How to Convince Your Landlord to Make Upgrades to Your Building

Greening your utility bills and increasing your energy-efficiency is all the rage today, but if you are renting, it may seem like you are out of luck. You cannot control the quality of the appliances at your rental home, and poor-quality equipment may be costing you hundreds of dollars extra each year.

Building

It is frustrating to realize that you could save yourself money by adding new HVAC equipment in your home, but not being able to. However, there are some things you can do that just might get your current landlord to change her mind and decide to upgrade the appliances in your rental home:

Bargain

One way to deal with a reluctant landlord is to bargain to help cover the cost or labor of the upgrade. You could offer to help install the system, search for a new system, or even cover part of the cost. This will show your landlord that you are serious about the upgrade, and he may offer to do the upgrade for free, or even give you benefits in other areas. You could also offer to find a licensed contractor for your landlord to save him the time and effort of finding a quality installer.


Compare with other units

Show your landlord that other comparable units are upgrading their apartments with upgraded appliances. Do real research in the area. If comparable units are not upgrading their appliances, don’t try this tactic. Show how new renters will look for upgraded appliances as part of their decision-making process for where to live in the future. Mention how you plan to leave at the end of the lease if the upgrades are not implemented.

Show long-term value

Your landlord will likely only want to make the additions and changes if you can prove that the changes will have value to her. You can show that upgrading the appliances will have long-term value by the ability to increase rent in the future, by extending your own lease, and by proving that new tenants are looking for upgraded HVAC units.

Negotiate

If you really want upgraded appliances, lobby for them and be prepared to negotiate. You may be able to forego other options in favor of what you really want. Don’t make the landlord paint, or live with the existing carpet for a few more months. This may make your landlord more likely to give you the energy-efficient appliances you are looking for. It is also important to ask for more than you want. This will help you negotiate the best deal and get what you really want.

Play nice

Getting to know your landlord or apartment staff can be a good way to earn extra favors. Learn their names, offer Christmas gifts, and otherwise show your appreciation for the staff. This will get you on their good side, and they will be more likely to implement the changes you are looking for.

Call the landlord’s bluff

A landlord may not think you are serious if you threaten to move unless changes are made. Show him you are serious by showing him quotes you have received apartments. Don’t sign a new lease unless the changes are made or negotiated. This may spur some reluctant landlords into action. Most landlords would rather have a long-term tenant than have to find someone new every 6 months to a year.

By implementing these tips, you can encourage your landlord to place energy efficient appliances and HVAC equipment in your unit so you can save money on your utility bills each month.

This is a post by Ashley Williamson. Ashley is a freelance writer and an occasional guest-blogger. When she is not working she likes to travel and read as much as she can. If you have any question feel free to leave a comment.

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