Bargaining Rent Prices - Limits

Hi all,

I've been looking at 1 bedroom rentals in Epping NSW and with some of the newer apartments the price can be as high as $530 (furnished), whereas for a run down old apartment it's $395. Just wanted to know how much you can bargain with rentals in general? I offered $450 (unfurnished) for the $530 (furnished) apartment since the average seems to be around that mark.

Also if it helps the 2 bed rooms in epping are around $600.

Just feel like $500+ in Epping is a rip off when you can use flatmates for a single bedroom in the city around 300-350. Any tips on what I should bid for when going for rentals, or is it even foolish asking for something less than the advertised price?


  • +2 votes

    The body corporate on the newer apartments is much higher than older apartments.
    If you want a cheaper place look elsewhere. Apartments in the inner east are cheap.

    Its all about supply and demand. If you need to be in that direction then look in Reservoir.

  • +11 votes

    if a place hasn't been empty for ages, you really have very little bargaining room for rentals.

  • +9 votes

    I offered $450 for the $530

    Lmao, good luck with that one. Let us know if they accept that, cos that'd be pretty darn impressive. People struggle to knock $5p/w off rentals these days, let alone $80!

  • +3 votes

    Depends on how long it's on the market.

    In WA it's still a tenant's market, has been for a couple of years now. If a rental hangs around, you can negotiate. Picked mine up for an 8% reduction on the advertised price about 6 months ago. Was vacant over a month. Saw my old rental drop from initially advertised, to final advertised, and saw a reduction of 19%. Stupid owner thinking he could get ridiculous money for it in this market. It was vacant for about 2 months.

    But if those rentals are being snapped up quick-smart, and if there's 10+ people at every home open, you don't stand a chance.

    $80 reduction in rent in Sydney? 15%?! Why even waste your time like that, you'd never be considered.

  • +1 vote

    You probably have no leverage OP unless you can show them an array of comparable rental properties in the exact same area vastly cheaper.

  • +3 votes

    Holy shit, rent on a 1 bedroom apartment is more than the mortgage for my 4 bed house. Melbourne and sydney are a joke.

    Edit - wow it isn't even near the water.


      yep, but considering how prices are sliding in Sydney you are going to lose that money regardless. So safer to rent for now.

      • +1 vote

        I'm not in sydney, my house is actually going up in value. I could only afford a tin shed on a 5m2 block in Sydney.

        • +3 votes

          I mean, turn that around that's kinda the point.

          A tin shed in Sydney is worth more than your house.

          • +1 vote

            @HighAndDry: Pretty sad isn't it, I could be living the dream in a tin shed 100km from the cbd, stuck in two hours of traffic everyday, instead I'm by the water with no traffic on my way to work :( Honestly Biggles my mind why people want to live in Sydney or Melbourne.

            • +1 vote

              @brendanm: Hahaha touche. But generally, property being most people's biggest asset, you may as well get one that appreciates a decent amount. Of course - that also involves buying not at the peak.

            • +3 votes

              @brendanm: As a Sydneysider I feel like I have to defend my city!

              Yes property is generally more expensive, but salaries are higher on average too, and the capital gains can be massive and set you up for life (even once you factor in the recent drop).

              Yes the traffic can be bad, but there are lots of public transport options available. I don't have to drive to the CBD because I can hop on a train that is 2mins from my house and be in the CBD within 15mins. I also have a choice of buses and light rail if I want them. The airport is close too (I can catch a bus or train), and I can fly just about anywhere I want from Sydney.

              Sydney also has ocean, rivers, bays and world heritage mountains within it and/or around it. Most people would be close to at least one of these options.

              There are many work options available, and some of the best hospitals, doctors, and Universities in Australia are based in Sydney. My kids will have a choice of at least 8 universities within an easy commute of our house (two of which are "group of 8" Universities), and there are so many top primary schools and high schools to choose from that it can be difficult to pick just one.

              And what about entertainment? Most international bands/musicians/singers/comedians/orchestras etc will visit Sydney. You can go to the football or cricket during the day and the opera at night if you want to.

