Yes, moving out is exciting, and getting your very first apartment adds to that excitement. There is no doubt about it. However, you shouldn’t get too thrilled to the point of overlooking the costs of renting your abode. Before giving your money to the lessor or landlord, make sure that you have covered all the necessary expenses when renting an apartment.
In that regard, here are 5 overlooked fees that first-time renters should include in their rental budget.
1. Rental Fees for Extra Storage Space
If your chosen apartment is not spacious enough for all your things, then you may need to get an extra set of storage facilities. But the catch is that it comes with rental fees that you don’t usually know upfront, so you better watch out for them. Always keep in mind that not everything comes for free. It would be ideal to have extra cash with you just in case you need it.
But if for instance, the storage rentals set by the lessor are too expensive for your budget, then you have the option to get a self storage. A self storage is a type of service that allows you to rent a storage space like containers, lockers, and rooms for a certain fee. It is paid every month, and the cost depends on the storage size and your location. The smaller the storage space is, the lesser you pay.
2. Renters Insurance
Also known as tenants insurance, renters insurance contains some benefits found in a homeowners insurance. It may cover personal properties, personal liability, and loss of use. It is helpful in situations when you accidentally damage your personal belongings and/or any part of the apartment. It basically compensates the losses incurred in situations beyond one’s control.
This is the reason why some apartment lessors require their tenants to have a renters insurance as it assures the coverage of the properties. Moreover, owners don’t need to worry about any compensation because the insurance immediately covers the expenses.
If possible, have an insurance ready before moving to your apartment. The good news is that the renters insurance is cheaper than a homeowners insurance. It usually costs less than $200 every year, but the price increases based on how much the belongings cost.
3. Security Deposit
This type of expense should not be overlooked, otherwise, it may just be ripped off from you. According to California Courts, a security deposit is any amount of money that a landlord takes from a tenant in addition to the rent’s advanced payment. Aside from being a monetary obligation, it secures the apartment owner just in case the tenant violates the terms stated in the rental agreement. It may also be used to compensate for the back rent, cleaning, damage to property or key replacement.
If for instance, you paid for a refundable security deposit, then you should make sure that you have thoroughly inspected the property and the premises together with the manager. As much as possible, take note of the property’s condition before moving in so that you can get back the security deposit once you are about to leave the place.
4. Application and Parking Fees
These types of fees should not be disregarded because these are usually non-refundable. The application fees cover the costs for administrative requirements and qualification processes. Background and credit checks are also included in the application fees.
Meanwhile, parking fees are the money you pay for the area where you leave your car. Apparently, you are obliged to pay the parking fees if you want to park your car in a garage or a covered area owned by the lessor. But if you are able to find an open space where there are no charges, then that would help you save your money for other important expenses.
5. Expenses Used in Improving the Apartment
Let’s say that you plan to extend your stay, and you have been permitted to renovate your apartment, so you will most likely have to spend on the materials for the renovations. You have to buy the paint, tools, and other supplies for your home improvement project.
But once you decide to move out of the place, you end up losing the money you used on the improvements. Perhaps, the worst part would be requiring you to bring the apartment back to its former state. Unfortunately, there are instances when your landlord wants you to bring back the original features of the apartment, leaving you with no choice but to spend your money for the makeover.
Aside from these five most overlooked expenses in renting an apartment, first-time tenants also fail to notice the following expenses: moving fees, laundry costs, amenities, maintenance and pet fees, as well as, utilities bills such as water, cable, and internet services. These should not be disregarded, because if you are not prepared for these things, then it’s best not to move out yet. Get a stable and good-paying job to ensure that you are able to cover everything on your own.
Independent living has its share of perks and peeves. Apparently, the best thing about it is having no strict rules to follow, while the worst part of it is taking care of your bills every month - take it from someone who has been living alone for five years already. But living on your own is not all about getting away from your parents and/or dealing with financial obligations. It is actually an exciting milestone that allows you to grow and become a more responsible individual.