When you find the apartment of your dreams, you will probably check the price of rent against your budget.It looks like you are ready to sign the lease and move in when the two line up.If you are a first-time renter, you may not have taken into account some of the extra expenses.If you don’t fully understand the cost of rent, utilities, fees, and other expenses, your rent may be out of your price range.
Step 1: Be aware of application fees.
Most landlords will ask for a payment from you to offset the costs of background and credit checks for potential tenants.Application fees can be between ten and fifty dollars.If your landlord asks for an application fee higher than that, you should ask them to explain the cost and what it is used for before agreeing to pay it.
Step 2: The security deposit should be taken into account.
If you complete all the necessary cleaning and maintenance before moving out, you’ll get a fee back.In some cases, this deposit is a few hundred dollars, but other landlords may require as much or more than an additional month’s rent.Tenants who have pets will need a larger deposit.You may have to pay an extra deposit or find a co-signer if you are a first-time renter.
Step 3: Take utilities into account.
When it comes to heat, water, electricity, gas, sewage, trash removal, and other utilities, rental units are often not all inclusive.It is important to get an exact list of all the utilities in your complex.Apartments may claim they are all inclusive, but they only cover basic utilities like water and electricity, not internet and television services.If you have never had an account with the utility company, they may require you to pay a deposit.
Step 4: Ask for the average utility costs.
This will give you an idea of how much money you need each month.Apartments have this information on hand for potential tenants.You can speak to utility providers if they don’t provide this data.Make sure your landlord doesn’t set limits on your utilities in your lease.Some rentals cover the cost of electricity but require an additional fee during the summer months when the air conditioning unit is used.
Step 5: Learn about expenses during the season.
Before signing a lease, ask about snow removal and lawn maintenance.If you don’t expect seasonal costs in your budget, they can add up.If you are renting a home, you may be responsible for your own outdoor maintenance.You should not assume that apartment complexes include this cost in your rent.Always ask.
Step 6: Do you know the cost of laundry?
You will need to pay for the water and clothes detergent if you have a washer and dryer.If an apartment complex has a communal laundry facility, you will need to pay to use the machines in addition to paying for your own detergents and other cleaning products.If there is no on-site laundry facilities, you will have to pay to use public machines at an off site location.Each option is time-Consuming and costly.
Step 7: You should include the cost of renter’s insurance.
This coverage is required by many leases.Renter’s insurance costs between $20 and $50 a month, and can often be combined with other insurance policies for discounted coverage.
Step 8: Do you know about pet rent and deposits?
Many landlords offset the damage caused by pets with this method.Pets can be smelly and destructive and the rental agreement may reflect your landlord’s concerns about renting to a pet owner.Pet rent can be as little as $10 to $50 per month after an initial deposit.The cost of a pet depends on its size and breed.Aggressive dog breeds often require your landlord to purchase additional insurance and you are likely to be expected to cover that cost through higher than usual pet rent.You will have to pay a non-refundable pet fee if you want to rent a pet.
Step 9: You can estimate the cost of cleaning.
It may seem like a small expense, but keeping your apartment clean is important.Damage, wear, and tear can cost you increased maintenance fees or a security deposit at a later date if you don’t clean regularly.Depending on the size of your rental unit, you can spend up to $100 a month on cleaning.When you move out of a complex, there is a fee for cleaning that can be several hundred dollars.This fee is included in some complexes as a non-refundable deposit.
Step 10: Take into account the cost of maintenance.
Are you responsible for dealing with minor home repairs?You need to account for all of that.Ask your landlord how they do regular maintenance.You should ask about things like air filters for the heating and cooling system, light bulbs, and availability maintenance assistance during emergencies.
Step 11: Fees are associated with moving out.
Depending on whether or not you have cleaned the apartment to your landlord’s specifications, the security deposits you paid when you moved in may or may not be returned to you.Many apartment complexes ask that you have the carpets or other floors deep cleaned before you move out, and you may also need to repaint.There are no surprises later on if you ask for a checkout list when you move in.
Step 12: Rent increases are taken into account.
At the end of your lease, or after a remodel, many landlords will raise rent.Ask your landlord about any planned additions that may increase the cost of your rent.If you don’t feel like things have improved, you should be willing to negotiate for a lower amount.If your landlord requests a $100 a month increase at the end of your lease, you can say, “Can you offer me a lower fee for my continued loyalty since there haven’t been any major updates this year?”I would be willing to pay an additional $50 a month.
Step 13: Storage fees should be considered.
An apartment may not be enough space to hold all of your things.Extra storage space can be found in some apartments, or you may need to rent a storage facility.It is important to consider these costs as part of your rental expenses regardless of where you find extra storage space.
Step 14: Pay for parking.
You will need to pay an additional fee to park in some complexes.If you don’t own a car, you should ask about the parking policies at the complex.Some apartments only charge for covered or garage parking, while others will ask for a per car fee as part of your monthly rent.
Step 15: Understand the costs of shared spaces.
If your apartment complex has a pool, gym, dog park, or other amenities available for everyone, you are likely paying to maintain these areas as part of your rent.How much of your rent goes to amenities?If you regularly go swimming, workout at the gym, or take your dog to the dog park, these expenses may be worth it.If you don’t think you’ll use these spaces, you may want to look for rental properties with fewer amenities.