Many first time renters are attracted to the idea of renting because it typically costs less than owning a home. However, it is important not to underestimate the high up-front expenses that are associated with renting. First-time renters can easily overlook the amount of money they will need to offer at the beginning of a rental agreement, which often leaves them with no savings by move in day. Here are some of the typical expenses you can expect when renting:
First and Last Month’s Rent
Many landlords will require up to three months of rent up-front. Apartments in major cities typically start in the $1,500 to $2,000 per month range making this a hefty fee to pay. Before agreeing to a lease, ask your potential landlord how much they expect up-front. This will help save you time when looking at apartments because you can avoid options that will be out of your range.
When you find an apartment that allows dogs and cats, it is expected that you will be required to pay a pet deposit before moving in. This special payment is meant to protect the owner in case your pet causes damage to the rental unit. Some landlords may also add a pet “rent” to each month’s total rent.
In addition to the above requirements, many owners will also require additional fees like an application fee. This initial fee will show them that you are financially invested in becoming their tenant and that you are not wasting their time. Note that these fees can vary, so be sure to ask your potential landlord how much they charge and what the fee actually goes toward, such as a background check. Other up-front fees can include a security deposit to protect against any damage you may cause. Sometimes these fees may be reimbursed after you move out, but be sure to ask before paying.
Background Checks and New Renters
It is important to note that many landlords run a background check before agreeing to rent a unit to an individual. They must get your consent in writing before doing so. If you are required to pay a fee, it likely includes the price of a background check, but make sure. Though it may feel like an invasion of privacy, a background check will ensure that you are a fit tenant. Just keep in mind that if they ran a background check on you, they also did so on your neighbors. This protects all tenants from those with criminal backgrounds.
The team at CheckPoint is happy to offer extensive background screening services for landlords to ensure each tenant is the right choice. For more information on our services, give us a call today!