Are apartment prices negotiable?

Answer

A lot of times, no, an apartment's rent cannot be negotiated; but it's possible.

Many apartment complexes owned by a corporation or even a private owner, will not negotiate a rent price. Ask anyway. Especially if the apartment complex takes Housing Choice Vouchers. The apartment manager will usually know the highest price they can get from a renter with a Housing Choice Voucher and will be willing to negotiate. Some smaller landlords know the Housing Choice Voucher process and may be willing to negotiate too. There are Housing Authorities that will go to bat for you in the negotiation process and there are some that won’t have the time or manpower to make it a regular practice.

Also, be on the lookout for specials that apartments advertise, like the first month’s rent free, and request to see how that would work with a Housing Choice Voucher. Usually, Housing Authorities will divide the amount of the first month’s rent by twelve and deduct that amount from each month’s rent over a period of twelve months. That amount will be the rent used for the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract with the Housing Authority. The next year’s rent may go up, as well. Also remember, if you take the first month’s rent free, make sure it doesn’t jeopardize your Housing Choice Voucher before you sign on the dotted line.

More Housing Policy, Landlords, and Tenants FAQs from Low Income Households

  • How many bedrooms am I eligible for?
  • How much would my rent be?
  • Can I be evicted if my HUD apartment is sold?
  • How Much Are Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers Worth
  • What should a landlord expect when renting to a Section 8 voucher holder?