How to cut your first month’s rent in half

Kardas Photography, Navy Pier panorama Chicago IL

We’ve previously alerted you to twenty-five things apartment rental services won’t tell you.

Now we’ll alert you to one they wish you’d never known: you can ask the rental services to rebate a part of their commission, which is typically a full month’s rent although some landlords pay only half a month’s rent as a commission.

If you’re spending $2,000 a month on rent and make use of a rental service, you’re paying $2,000 for your “free service.”

A few of the rental services – we call them bedbugs – offer a $100 rebate to renters. Most pocket the full commission while delivering a level of service for which we believe renters wildly overpay.

If you plan to work with a rental service, read anything you sign carefully before proceeding. Then, once you’ve settled on an apartment, and before you commit to it in writing, determine the most strategic moment at which to negotiate the level of rebate you think is appropriate to the level of service you’ve received.

My guess is that few $2,000 a month renters believe that they’ve received a service worth $2,000 from the apartment finders / locators, and that most would be happy to cut their first month’s rent in half – or more – by negotiating a rebate.

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