              I don't live in a fancy part of Sydney (but not a tin shed either), and I am not saying any of this to brag. I grew up in a small town on the NSW Central Coast (which is beautiful too), and my friends who still live there are constantly Sydney bashing using the same arguments about property prices and traffic. I have never reciprocated by pointing out all the bad stuff about where they live, because I understand that each part of Australia has its own set of pros and cons, and there are horses for courses. Sydney is no different.

              I am sure there would be lots of bad things to say about every place that each one of us lives in. I don't live in Sydney because I have to. I could sell my Sydney house and use the money to buy a couple of houses on the NSW Central Coast etc. I don't do that because I love Sydney and the lifestyle, beauty and conveniences it offers me.

              • +1 vote

                @wizzy: I'm on the Gold coast. Wages aren't as high, but I bought a 4 bed house on a 500 block for under $450k about 2 years ago. Last few that have sold are about 20-25% up on that. Very easy walking distance to the water, nice short trip to the boat ramp where I'm then 15 minutes or so away from north or south straddie, or numerous other islands.

                15 minute drive to work (which is on the water) with no traffic, and no need to get on public transport. Theme parks, beaches, nature walks, mountains, rainforest, 4wding all close by. Weather is mint year round. Plenty of shows, footy, cricket etc either here or Brisbane.

                Sorry I just can't get over the astronomical cost to live miles away from anything, and I just haven't been able to gel with the place the few times I've been there.

                Central coast and northern Rivers areas of NSW are beautiful.

                • +1 vote

                  @brendanm: That is exactly my point! The Gold Coast is beautiful and I love it there. Every place has its own set of pros and cons and there are horses for courses. For example, you like the Gold Coast weather, but I'm not fond of it. I find it too hot and humid. Whereas you don't like the weather in Sydney = horses for courses.

                  My house is also walking distance to the ocean (and boat ramps), and I have ocean views from my office. I can choose whether I drive or catch public transport to work. I actually choose to drive.

                  My house has close to tripled in value since I bought it 10 years ago (I live in a very average suburb) - even once you factor in the recent drop. As I said, I could sell my house and use the money to buy two houses in most other places in Australia - including the Gold Coast. In fact, I already own an investment house on the Gold Coast which I also purchased 2 years ago. But I choose to live in Sydney because it suits me, just like the Gold Coast suits you.

                  There are plenty of people who hate Sydney. But there are also plenty of people who hate the Gold Coast (I'm not one of them, I love the Gold Coast). The Gold Coast is not "better" than Sydney, nor is Sydney "better" than the Gold Coast. They are just different with different things to offer. There is no need for Sydney bashing.

                  PS: I bought a house on the Gold Coast specifically because of those things you mentioned, i.e. low asking price combined with reasonable capital growth, plus good rental returns - which makes it easier to hold while you wait for capital gains!


                    @wizzy: Would you be so keen to buy there if you had to pay today's prices though?

                    Good point on the weather, the humidity sure can kill it. I'm not insulting Sydney by the way, just don't get the hype for it and Melbourne considering the prices.


                      @brendanm: It was really hard for us to buy our first house here. We had to wait until the market dropped and save every cent we had to get the deposit together. It was hard at first, but not now. We have gained more than we ever lost and I would do it all over again in a flash.

                      While our house has tripled in value, our salaries have more than quadrupled. So yes, I would buy here now at today's prices too - actually I would wait another year or so until the market is at the bottom before I bought because I am an ozbargainer!

                      I have two nephews in their twenties who both bought their first houses a couple of years ago in Sydney. They had to pay lots more than I did when I bought my first house, but because salaries have increased alongside house prices, their salaries are also much higher than ours were when we bought our first house. So the overall affordability of buying their houses was much the same. One of them is putting in a pool so I think he is fine!

                      I know that from the outside Sydney property looks ridiculously expensive, but it is all relative to how much money you are earning.

                      As a person from Sydney I really cop it whenever I go anywhere in Australia with people telling me to my face how awful my home is. I almost have to apologise to people for living in Sydney. So I'm sorry for being a bit defensive.


                        @wizzy: All good, nice to see some passion for the place.

                        Prices are probably fine for anyone in a white collar or high paying job, I doubt I, as a blue collar worker, would get payed much more in Sydney than I would on the Gold coast. Will be interesting to see what happens down there when interest rates rise a bit, or the economy drops off slightly. My guess is there are a lot of people who will be unable to service their loans.


