There were over 10,247 evictions in the last week alone. Since the pandemic began, over 885,734 American families have been evicted. Of course, going through the eviction process isn’t something that landlords or tenants want to experience, but it’s necessary at times when disputes arise over nonpayment.
If you’re currently struggling to pay your back rent, then it’s important to understand your rights and options. It’s also valuable to learn how to negotiate a settlement with your landlord. After all, if you and your landlord can come to an alternate agreement, then the eviction proceedings will cease. If you’ve already been evicted, then it’s still good to come to an agreement to stop other collection efforts. Learn the 6 steps you should take to foster healthy landlord tenant negotiations below.
1. Recognize, Document, and Agree on What You Owe
Before you even begin to think about landlord tenant mediation, you want to be sure about what you owe. The best way to figure that out is to recognize and document the rent payments you missed out on. If your back rent has already gone to a collection agency, then you can get this exact figure from them.
You’ll also want to research different tips on how to pay off apartment debt. You’ll want to make an informed choice on the best way to settle your back rent and negotiating with your landlord isn’t your only option. If you’ve already mulled over your options and decided on negotiation, then move on to step two.
2. Write a Letter to Your Landlord
Next, write an official letter to your landlord that outlines the unsettled debt amount and your wishes to settle it. If you’re not sure what to put in this letter, then you can use our template to help you get started.
3. Provide an Offer
You don’t want to go into negotiations without having a plan. Come up with a good offer that you know you can meet. This might be a payment arrangement for a lesser amount, or it could involve specific payment amounts over a longer period. Know what you can pay and start with an offer that’s lower than that.
4. Hear Your Landlord’s Counteroffer
Next, you’ll want to see what your landlord says in response to your offer. If they give you a counteroffer, then you’ll want to consider that, too.
Once you and your landlord have made offers, it’s time to negotiate. This step can be difficult, and you or your landlord might hire legal representation to help. You may even decide to go through official mediation processes.
6. Put the Agreement in Writing and Make it Official
If you do come to an agreement with your landlord, then always get it in writing with both your signature and your landlords, too. It’s even better if you can get the document officially notarized.
Here are a few common FAQs and answers when it comes to negotiating with your landlord:
How Do I Ask my Landlord for a Negotiation?
You can ask your landlord to meet in person, via email, or even through a phone call to discuss potential negotiations. Your landlord might respond in-person, or they may have a legal representative reach out to you.
Can You Negotiate a Settlement With Your Landlord in Email?
Yes; you can negotiate a settlement through email. If you do, then just be sure to get your landlord to sign a written agreement, too.
How Do I Email My Landlord?
You can ask your landlord directly for their email address, or you might be able to find it on your landlord’s company website. Once you have their address, simply construct a letter on your email account and send it to your landlord’s email address.
Can You Negotiate Rent Price?
If you’ve never negotiated before, then you might wonder — can rent be negotiated? In a nutshell, the answer is always ‘yes’. Rent is not set in stone unless you’ve already signed a contract.
How to Negotiate a Settlement With Your Landlord Like a Pro
Now that you know how to negotiate a settlement with your landlord, it’s time to put this knowledge to work. Use the steps outlined above to help you get on better terms with your landlord and arrange a payment schedule that works for both parties.
Of course, negotiations don’t always work in your favor. You and your landlord might not be able to reach a fair agreement. Plus, you might simply not be in a position to offer your landlord what they really want, which is money. If that’s the case, then you may need to look at other options.
If you’re struggling with other debts as well as apartment debt, then you might be interested in speaking with one of our debt experts about your situation. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you find real debt relief.
Here’s an example of what that letter would look like:
This is your tenant, YOUR NAME, who currently resides at ADDRESS OR APARTMENT NUMBER. I’m writing this letter today to discuss the current rent situation and negotiate a lower rate with you.
According to our prior talks, we agreed that I currently owe $(THE AMOUNT YOU OWE) in rent payments. I have been a good tenant for you for the last LENGTH OF TIME. During that time, I have kept your property in top-shape, maintained consistent payments when possible, and remained a good neighbor to those in our community. I’d love to continue providing you with rent payments and remain in the property for the foreseeable future.
The current back due rent situation is discouraging for both of us, but I know that we can reach a solution that meets both of our needs.
First, I’d like to address why I owe $(THE AMOUNT YOU OWE). The reason I’ve fallen behind on rent is because LIST OUT YOUR PERSONAL SITUATION HERE. This explanation is meant to help foster understanding not to excuse my lack of payment. The good news is that my situation will change. LIST YOUR PLANS ON HOW YOU EXPECT TO CHANGE YOUR SITUATION. FOR EXAMPLE, EXPLAIN THAT YOU’RE JOB HUNTING OR YOU PLAN ON GETTING A BETTER JOB.
A reduction in the amount of back rent I owe would be a huge relief for my family, and it could be exactly what I need to get back on my feet. I would like to request a (INSERT AN AMOUNT HERE) reduction in the rent that I owe. IF YOU’D LIKE TO EXCHANGE SERVICES LIKE HOUSEWORK OR MAINTENANCE IN EXCHANGE FOR SOME OF THAT AMOUNT, THEN LIST THAT HERE.
If possible, then I’d also like to negotiate future rent payments as well. Considering the hefty expenses related to finding a new quality tenant, going through the application process, and getting the unit ready, it’s in your best interests to retain me as a tenant on your property. I think a fair new rate would be $(THE RATE YOU’D LIKE TO PAY) per month.
I enjoy living in this unit, so I’m open to further negotiation. I’m also willing to discuss other arrangements as well. I’m open to ideas. I am also open to moving to a new unit that’s less expensive if you’re not willing to engage in further talks about your rental property.
If you agree to this new rate and negotiated back payments, then please confirm the agreement in writing and send it to me via mail. If not, then please get in touch with me so that we can discuss this issue in more detail. Let me know your thoughts as soon as possible.
Gabriel Gorelik paves the way for customer service and operations at United Settlement. He is passionate about numbers and holds a strong belief in helping anyone with their debt. Before United Settlement, Gabriel received his BS in Finance & Economics from Brooklyn College. After graduation, Gabriel went on to build his first financial services company where he managed over 1,000 business clients. He understands the importance of client satisfaction, professionalism, and exceeding expectations.