another layer of insulation to the windows throughout the winter months, lowering your heating bills. Take shorter showers, do laundry in cold water. There’s a lot of little tricks you can use to save on energy expenses.