Lofted ceilings, bay windows, and a bathroom that you can actually fit inside — you finally found the perfect apartment! The only problem? The appliances look like they're straight out of Don Draper's house. And if you have big plans to actually, you know, use them, that can be kind of a deal-breaker.
The good news is that just because those appliances are currently there, it doesn't mean they have to stay there! Whether you're just about to move in or you've been in the apartment for years, you have some sway to get your landlord to splurge on something a bit more current.
Here are seven ways to get newer stuff — without footing the entire bill yourself.
1. Negotiate before resigning your lease.
Put your game face on: Everything your parents taught you about buying a car is about to come in handy. If you're resigning a lease and the landlord has raised the rent — even by a little — use the idea of getting new appliances as a bargaining chip. "Discuss your appliances as an upgrade to reflect the higher rent that you'll be paying for," says Lauren Riefflin of StreetEasy, a New York City-centric real estate site.
2. Agree to move in sooner.
If you found the perfect place (finally!) and it's actually vacant and available, offer to move in even sooner than the original lease date if the landlord replaces the appliances. "Every day the apartment sits empty is a day your landlord is paying money out of his own pocket for his mortgage," says Brendon DeSimone, Zillow's real estate expert. "The biggest thing you can do is offer to pay that mortgage for him/her earlier."
3. Commit to your landlord.
Finding good tenants who will pay on time, not annoy neighbors, and take care of a unit is harder than you might think. If you're a good tenant, your landlord probably wants to keep you around. Offer to sign a lease for 18 or 24 months in exchange for new appliances. Sure, it'll cost him some effort and money now, but he'll save both of those things down the line if he doesn't have to deal with getting a new renter anytime soon.
4. Pay some rent in advance.
If you can afford to pay a few months of your rent up front, that might make your landlord's ears perk up. This will emphasize your commitment to the unit (see above), and he can consider using your cash on the new appliances, which might make it seem less painful for him.
5. Choose your battles.
If you can live without a new fridge, but the oven barely gets hot enough to reheat last night's leftovers, ask if you can get one piece, instead of asking for a whole new suite.
"Landlords are required by law to keep an apartment in good, livable condition," says Riefflin. "If an appliance is particularly degraded, then a conversation is well within reason." We're not saying you should threaten legal action just because you don't like your oven, but if it's not working, then you have a right to a new one.
6. Go Dutch — and do the research.
See if your landlord is willing to split the appliance costs with you. You can even go through the extra effort and price out some units before you present the idea. When some of the work is done for them, it can be harder for your landlord to say no.
7. Take on some chores.
How badly do you want it? If your landlord is the person who manages the maintenance of the building on a day-to-day basis, you can offer to take on garbage duty every other week, or vacuum the hallways once a month. It's not glamorous, but it might just be worth it every time you open your new, stainless steel fridge.
Did you get your landlord to get new appliances for your apartment? How did you do it?