Possibility of Decrease in Rent


I stay in a rented apartment. My lease in ending in March and my owner has already offered an extension for 6 months at the same rent.

My question is, can I request my owner or agent to decrease the rent a bit? Even a $5 per week decrease will also lead to roughly $20 savings in monthly rent.
Who will be the best person to request this to, my agent or the owner? Do I need to show any reason for such request?

Thanks in advance.


  • +14

    Of course you can ask. Why do you think that you wouldn’t be able to?

    • -3

      yes. and please ask the landlord/agent not ozb, why do you think we can help decrease your rent?

    • +3

      Ask and give reason, just as you asking for pay rise.

  • +7

    can I request my owner or agent to decrease the rent

    You can ask, they can say no.

    • or they can say yes.

      its 50:50

      • +5

        its 50:50

        Its far from 50/50, in the current market, there is zero reason for the rent to decrease without a valid reason.

        • Median weekly unit rents
          Capital city Median rents QoQ YoY
          Sydney $530 -2.80% -2.80%
          Melbourne $410 0.00% 2.50%
          Brisbane $380 1.30% 2.70%
          Adelaide $310 3.30% 5.10%
          Perth $300 0.00% 0.00%
          Canberra $465 3.30% 8.10%
          Darwin $400 0.00% -2.40%
          Hobart $380 8.60% 11.80%
          National $455 -1.00% -0.10%
          Source: Domain Rental Report, December Quarter 2018.

          There's your reason to have it adjusted, add in that you are a good tenant and keep it clean blah blah blah. But if you are in Sydney or Darwin the likely answer is yes anywhere else is going to be no

      • -1

        Don't know if you're just memeing but in case you're not, that's not how probabilities work…

      • +5

        so if I race against usain bolt in a 100m sprints, do i have a 50% chance of winning

        • +14

          Well no, because you can win, lose or tie! So you have a 33% chance of winning.

          • +1

            @HighAndDry: Oh snap.

          • +3


            you can win, lose or tie! So you have a 33% chance of winning.

            I would very much like you to open your own betting company.

            • @mooney: Always a good plan - it means you bet with other peoples' money.

  • +10

    You can ask. Personally I'd be asking for more than $5 if I was going to bother going to all the trouble.

    Also - your request should be based on facts - i.e. local properties which are better and or cheaper than what you're living in and paying. i.e. facts.

  • +1

    If you pay your rent on time and look after the property, they will be more likely to say yes.

  • +1

    Are you prepare to move the other place or you are happy with where you are living now?

    Think of $20 saving vs you may get click out, of course if you are maintaining the property at top notch then you may be able to get the rent reduce, otherwise landlord can first decline you request. You are not feeling happy being rejected or may be your landlord too, for $260 a year it is worth the hassle?

    Talk to your agent first with your research in your area and see if they agreed and pass the message onto your landlord.

  • +2

    To keep it relative, how much is the rent ? If it's $500 p/wk then a 1% decrease isn't much.
    If it's $100 p/wk, then 5% is excessive and above inflation so your landlord would be going backwards.
    How much are others paying in your apartment block ?

    And if the apartment has devalued (asset), it's irrelevant to the cost of providing accommodation (service).

  • +1

    Do I need to show any reason for such request?

    This could help if you can get rental price for similar properties.

  • +1

    Do I need to show any reason for such request?

    Seriously, do you think anyone would just decrease your rent without a very good reason? You already signed up to the contract to rent less than 12 months ago, why are you all of a sudden unhappy with the price?

    In reality you have to usually show strong evidence that all the rental properties of similar utility in the same area are well under what you pay. Not just one or two, but about 10 or more to be honest.

    If you feel there is a fault with the property, you could try to argue that, but it would be better to request that this be rectified (ie. say there is no air-con and you want air-con, ask for it to be installed or say you are going to find a place that does), the landlord might come to the party and fix (most are little landlords that are stingy and are working off the most minimum margins though).

    I've know people that have had serious defects in their house (ie. small roof collapse, exposed (but undisturbed) asbestos, faulty wiring causing excessive damage appliances/light globes etc.) and have asked for $10 to $20 off (from about $500-600 rent a week) and it was such a stressful process with the landlord in the end just denying the decrease (or fixing the issue) and booting the tenants asap.

    I know the laws in Vic have changed recently, but to the rest of Australia, renters rights are like being second class citizens.

    • +1

      My lease in ending in March

    • renters rights are like being second class citizens.

      This is what happens when you have privatised housing and the government is controlled by lobbyists.

      Of course Australians are dumb enough to still believe that neoliberal economics will make them rich so don't expect this to change anytime soon.

  • +2

    You can definitely ask. As others have said you need to give a good reason. The most persuasive reasons would be related to the rents of comparable apartments in the area. If you have been keeping the apartment in good condition, and not making too many complaints or requests, then the landlord will be more likely to say yes.

    Be warned though, asking to have the rent decreased may result in the landlord thinking of you as a nuisance tenant and not wanting to renew your lease - especially if it wouldn't be too difficult to get another tenant.

  • +1

    Over a year, the difference in rent paid, (or received), is negligible.

    A landlord would likely have to pay more than that just in advertising for a new tenant so I say you'd likely get your reduction.

    Make the request through your agent.

