How To Pay A Lower Security Deposit On Your Next Apartment

When it's time for you to move to a new apartment, such as Wynn Residential Apartments in Toronto, you have to budget for a number of different moving expenses, many of which are not in your control. If you're trying to save money, one way to do so might be by negotiating a lower security deposit on your new apartment. The security deposit amount is largely up to the landlord or property manager. They may be constrained by local laws – for example, in Alberta, the landlord cannot charge more than a month's rent – but they can always charge less if they choose to do so. Take a look at some ways that you can negotiate a lower security deposit and save money on your move-in.

Show a Strong Rental History

The major reasons for a landlord to charge a security deposit in the first place are too make sure that they receive something in compensation in the event that you default on the rent or destroy the property. A solid rental history with strong references will help reassure your new landlord that you're not the type to leave them high and dry.

That means getting the names, dates, and contact information right on your rental application. Go back and check to be certain you're giving the right dates and contact numbers for your rental history – when your information is inaccurate or incomplete, it looks like you're trying to hide something. You may even want to consider asking your current or former landlords to write a positive reference that you can bring to your new landlord.

Give a Little to Get a Little

What if you don't have a perfect rental history? Or maybe you do have a good rental history, but you have black marks on your credit record or you're new to your job, other factors that can make a landlord nervous? A sketchy rental, credit, or employment history certainly doesn't put you in a position of power when negotiating, but there are still things that you can do to bring that security deposit down.

If the apartment isn't yet move-in ready, you could offer to do the clean-up and painting yourself, in exchange for a lower security deposit. Not only will you be saving the landlord some time and money, you're showing that you already care about the property, which will help reassure the landlord that you won't damage it.

Do you have skills in a field that might be useful to a landlord or property manager? If you're a plumber, an electrician, or a general handyman, you may be able to parley those skills into a reduction on your security deposit. See if there's some work you can do in exchange for a deposit reduction, or agree to do some work for a reduced price in the future when your skills are needed. If you're a plumber, for example, you could potentially save the landlord a lot of money by fixing the next toilet that overflows on a weekend at cost, rather than the landlord having to call out an emergency plumbing service.

Go Off the Beaten Path

If you know you're going to need a lower security deposit than the norm for your area, it helps to look for apartments where the landlord has fewer prospective tenants and will be in more of a hurry to rent to someone.

This means looking for units that have been on the market for a long time. Maybe the apartment is difficult to find or not very convenient to local amenities, or perhaps it has an unpopular floor layout. Or it may be that the apartment building is located near something that tenants find annoying, like an airport or a tourist attraction. If you're willing to put up with a less than perfect apartment, you may be more likely to find a landlord willing to make a good deal.

It never hurts to ask for a better deal than the first one that you're offered. A security deposit can be a big chunk of your moving expenses, and sometimes a small reduction can make your move that much easier.