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Rental

When's the Best Time to Rent an Apartment?

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Rents have been on the rise across the country, and if it's been a while since you've shopped for a new rental deal, you're probably feeling the pinch.

While some tenants have seen rental prices in their area rise significantly, you still might be able to score a great rental deal in the fall.

The fall and winter seasons have historically been better for renters than landlords. It still might be true -- to a point.

A Renter's Market

More renters choose to move in the spring or early summer when the weather is nicer and school is out. Since there's more competition in the marketplace, landlords may raise their prices.

For example, if one property management company raises their rates, another landlord might notice -- and you'll likely see a snowball effect of higher prices during the peak of busy renting season.

But when the weather cools off and the last of the college kids have signed leases for the fall semester, the opposite starts to happen.

With fewer people renting, properties sit vacant longer -- and landlords start to lower their rent or offer leasing specials. You often have the upper hand if you're looking to rent during this window.

The Effect of Rising Rent

On the other hand, the market always dictates how low rent prices go in the offseason. Generally, rent prices won't drop to levels seen in years past.

Instead, landlords will offer prices somewhere around the average for the year.

For example, rent prices in your area increased $300 to an average of $1,100 overall. During the busy renting months, those prices might have peaked at $1,300 -- but now that renter competition is lower, landlords will start lowering their prices back to the $1,000 to $1,100 range.

Finding a Good Rental Deal

For renters hoping to pay the lower rates they enjoyed before the rent market exploded, this isn't great news -- but there is still a way to find a good deal.

By renting in the offseason, you'll already see lower rates than you would have just a few months before. To make the deal even sweeter, many landlords will be more willing to negotiate when they have fewer potential tenants to choose from.

If you're a great tenant, willing to sign a longer lease, or ready to move in today, the landlord might be willing to lower the rent price even further -- getting you closer to pre-boom rates.