sign a leaseSo we've already learned that you can negotiate your doctor's bills, but your rent, too? Yep. Dan Daugherty, CEO of Rentbits.com (a renter's search engine designed by many former Google minds, including Daugherty himself), enlightened us to the secrets of lowering your monthly rate. Here's how:

Get rewarded for being a good tenant

If you pay your bills on time, take care of your apartment and don't cause a ruckus, your landlord wants to keep you. In fact, if you're that good, keeping you in the apartment is probably worth something to him. "This is your biggest negotiating power," says Daugherty. "You can say, Mr. Landlord, it's been great but can I please have a decrease in my rent from $1,100 per month to $1,000? I'm actively looking for other places because I need to save money. I'd like to stay here but I can only afford $1,000 per month." A good tenant can be hard to find, and your landlord might be willing to cut your rate to save him the trouble of re-renting the apartment.

Sign a longer lease
If you try the above, remember that it's also totally OK for the landlord to come back with his own stipulations: "You're great, I want to keep you, but I can't do it unless you sign for two years." From there, it's up to you. The longer lease tactic will also help you lock in a lower rate for a longer duration when you first sign.

Offer to pay a few months at a time
Landlords want your rent on the first -- after all, they likely have a mortgage to pay. Ask if he'll give you some sort of break, like a rebate, for paying before the first of the month. You cold also ask to pay in chunks at a time for a discounted rate, say six months rent for 10 percent off. "That cash, especially now, is powerful," says Daugherty.

Click here for more things to keep in mind before signing the dotted line.

Use supply and demand to your advantage
If you're in an area that has more vacancies than renters, you have an advantage. If the supply is more than the demand, that landlord wants to keep you in. But remember the reverse is true and if demand is higher than supply and you ask for a lower rent, you'll likely hear, "OK, leave. I'll get someone else to move in and pay more than you."

Mind the economy
When people can't afford their mortgage, they rent. This is putting the rental market in somewhat a state of equilibrium -- while there are more foreclosed homes being rented out, there are more people (former homeowners, that is) -- who now have to rent, so you're competing in a bigger pool. This is going to vary from city to city, so keep up to date.

Would you try any of these methods? Let us know.