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I am new to London and just moved here from NYC. I am on the hunt for a 1-bed apartment and I noticed that when I ask landlords/agents if the rent is negotiable, they stop responding. I had a couple of people do that. It is common to attempt to negotiate rent in NY and in other metropolitan cities where I've lived, doesn't mean you will get it but you surely can ask and it sometimes works too.

There is an apartment I like in Surrey Quays, so my questions are: Have any of you successfully negotiated rent in London before? And if yes, what would be your tips and ways on how to go about it? Do you ask before or after you see the apartment? Over text or in person, etc.?

Thanks for all your feedback in advance :)

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    You might get better answers on our Expatriates site. Rented accommodation is, for various reasons, in very short supply in the UK.
    – mdewey
    Jan 16 at 11:07
  • The site itself is called Expatriates? Could you share a link, I am new to the forum. Thanks!
    – Soum
    Jan 16 at 11:13
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    expatriates.stackexchange.com or search for Expatriates Stack Exchange.
    – Willeke
    Jan 16 at 11:15
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    In London's housing market, forget about it. The only negotiation is upwards.
    – Chris H
    Jan 16 at 11:58
  • The severe imbalance between offer (few flats/properties available for rent) and demand (lots and lots of people wanting to rent) means the owners have the upper hand. Only the most philantropic of them will consider negotiating, the other will just be happy to cash in.
    – Hoki
    Jan 16 at 16:17

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No, negotiating rent is basically unheard of. With a lack of UK credit history you are already considered a risky customer, and if you then ask about negotiating rent it will be assumed you cannot afford the place you are inquiring about, so people will stop answering. Note that if you are buying a place there is sometimes room for negotiation and it is expected, but not when renting.

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    In UK demand outstrips supply in most areas. Lettings agents don't need to negotiate, that is why they lose interest in you. In one UK city I know prospective tenants were arriving with appointments to view a list of properties, and the general advice was "take the first one you like, on the spot". Jan 16 at 20:04

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