5 Options When Your Rent is “Too Damn High”


Although the 2010 New York gubernatorial race is over, some of us may still be experiencing rent that’s simply “too damn high.” Since Jimmy McMillan and his promise to allow New Yorkers to “marry a shoe,” are a distant memory, our pocketbooks are probably still bleeding. So with the rent still at astronomical levels I thought I’d share with you 5 options when your rent is “too damn high.”

1. Get a Roommate

You can cut your rent in half, literally, if you get a roommate. Since a three bedroom apartment is usually less than three times as much as a one bedroom apartment you’ll benefit from living together. Although you may not like living with another person, desperate times call for desperate measures. Just make sure they’re able to afford their half of the rent.

2. Negotiate With the Landlord

If you’ve been a good tenant for a long time or if you’re just meeting the landlord for the first time you’ve got bargaining power. If you’re a great tenant it’s going to cost them if you leave. They’ll have to flip the apartment, advertise for rents, and deal with the possibility of lost rent. If you mention that you’re considering another place because your rent is “too damn high” your landlord might be willing to negotiate your rent. Likewise when you’re looking to rent play hard to get and negotiate on the rent. Perhaps the landlord will be willing to throw in utilities if you mention that the comparable place down the street is doing the same.

3. Move to a Different City/Country

This is a pretty extreme route to go if you’re just looking to decrease your rent, but it definitely works. Although rent may be “too damn high” in New York City, I’m sure the rent is a lot cheaper in Kansas. Granted you won’t have the luxuries of a bustling city, but you’ll get a lot more space for a lot less money. Also consider that you could live in a different country, say Thailand, for significantly less. You might even get a view of the ocean.

4. Downsize Your Place

Get a smaller place! Your place may just be “too damn big.” Are you using every room in your place? Could you live with less space? Are you even at your place all that often? If you’re not using your place all that much anyways, consider trading down.

5. Offer Your Services

If you live in a small apartment community, or rent somewhere where the landlord could use some help offer your services. Jump on craigslist and under the real estate section there could be opportunities for you to be a live in manager for a small apartment building. Usually this involves renting some units on the weekend and perhaps doing some light maintenance. Landlords will usually deduct from rent or even pay you a little extra if you help them manage the property.

**Update – Special thanks to Natalie who added her ideas of:
“living in a co-op (like I do, for only $297 a month) or moving into an intentional community.”

How do you combat your rent being “too damn high?”

Image from tensafefrogs