    • +1

      The reverse also applies though, if the difference in rent paid is negligible. I wouldn't underestimate the value of having a good relationship with your landlord, for everything from possibly having a pet later, to supporting complaints against other neighbours in the same block, to further lease renewals in the future.

      • +3

        I agree. There are things OP will possibly want from the landlord in the future. Having a good relationship with the landlord will help get these things. As soon as the landlord starts thinking of the tenant as a nuisance, he or she may prefer to lose a bit of money while advertising for a new tenant rather than put up with a tenant who they think of as annoying.

      • I agree about the importance of building relationships but with my landlords hat on, I'd rather reduce rent by the suggested $5 dollars a week, than risk facing a couple of weeks of vacancy, advertising fees, REA's finders fees, all due to saying no to the current tenants reasonable request.

        But both of our IP's rent for $650 a week so the maths works out.
        A $5 P/W reduction in rent is only $260 per annum.

        I'd happily forego $260 a year in order to keep a good tenant on the books.

        • +2

          Oh yeah definitely. I've been on both sides of this and I agree with both: As a landlord I'd give a small discount to keep a good tenant, no questions about it. But as a tenant I'd also happily forego a discount in order to maintain a good relationship with my landlord.

      • +2

        Good point, one apartment I lived in had beautiful new floorboards put in before I started renting. I thought to myself if I owned this place I'd want to keep them in good nick, so I put a little bit of cardboard under all the lounge/dining table legs and soft felt tips on the chair legs. I stayed there for 4 years and the rent never increased even though when I left, they put the rent up over 50% to be in line with market.

        When I left they were trying to put the rent up by about 20% and the real estate agent said the owners were hesitant to do this because I looked after the place so well! But I needed to leave at the same time anyway so it all worked out well for them. They even gave me a bottle of decent wine and a thank you card when I left for being such a good tenant! That is the first and only time that has happened to me even though I generally look after the places I live in pretty well.

        TL:DR - Good relationships matter and you can be rewarded for it.

  • of course you can ask

  • What do mean by "can you request"? You can request anything at any time to anyone. What they might or might not do is a separate matter that may range anywhere from "yes" to "no, and you can actually move out at the end of your current lease".

  • +2

    Don't mention the city you're from.
    In Sydney, falling prices and a glut in apartments means that rents are actually decreasing.
    If my tenant asked for a reduction of $20 a month, I would take it, rather than lose a few weeks rent with the hassle of finding someone else.
    Of course, many landlords are greedy and would baulk at losing even a small amount.

    • if you are the owner of Opal tower then you would take 50% reduction of rent.

      • Not sure how that is working now, I think because the building is in serious defect and renters can't actually stay in the building, the landlords probably can't stop them from not paying rent or leaving!

  • +2

    If you're pretty happy with the place, try offering a longer term rent in exchange for a reduction in rent. (eg 1 year rent and $10 off pw)

  • Nothing lost by asking.
    Good tenants are worth keeping. Has the rent always been paid on time, is the property kept in a good condition?

    Also understand that whilst some properties may have reduced their rental, not all btw, the LL still has to wear all their costs that are always increasing.. agents fees, insurance, strata fees, rates, etc…

    They have offered a new lease with no increase so that is a + for a start.

  • +1

    Do I need to show any reason for such request?

    One would definitely think so. Must be some reason, and if your reasoning for decrease seems dodgy, the landlord may just either evict you, or increase the rent.
    You would want to have a pretty solid reason/evidence why rent should be decreased, not just 'because you want to keep your $$ in your pocket'
    You also better be ready and happy to move also. It is my understanding they have no obligation to let you stay on when lease is ended. They might take your request for reduction in rent as an ultimatum . If that is not the case, be sure in any request that you don't come access that way, as either reduce rent or I'm leaving.

  • Even a $5 per week decrease will also lead to roughly $20 savings

    You need to recalculate this. I didnt even get roughly close to this.

    • It is wrong, but $20 is actually pretty close.

      • I was being sarcastic ! but 5 x 4 is 20.

        • Per month isn't exactly 4 weeks.

  • Haha! No.

  • Yes but be prepared to be booted.
    It may also make them think twice about increasing your rent

  • Just take the extension at the same rent. Don't ask for a reduction.

  • Yes you can ask.
    Some justification helps - other comparable rentals in area.
    Must be directed to the person managing the property - as shown on the lease.

    You dont need to sign another lease either regardless.

  • Is it a renter's market and you can find something as good for less? The landlord's costs aren't going down, so they will be worse off, so obviously won't be happy about the idea. I'd be thankful the rent hasn't gone up.

    It comes down to what it would cost you to move vs what it would cost landlord to find a replacement tenant. Whoever blinks first loses.

  • I would only do that if you are 99% sure there isn't another person who would rent the flat at the current price if you left and the owner would be left with an empty property unless he dropped the rent. Only call someone's bluff if you're holding a good set of cards.

    Inflation in Australia is still positive, therefore the owner's costs are ever increasing. He's most likely copping a loss by keeping the rent the same and you are getting a bonus by having your rent not increase in line with inflation.

    If you can find multiple comparable places in the same area for less money which you would be guaranteed to be able to move into and you are sure the owner would know the same, then have a crack. If he denies the reduction then don't renew the lease - see if the owner then reduces the rent after they know you are serious. If they dont reduce the rent then move into one of the comparable but cheaper places. You win.

    And ask for more than $5.

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