I find I'm much more successful when I can offer something in return, rather than just asking for a reduction. Of course you have to be prepared to do the work--if the owner ends up sending over a yardman to cut the grass after you've agreed to do it, that will probably come out of your security deposit if the lease is written properly.
Needless to say, a pleasant attitude and good references mean a lot to a landlord, especially one that isn't renting through a property management company. If you've got a good relationship with your past landlord and they'll give you a glowing reference that you paid your rent on time and didn't bother them for every little thing, you should point that out. As a landlord myself, I can tell you that a good tenant is somebody I work hard to keep.
Good luck--it never hurts to ask.
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
In some cases, the homeowner is renting because they cannot sell. Many will price their homes to rent just to cover their expenses, others attempt to also make money. It never hurts to ask the homeowner if they are negotiable. If you have good credit and good references without additional issues such as pets, etc... the homeowner may be willing to work with you.
Good luck and when you are ready to buy a home, please fell free to call with any questions or for any help!
Myke Triebold, GRI, CNAS
Some properties that are for sale will also consider a "lease purchase". This way you rent the property for a year before you close on the sale. This gives you time to correct any credit issues you may have that prevent you from purchasing a home now. It also gives you time to see if you like the area well enough to buy.
If you are a first time home buyer with a credit score of at least 640 you may qualify for down payment assistance of up to $24999.00. This means you could purchase a home for less than you would be paying in rent. If you close on the sale before Dec 1, 2009 you will also probably be eligible for the IRS tax credit of up to $8000 that would help you pay off other debt or make your house payment for a while.
If you are looking for a Realtor to advise you of your options, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brenda Gravitt CRS, GRI
Coral Shores Realty