How Tenants Can Negotiate For Rent Relief
COVID-19 has taken a huge financial toll on tenants’ businesses, and many are in a position where they must negotiate rent relief with their landlord.
This process shouldn’t be taken lightly, but there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to come to an outcome that is suitable for both parties.
Throughout the entire process, make sure you’re patient and work through any road bumps along the way.
By treating this as a business partnership and working together to achieve your goals, it also shows you are considering your landlord or property manager’s circumstance and will ultimately strengthen your relationship with them.
More specifically, there are seven key principles you should be adopting in your rent relief negotiations, which will go a long way to ensuring the best possible result.
Show respect for your landlord or property manager. Landlords and property managers have their own responsibilities and struggles during these difficult times too, so avoid assuming that they may be in a better position than you are.
Uphold frequent and open communication with your landlord or property manager. Initially aim to schedule a meeting face-to-face, through a phone call or video conferencing app such as Zoom. You should be allowing sufficient time to negotiate and plan regular meetings as necessary.
When you are negotiating and communicating, don’t let your emotions interfere. Maintaining positive communication without bombarding your landlord or property manager with feelings of frustration or anger can make a huge difference in the outcome of your rent negotiations and future relationship.
If a tenant representative is negotiating on your behalf, still endeavour to engage in discussions as much as possible.
Immediately make it clear you are wanting to work with the other party, and not against them. Your landlord could also be experiencing financial duress and you should endeavour to negotiate solutions which are beneficial for all.
First, respectfully outline what you require from the negotiations and what rent relief you need. Try to remain flexible where you can, and be open to consider any reasonable alternative solutions they may present depending on the financial circumstances of your landlord.
Also make sure to fully understand what your landlord and property manager requires to satisfy their needs.
This will enable both you and your landlord to agree and negotiate a happy medium that works for all. Remember, this process is all about working together through this difficult period of time.
Once you’ve settled on any rent relief measures, ensure you establish defined timelines to avoid misunderstandings in the future.
What can you give back?
Offer to assist your landlord or property manager with any relief measures they may be seeking. This could include financial or statutory relief.
If you can’t provide any assistance with relief measures, instead offer something in return for any request or relief you are seeking. This could be an offer to extend your lease, renew your lease or commit to your next lease extension early.
Remember, there are times when you have to give a little to get a little!
Documentation is a very important step that will help you out in the future. Ensure everything you discuss and agree to is put in writing with the approval or signatures of both parties. This will help you to avoid confusion or unnecessary disputes in the future.
If a tenant representative is negotiating on your behalf, make sure you have them explain to you exactly what has been agreed so that you completely understand the conditions and are accepting of these.
Honour all other aspects of your lease
Most importantly, continue to honour all other aspects of your current lease. Your landlord or property manager will be encouraged to compromise and negotiate with you if you show you’re a reliable and committed tenant.
Don't go it alone
We know that negotiating can be daunting, especially if you’re not comfortable with face-to-face negotiations or don’t fully understand the process and what’s fair.
A tenant representative takes care of the documentation, the market insights and negotiations, so you can rest assured you will achieve the best possible outcome and secure the rent relief you need.
Contact us to discuss your needs. No obligations.
Ben Heritage Managing Director, Broadway Property
Ryan Stewart, Director, Broadway Property