How to keep a Room
February 1, 2011 4:03 PM   Subscribe

I will have to be out of town for a few months. How can I persuade my landlord to keep my room at very small or no charge for four months until I come back?

There are multiple reasons why I want to stay at where I am without moving my luggage around. Besides, if they must rent out MY room, I could always move into another room that they are renting out (since their other rooms for rent have been available for ages). Also, if they keep me, I'm probably staying for at least another year or two, which is surely better than having their room vacant for the whole time.
posted by easilyconfused to Human Relations (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have a lease? Can you just sublet your room yourself? Are you willing to try to find someone to fill the space so that your landlord doesn't have to spend time trying to find someone?
posted by hermitosis at 4:09 PM on February 1, 2011

What kind of living situation is it? I can imagine a landlord might give you a small discount if it would save them the cost of finding new tenants + the utilities you won't use while you're gone.

Realistically I don't think you should expect much, though. Why wouldn't your landlord just rent out your room to someone else and keep collecting full rent?

A much better bet would be finding a subletter to take over your rent while you're away.
posted by auto-correct at 4:11 PM on February 1, 2011

Response by poster: It's room in a house. All their rooms are rent by the month with a minimum stay of four months, so people come and go. I was on a mutual agreement and signed for four months and stayed twice the lengths already. It's room in a house. Other rooms have been vacant for periods longer than 4 months since I moved in during peak time of renting. It looks like their rooms are not extremely to be rent out maybe because of some strict household rules.
posted by easilyconfused at 4:26 PM on February 1, 2011

Response by poster: extremely easy *
twice the length*
posted by easilyconfused at 4:29 PM on February 1, 2011

Since you don't seem to mind which room you come back to, how about persuading the landlord to store your stuff instead? Maybe there is a basement or something. You'd just have to pack it up in boxes or rubbermaid totes (the totes would keep your stuff safe from moisture and critters, for example). If you've been a good tenant and plan to return, they should be willing to do that.
posted by cabingirl at 4:32 PM on February 1, 2011 [7 favorites]

I agree with cabingirl, ask them if they can store your stuff, and when you return you will rent out any available room they have.

Just the act of asking it in this way might make them think "oh, we can just hold your room since it probably won't be rented out anyway." And it's always better if you make people think things you want are actually things THEY want.
posted by katypickle at 4:44 PM on February 1, 2011 [17 favorites]

Make your landlord an offer. If they have constant vacancy, it seems like getting some money for one of multiple available rooms is better than getting no money.
posted by J. Wilson at 4:47 PM on February 1, 2011

You could always move your stuff into storage and that won't cost much. Since there's always openings here you should be set on your return.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:03 PM on February 1, 2011 [3 favorites]

A logical opening bid for keeping your stuff in the house basement would be "if I move my stuff to a storage locker, it will cost me $X monthly, plus 2*$Y to buy pizza for my friends to help with the boxes, for a total of $Z." To keep it in the room, add another $100 or so for the convenience of not packing and moving boxes. If they say no outright, it may mean really no, but this is the kind of thing that's bargainable. Clearly your maximum offer is less than 4 months of room rent, but you should have a maximum offer in mind before going you ask.
posted by aimedwander at 6:30 PM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

If I was renting a room to you, I'd probably accept the idea of storing your stuff for you for a small(er) amount of money. If you also offered a deposit towards future rent, perhaps a month's rent which you'd forfeit if you changed your mind, that would be quite persuasive.
posted by anadem at 7:09 PM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

If I were your landlord, I'd see little benefit in reducing your rent, just because you choose not to live in the place for the next few months.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:58 PM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

You have nothing to lose by saying to Landlord: You have a number of rooms that have been vacant for quite a while. Would you consider $X a month for the 3 months I'm gone? You have no wear and tear, and you save on water, electricity and heat.

Does Landlord have an attic or other storage? Another option is to ask Landlord for storage space at a fair rent. There might not be a room when you return, but it sounds like a pretty good bet that there will be.
posted by theora55 at 9:23 AM on February 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

The only other possibility maybe to offer to sign a longer lease so that you don't have to pay rent for the next four months but the landlord has a have a guaranteed income from that room for the 18 months after that.
posted by Laura_J at 11:15 AM on February 2, 2011

Agree with theora55. Bargain. You can sweeten the deal by promising to stay for Y months when you return. Probably, the higher Y is, the lower X can be.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 6:05 AM on February 4, 2011

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