Renegotiating Your Lease

Many leases on suites across the city end this month, prompting listings to rise for rental units. This is a great time for this to be happening because Calgary is currently in a buyer’s market. This means that buyers (or renters, in this case) can be more selective since there is a lot on the market but not a lot of demand.

In this buyer’s market, renters have the upper hand. If you are renting and your lease ends soon, it is time to take a look at your lease and evaluate if you are happy with it remaining unchanged for another length of time. For those of you unhappy with the current agreement, now is your time to negotiate.

The first thing to consider before attempting a negotiation is that even though the market favours renters right now, there is still a level of risk in attempting to get more bang for your buck. While the wise landlord will take your request into consideration given the high vacancy rate, some may choose to cease renting to you.

Do your research. Go to showings and see what else is on the market for a similar price to what you are renting. Are the places much nicer and larger? You may be able to negotiate your rent down. Are the places smaller and dingier? You are likely already getting a good deal. Take into consideration the location, size, room number, quality of appliances, other tenants, etc. All these things affect why some similar places are priced differently.

If you come into your negotiation informed on the market conditions and what else is available it will be easier to make informed points. We would recommend you look through the Calgary Real Estate Board’s site (www.creb.com) for specific statistics and market trends. All this information can back you up and help you get a better deal!

Be reasonable. It does not matter what the situation is, you can’t go into your negotiation expecting something ridiculous. You also can’t go into it with arrogance or making any assumptions. Come at the meeting level-headed and informed. Chances are if you are kind about the situation, your landlord will at least consider giving you a better deal.

If all else fails, you don’t have to renew a lease! There is a lot on the market to choose from right now.

Best of luck!

Your Real Estate Professional,

Ken Richter

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