Rental Secrets: Reduce Your Rent, Get Better Value, Create Quality Communities, by Justin Pogue
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Reedsy Discovery. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
As someone who has spent my adult life renting various properties, whether by myself or with others, this is definitely a book with a high degree of personal relevance, and one that many people will be able to relate to as well. The author is aiming this book as widely as possible at an audience of people who are renting property and who want to be able to do so for lower cost. This is especially relevant for those who live in an area like my own where rent has increased year over year in the neighborhood of 15% and where even studio apartments are out of the reach of many single people with rents well over $1000/month and where attempts at rent control are likely to shrink the supply of rental properties in many areas. Clearly, there is a great deal of need for a book like this one, and the author does a great job at providing broad and general advice that allows the reader a great deal of flexibility of options in choosing which methods to adopt in order to leverage the power of the renter in being able to provide a property owner with consistent rental income.
This short book is a bit more than 100 pages is divided into ten chapters that provide a different area where a renter has power that can be used to help decrease cost and the pressure and hassle of dealing with finding suitable rental apartments. First, the author looks at the power of negotiation, showing ways that someone can negotiate if they work with a property owner directly who has fewer units and who can make a deal (1). After this the author looks at the power of competition according to the renter, which may be broader competition than the comparables examined by the landlord (2). The author then discusses the power of proximity that people can have when dealing with absentee owners who may need a representative on-site, which can further reduce rents (3). The power of timing (4) allows renters to benefit from seeking apartments out of season, especially in winter months. The author urges readers to take advantage of the power of flexibility (5) by not prematurely foreclosing vacancy options because of desired amenities. The author’s next chapter looks at the power of household composition (6) and the way that aggregating rent payers one gets along with can reduce rents greatly, as well as the power of relationship forged by paying rent on time or being willing to serve as a property manager in a rental property (7). The author then closes with chapters on the power of focus (8) that can limit additional costs for unnecessary amenities, the power of questions in being able to ask the right questions to increase options (9) and the power of accounting in being a long-term resident who can avoid expenses at the end of a lease by taking advantage of landlords’ lack of attention on repainting and replacing carpet in a timely fashion (10).
By and large, as someone who is fairly experienced as a renter, these tips are very useful and some of them are ones that I have used without being fully aware of the leverage that results from them. Some of these methods are definitely ones I will use in the future, should it be necessary, with a greater degree of intention about it. The various powerful techniques in this book are generally provided from the point of view that a landlord is looking for reliable tenants who pay on time and who can provide a consistent income, with the awareness that it is in the owner’s best interests to be willing to pay at least a little bit in terms of deals to ensure the highest degree of continuity in that rental income. Reducing rent costs through being able to negotiate and being flexible in one’s options and being savvy in choosing people who have room to negotiate themselves or who are under the pressure to make a deal now in order to ensure streams of rental income also reduces the amount of income one needs to verify and also increases the ways that one can use the money saved, especially if one is able to avoid expensive pet deposits and additional pet rent.