Normally, you can negotiate the terms of your lease. But, law on lease contracts may differ in state to state. If you want some changes in your contract, you can always discuss it with your lesser. The usual negotiations are on length of lease and rate of rent. In some states, the lease term is for a year and then renewable monthly. If you need the term to be shortened, you can negotiate with your probable landlord. A good offer would be a six-month lease and after which, a month-to-month renewal. You can also offer a deposit of “first and last” wherein your landlord can already have your last month’s rent in hand in case you need to vacate the leased apartment or space on short notice. This offer will make your landlord more comfortable about the situation. Remember that it is best that you only offer what you are willing to pay and the terms that you are willing to agree to.
Generally, there is a principle of law on contracts that requires the terminating party to lessen damages. In some states, this principle has been interpreted that when a tenant wants to move out earlier, the lesser may only charge rent for the remaining months if he is not able to find a replacement for the tenant who is moving out. However, if he is able to find a replacement, but the rental rate is reduced, then the moving out tenant is obliged to pay the difference. Therefore, it is advisable that you contact or call a local tenants’ association in the city where you intend to lease in order to know the existing law on lease contracts.
In some cases, you would want to sublet the space you are renting to cut on cost. But, you can only do this if your contract allows you to do so. If not, you can always negotiate with your landlord. In most cases, as long as you are given written permission, you can sublet your apartment. Often, landlords are just using a pre-made lease form and are willing to change the terms. One reason why lease contracts are written with longer terms is actually to protect the tenants. So, you only need to negotiate and get the best deal that works for you. Take note though, that the standard period for a lease is one year.
In reality, we all want the lowest rent possible for a house or apartment, but that is usually the hardest thing to negotiate in any lease. Why? It is because many landlords think how much they can take home and how much they are going to spend in taking care of their properties. Therefore, they look at the rate of the rent to meet their requirements. But you can always negotiate and in doing so; you must decide on the best offer that you can afford and are willing to pay. Often, the rate can be decreased; but the length of period would be increased. Check what is best for you.