There are several important factors for you to consider as you look for a new space to rent. The lot’s amenities, your personal needs, and the location of your building all influence how you’ll go about your day-to-day life. Rent, too, is one of the most critical factors that you can think about before signing a lease.

However, there are more costs involved with renting a lot than just rent. You’ll want to research a lot’s move-in fees and security deposit before determining whether or not that unit is within your budget.

Move-In Fees

Move-in fees and security deposits are not the same things, though they will both impact your wallet. Move-in fees are non-refundable expenses that landlords can charge a new tenant based on the condition of the unit they’re interested in. Maybe landlords claim that they use move-in fees for damage expenses and updates, but landlords do not have to clarify their use of your money before requesting this fee.

The laws surrounding move-in fees will vary by state, but generally, these expenses are not capped. Some landlords choose to make these fees an extension of a tenant’s rent, requesting between 50 percent of a unit’s rent and two months’ pay in exchange for the privilege of staying on their property.

Security Deposits

Security deposits are refundable expenses that landlords use to protect themselves. This tenant cost gets delivered back to the tenant at the end of that party’s lease, provided that the landlord doesn’t have to take a percentage to contend with a lot’s new damage.

Most landlords request a percentage of a tenant’s rent to stand as their security deposit. Under most circumstances, landlords will order at least one month’s rent upon a tenant’s move-in date. That said, a lot’s location can contribute to the cost of a tenant’s security deposit.

The amount a landlord requests as a security deposit can vary based on a potential tenant’s credit history and rental background. For example, renters who have poor credit may face higher security deposits than tenants with solid credit.

Total Calculations

The costs affiliated with a new rental property vary from person to person. Even so, they add a significant amount of money to the cost of moving. Parties interested in establishing a new rental property need to research that property’s fees ahead of time so that they’re not stunned by the expenses that come their way.

The good news is that landlords do not have to request both a move-in fee and a security deposit from interested tenants. While many may, cost-conscious tenants can look for rental properties that only request one form of payment instead of two.

What Do Renters Need to Know About Move-In Fees?

Move-in fees can feel unfair, especially if you’re unprepared for the expense. They may feel especially unfair if your landlord isn’t upgrading your lot. After all, you don’t know how your landlord uses the money.

If the move-in fee you’re facing isn’t especially significant, it may not be too terrible to pay. However, if a landlord requests more than 50 percent of your monthly rent as a move-in fee, you have the right to ask some questions. If the landlord you’re communicating with doesn’t seem inclined to tell you what this expense covers, then you can look for a rental unit with more reasonable prices.

Note, though, that you can negotiate your move-in fee. While not every landlord will be open to negotiations, you can present compelling facts (a strong credit score, personal references, and a steady rental history) to convince them that there’s no need. What’s more, certain deals, like same-day signing, may see a landlord waive your move-in fee.

What Do Renters Need to Know About Security Deposits?

As mentioned, your security deposit is a refundable cost. In short, landlords hold this money until your lease comes to its conclusion. This expense essentially protects a landlord from any damages you may inflict upon their property.

With that in mind, you shouldn’t anticipate getting the whole of your security deposit returned to you at the end of your lease. If you damage your lot, whether that damage looks like wall scratches, carpet fraying, or mold, then your landlord can take the cost of repairs out of your security deposit.

Take pictures of everything in your apartment on the exact day you move in to minimize the chances of paying fees down the line. This way, if your landlord tries to charge you for unnecessary repairs, you can bring out your pictures and craft an argument in response. On some occasions, this diligence can win you back the whole of your deposit as you move to greener pastures.

Move-In Fees and Security Deposits: Advice for Landlords and Renters

Additional fees are part and parcel of the renting process. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should have to accept unfair expenses. If you’re overwhelmed by a complex’s security deposits and move-in fees, talk about those fees with an experienced professional. You can learn more about your rights and what fees are reasonable when you’re first moving into a unit.

Does your landlord want to modernize the way that they collect rent? Recommend PayRent. PayRent is an online platform that makes it easier than ever for you to pay your rent online. Here you can keep an eye on your security deposit while also paying off any lot-related utilities and fees.

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PayRent is on a mission to build a rent collection app that fosters a positive and productive relationship between renters and landlords. We focus less on transactions and more on the people behind them.

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