Your monthly rent may not be the only thing you have to budget for. Be sure to factor in all of the potential costs when planning to rent.
- Application fee. Landlords may charge you an application fee. This can add up if you apply to multiple properties.
- Security deposit. Landlords usually require a security deposit equal to one or two months rent. You’ll be expected to have this money ready when you sign the lease.
- Pet deposit or fee. If you have a pet, you may have to pay a pet deposit. Alternatively, some landlords may charge a monthly fee for you to keep your pet.
- Move-in fee. You may be charged a non-refundable move-in fee.
- Broker fee. If you used a for-fee broker to help you find your rental, you may be responsible for the broker’s fee. (No-fee brokers are paid by the landlord.)
- Utilities. Utilities include things like electricity, gas, water, cable, and Internet. Some or all of the utilities may be included in your rent.
- Renters insurance. Whatever you do, don’t skip renter’s insurance! For a relatively low monthly cost, you can insure all of your belongings in your home. In case of a fire or other catastrophe, you’ll be glad to have the financial help to replace your furniture, clothing, computers, TVs and other high-cost items.
- Parking fee. More common in densely populated areas, the cost of a monthly parking spot can add significantly to your monthly housing cost.
- Amenities fee. Some rental communities charge for amenities such as an on-site gym or pool. You’ll be charged whether or not you use these amenities.
- Yard maintenance. If you rent a single-family home or townhome, you’ll be responsible for the upkeep of the yard, and may choose to pay someone else to do it.
- Laundry. If you don’t have a washer and dryer in your unit, you’ll likely be paying for coin-operated laundry.
- Rent increases. Your rent will likely increase over time with inflation.
- Moving costs. If you have to move more than once within a few years, those moving costs can really add up.