Yes – an advertisement for a property available to let is an ‘invitation to treat’ I.e. Inviting offers for renting the property. Any offer can be accepted or rejected by the landlord (or their agent) and does not constitute a contract.
Before making any offer for a rent lower than the asking rent, the tenant should consider the following:
1. The asking rent has been set based on what the landlord (or their agent) believes is the rental value in the current market conditions so be prepared to justify why you should pay a lower rent e.g. Willing to move in or out on a date that suits the landlord best or willing to pay rent in advance for the entire fixed term of the tenancy.
2. Negotiating for a lower rent takes time and during this time someone else may make a higher offer
3. The landlord may find a tenant negotiating a lower rent irritating and see this as a sign of a tenant who is difficult to deal with
4. For a lower rent the landlord may be less willing to make improvements to the property and more likely to increase the rent when next reviewed or worse more likely to terminate the tenancy if they believe they can get a tenant at a higher rent
5. Tenants with pets are expected to offer and pay a rent higher than the asking rent. Offers at or below the asking rent received from a tenant with pets are likely to be rejected.
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