                          @brendanm: You might be surprised!

                          My nephews are both blue collar workers. Train drivers earn over 100K (it was in the paper yesterday). People who dig tunnels earn $200K (I know some tunnelers). My neighbour's builder showed up in a new Mercedes. I had some basic plumbing work done recently-he charged me $8,000. Blue collar workers can earn some serious money in Sydney if they want to.


                          @brendanm: Sorry for talking too much. My Dad was a builder and I love talking about houses!

                          There is one particular group of people who are in big trouble in Sydney property-wise. They are the people who bought off the plan apartments at the peak of the market 2 years ago. Those apartments are just being finished now and it is time for the buyers to settle. The problem is that the property market has dropped since they signed the contract, so now those apartments are not worth what that agreed to pay. Hence the bank wont value them at that original price, and won't approve their mortgages. They have signed the contract though, so are legally obliged to pay the money. Those people are finding themselves in some serious financial trouble! I feel very sorry for them.


                          @brendanm: Sorry for talking too much. My Dad was a builder and I love talking about houses!

                          There is one particular group of people who are in big trouble in Sydney property-wise. They are the people who bought off the plan apartments at the peak of the market 2 years ago. Those apartments are just being finished now and it is time for the buyers to settle. The problem is that the property market has dropped since they signed the contract, so now those apartments are not worth what that agreed to pay. Hence the bank wont value them at that original price, and won't approve their mortgages. They have signed the contract though, so are legally obliged to pay the money. Those people are finding themselves in some serious financial trouble! I feel very sorry for them.


                @wizzy: how many times have you been to the footy/cricket during the day and then gone to the opera that night?


                  @wordplay: Mostly they are at separate times, but after 20 years of living in Sydney we have definitely done them on the same day. Although mostly I try to skip the football and cricket bit if I can and let my husband go with the kids. I am not a sports fan. My friend works for Opera Australia, so we get free tickets to the opera. We went to most of the big productions last year including Opera on the Harbour. He also gets us free tickets to the musicals which are produced by Opera Australia which is fantastic. The whole family got to go to the opening night of Matilda for free thanks to him. We wont be doing it this year unfortunately, since this friend has gone to Melbourne for a few years to work on the Harry Potter musical. It is a good excuse to visit him in Melbourne though! The kids love Harry Potter, so if we are very lucky we might even get to see the Harry Potter musical twice - once in Melbourne and once in Sydney.

                  We have another friend who is a member of the SCG, so we get free tickets from him too. My husband likes the AFL, but this friend doesn't, so whenever the Sydney Swans are playing he gives us his passes.


                @wizzy: Here's a counter argument for CBD… well Melbourne but it is like Sydney (but better, don't hate).

                I have a house in both city and by the water in the "country" (still quicker to go to the city than certain suburbs).

                I'd never move back to the city.

                Convenience? I have online shopping. Brick and mortar is virtually dead to me.

                Food? When I go to the city once a month, I binge. Having said that, I have visitors from city every week. I have more food brought to me than what I actually buy when I'm in the city.

                Live music? With my savings from buying waterfront in city, I bought a nice HiFi set (and just a little change to spare). Sounds better than live music and only one bafoon trying to sing along. (This guy).

                Comedians? After watching Amy Schumer on Netflix, I quit laughing. Forever.

                Universities? They're far away and not an easy commute. When they're ready for uni, they're gone. Woohoo!


                  @tshow: I love Melbourne too. I love the little side streets and cafes and I genuinely love the Melbourne weather (which most people seem to complain about). I hate the way people in Sydney bash Melbourne - it is stupid and inaccurate.

                  I am not arguing against where you live. I completely believe that it is lovely. Every place has its pros and cons. The point I am making is that there are horses for courses. You love those things about where you live, and I love those other things I mentioned about where I live. I do not think that the CBD is better than the country. I grew up in a little town on the NSW Central Coast and it is beautiful there too. I had to move to Sydney to attend uni, and once here I came to love it. I think that each place has its own positives and negatives and different people prefer different things.

                  I just don't think there is any need to insult the places where other people live.


            @HighAndDry: Worth and cost are different things.

