1 in 10 UK tenants haggle rents down £490
Blistering competition for private rented accommodation hasn’t deterred savvy tenants from successfully haggling down advertised rents, resulting in a collective annual saving of £15.1million, or £490 per person per year, according to flat and house share website SpareRoom.co.uk.
Almost a quarter (24%) of those who got their rent knocked down saved £51-£100 per month, while more than four in ten (42%) saved £26-£50 per month.
The majority of respondents (43%) said they got a rent reduction by haggling with the agent or landlord, while a quarter (25%) simply offered a lower price and refused to budge. Almost one in ten (9%) said being flexible on their move in date helped their cause, while 8% offered to show evidence they were the perfect tenants, such as glowing employer and landlord references.
However, due to immense pressure on the UK rental market, nine in ten (90%) UK landlords receive the asking price, or more, for their properties. One in ten (10%) tenants told SpareRoom they are forking out an average £47.51 per month above the advertised price for their current accommodation.
Almost half (45%) of those who ended up paying more than the asking price said it was because the landlord hiked the rent up after the ad was posted. Almost four in ten (39%) are paying £26-£50 more, while almost a fifth (18%) pay £51-£100 more.
In London, where as many as 13 people are now searching for every room available in the busiest areas, 13% of tenants are paying above the advertised price. Demand for rooms in London has exploded in the past two years and average room rents have hit £689 per month, up 6.5% (from £647) in two years.
A separate poll conducted by SpareRoom found that a surprising 78% of landlords would consider lowering their rent for the right tenant.
Almost four in 10 (39%) UK renters say location is the most important factor when it comes to choosing a place to live, while more than a fifth (22%) are more concerned about the standard of the property.
By contrast, almost a fifth (18%) say it’s the housemates they care most about. Only 14% say that price is their primary concern.
Matt Hutchinson, director of SpareRoom.co.uk, comments: “In spite of enormous demand for private rented accommodation, especially in the capital, there can be wiggle room to go in with a lower offer. It helps if you’re in no rush to move, but not everyone has that luxury.
“Start by researching average room rents in the area, which you can do on SpareRoom, so you’re armed with the facts before you start haggling. Next, think about what you can do to stand out as a great tenant. Being flexible on the move in date, mentioning that you plan to stay long term and providing excellent references to show you’re a reliable and house-proud tenant can all help.
“Opting for a place with a private landlord in charge means both parties can avoid agents’ fees. That means landlords might be more open to negotiation, particularly with a potential tenant they get on well with.”