When looking for an apartment for rent in Ho Chi Minh City, how to negotiate?

Finding apartment for rent in Ho Chi Minh can be tricky. Sometimes you think youíve found the one, but itís expensive, or the terms of the rental arenít great. The good news is that in many cases itís possible to negotiate a slightly better deal ó agents are keen to get their commission, so will work hard to broker an arrangement thatís satisfying to both parties, and landlords usually want to rent out their properties as quickly as possible to reliable tenants. And while trying too hard to negotiate can sometimes lose you the apartment for rent in Ho Chi Minh (someone else might come along whoís prepared to sign the rental without changing a thing), it doesnít hurt to try and get the best deal possible. Here are a few of the things you can try to negotiate before signing a rental:

Duration of stay
You can try to negotiate for an earlier or later move-in date, but this really depends on the landlord. In our first apartment, we managed to negotiate an early move-in and a free week. It pays to try!
One of the greatest negotiating tip you have is how long your rental is for ó most rental contracts are a year long, but if you choose to sign for over a year, you can often negotiate for other benefits like reduced rent.

Just because the listing on housingsgn.com as US$800 a month doesnít mean that figure is set in stone ó itís normal to try and negotiate down the price a little bit, as long as you keep it reasonable and respectful. You probably wonít be able to shave more than a couple of thousand (if that) off, and the very most we have ever heard of is a full 5-8%. You will have more negotiating power if you can pay a few months of rent upfront.

Like rent, sometimes the deposit can be reduced from the standard two months to a month and a half or just a month. We would be wary of anyone prepared to forgo the deposit completely, as it may mean they are illegally renting the property.

You will find that the rent for some apartment for rent in Ho Chi Minh includes all or some utility bills, while others do not. If it does include bills, you can often negotiate the rent down if you agree to pay all bills yourself ó of course, this is only economical if you think you wonít use much in terms of electricity and water, etc. You can also try to negotiate for certain bills to be included in the overall rent ó the internet or management fee, for example. You may also want to double-check exactly what is included in each bill that you will be paying ó you may be charged an additional fee for waste disposal that you assumed was included in the management fee, for example.

Photo credit: Bao Zoan Photography

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