            As the Sydney property market collapses the cost will start to align with value.

            • +1 vote


              Worth and cost are different things.

              Not if you're buying or selling. If I can sell a tin shed for $500,000 - I don't really care how much it's worth.

  • +1 vote

    Wrong time of year to try bargaining for apartments in Epping. 40,000 students at Macquarie University, starting uni in a month. Sure most of them probably live at home, or 18 people to a sharehouse, but there is a percentage of cashed up former private school kids, and international students, and you are competing with them.


      Most landlords/agents would prefer long term with family - so its not unlikely to be able to muscle in. Also, lots of old stock in the market that are cheaper, and most students there aren't exactly swimming i cash. That said, yes, this can be a problem

  • +1 vote

    In Sydney I don't see there as being much room, I have a feeling if you deal with the landlord specifically it might be more possible but if you deal with an agent I don't think theres any. Places get snapped up super quick unfortunately. Though people are feeling that houses will start to slide in value in Sydney, if true it might change in the future but I have no idea if it is true.

    In saying that though, your prices do seem a bit high, I have a studio apartment furnished for about $490, prices on average seem to jump from $450 to $550 so if a studio is above that it would either have to be really gawd damn good or there might be more room to negotiate.

  • +5 votes

    "offered $450 (unfurnished) for the $530 (furnished) apartment"

    did the landlord hangup on you?

    i would've.

    nice try though


      Agreed - If it's already furnished, it's more effort (and cost) for the landlord to have it empty - you're negotiating wrong!

  • +2 votes

    Unless you're the only suitable applicant they've had for months you have no chance of negotiating rent.

  • +1 vote

    In CBD the real estate showing a rental last week asked me how much I could afford to pay. I think times changing for rental given that wages have not grown for 5 odd years. Greedy investors gonna get cooked this year and next because of how many apartments get put up for rent, even by developers who can't sell their stock. Not sure if same true in Epping.

  • +1 vote

    Actually, I think there is no harm in bargaining in some of these suburbs in Sydney at the moment. One of my colleagues managed to bargain down $50 for a 2 bedroom unit in Parramatta. Of course, he was only able to do this because he was the only person present for both the inspections and also due to there being a very high vacancy rate in some of the newer buildings in Parra. One of the agents was offering him 2 bedroom units for the price of 1 bedroom unit, essentially a discount of more than $100 a week. I tried to convince him to take it but my colleague went with other building as it had a gym and a bigger balcony.


      Yes, I'd say its worth asking - especially if it seems overpriced for what is the condition/market/ask price

  • +2 votes

    Without giving too much away - I live in the area that you are looking at and have some tips that may help. We moved to our new rental here last month after a few months of looking. Oct & Nov were obviously renters months as new stocks came in and unit prices dropped by about a hundred for (say 2b2b from 650 to 550 and 1b1b from 550 to 450). By mid November, most of the stocks had been rented out and so prices stabilised - the empty units now are the ones where the landlords are holding out for rent on the old prices or the pricier units.

    For new (under 2 yrs) 1 bed units, paying around 450 is the fair price. We shamelessly asked for discounts but you're likely to get $5 to $10 a week less at best. We instead got a concession to start our rent later, which allowed us to serve notice and saved us a couple of weeks rent.

    If you want new units at lower prices (and don't mind the distance from the station), Epping Park Drive would have good options and better amenities. Also, new stock will likely come in close to the end of the year, so you'll have more options later on.

  • -1 vote

    Sydney is better guys. Anyone complaining about Sydney prices have a basic paying job.


    As mentioned, it comes down to supply and demand. If an equally suitable tenant is willing to pay full price, you aren't likely to get a discount.

    As a landlord I'm probably be concerned that you don't appreciate the property, or can't afford the payments, if you're trying to talk the price down.

    On the other hand, I know someone who just paid 20% over asking price. He'd missed out on a couple of places, and wanted to seal the deal this time.


    So did you hear back from the agent? I say good on you for trying, it can't hurt.
    I've been monitoring rent prices in a neighbouring suburb (Marsfield) and have noticed rents have dropped significantly in the last 12 months. I'm looking at 3 bedders and the average advertised price has gone from $700+ to mid $600's so there's definitely a decrease happening.
    Let us know how you go

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