Moving in to a new apartment can get pricey with the upfront fees charged on top of rent. Being aware of what fees are legitimate and which ones are not can help you avoid being scammed and also help you prepare for what kind of costs to expect. Save up enough money to cover these costs when first moving in to your new apartment to get off on the right foot financially without getting behind.
1. Security Deposit
Most apartments or houses for rent will charge you some sort of a rental deposit when you first move in. This covers the landlord for damage to the apartment. Rental or security deposits can vary greatly in price. This amount is based on your location, the size of the rental and the value of the rental. The more expensive the home or apartment is, usually the greater the deposit will be. The amount of the rental deposit that is returned once you move out is based on what kind of shape you leave the apartment in. If the carpet needs to be replaced or there is damage to the walls, these costs will be deducted from the original rental deposit and the difference will be returned to you. Be sure to inspect the apartment when you first move in for any current damage and inform the landlord so that you will not be held accountable for it later on.
2. Rental Deposit
The rental deposit on an apartment or home usually means first and last months rent. This covers the landlord in case you move out suddenly without notice until they can find another tenant. This is standard procedure in renting and you should be prepared to cover this cost when looking for a new apartment
Some apartments charge for designated parking spaces or reserved covered parking areas. If your apartment community does charge for these types of fees, you may expect to have to pay a deposit on this cost as well. It may be the same as the rental deposit where you are expected to pay first and last months rent for the parking space.
4. Application Fee
This fee covers the cost of the landlord to run your application and credit check to approve you as a tenant. This fee is usually non-refundable regardless of if you are approved for the apartment or not. This cost should usually not be more than $75–if it is more, question the landlord as to why.
5. Pet Fee
If you are moving into the new apartment with a dog or cat, there will probably be a pet fee or deposit. This covers the cost of damage that the pet may do to the apartment. It should be similar to the security deposit, in that the damage will be assessed when you move out and you will be refunded any portion that is not used to cover any damage done. Some apartments may also charge extra rent for a pet. Look into this ahead of time to find an apartment where pets are accepted and that will not charge you exorbitant fees for them.