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Negotiating can help you minimize rental costs

If you have decided to rent a property, you know that a strong economy and fewer homes on the market mean that demand is high and supply is low. That means it's more likely you will face rent increases in the near future.

Fortunately, there are some ways you can protect yourself and keep your rent at the same rate you want.

1. Sign a multi-year lease

One good option is to sign a multi-year lease. By signing on for a longer term, the landlord may be willing to cut you a deal, helping you avoid a rent increase over the next few years. For example, if you know your plan is to stay for at least three years, then sign a three-year lease and lock in the same rental rate for the entire term.

2. Negotiate concessions

If you want your rent to stay low but don't care as much about performing some property maintenance, such as maintaining the landscaping or paying an extra utility bill, see if you can keep the rental rate the same while taking over a property maintenance task or expense. This would save your landlord on expenses and keep your base rental rate lower.

3. Refer others to the landlord's properties

If you can make a habit of being a good tenant and referring others to the landlord, they be more likely to work with you as a resource instead of just as a tenant. This keeps them keen on keeping you around.

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