One of the biggest questions we get asked from residents is whether ‘they are paying rent for the previous month or next month?’
Unlike with utilities or other vendors, with apartments you are usually paying in advance / pre-paying rent for the upcoming month. Therefore, rent due July 1 will be to cover July.
Why would I pay before?
Some residents who have never lived in an apartment might be confused by this. “Why should I have to pay in advance?”
If you think about it, apartments work similar to hotels. When you check into a hotel, you cannot say that I will pay after my stay (although technically most hotels put a hold on your credit card until you check out – that’s a technicality).
With hotels, you are paying in advance for your upcoming stay. That is how it works in apartments as well.
This pre-payment in advance helps protect Landlord’s from liability in case you decide to move out and choose not to pay rent.
How Does Rent Work?
In almost every state and city in America, you are paying rent for the upcoming month (i.e the month ahead). Rent payment due on July 1 will cover July living, rent payment due on August 1 will cover August living, and so forth.
But what about on move in?
The first time you move in, you are still pre-paying rent, but you might owe a little more in advance (sometimes you might owe rent for 1st month and security deposit).
For example, if you are moving in February 1. You will likely have already paid February rent up front, and your next payment due will likely be due March 1 (check with your landlord).
What Happens If I Move in Middle of Month?
If you move in the middle of the month, you will still typically have to pay in advance, but your rent will usually be pro-rated (i.e. you only have to pay rent for the days you agreed to take possession of the apartment).
How Do Utilities Work?
Rent works different than most utilities. For utilities that are billed directly based on usage, they are billed in the arrears (or after the fact). For example, your electricity company won’t know how much you have used your lights or air conditioning system until the end of the month, so you will get your invoice after they have calculated your consumption.
Some utilities you may pay a flat fee for so this is different. In this example, on February 1st, you will be paying for your electric that you used all during the month of January.
Rent Payments are usually paid in advance to cover the month ahead. If you are just moving in, you will still be paying in advance but might have to pay a little more upfront.
Check your lease for specific dates on when rent is due. Keep in mind that most Landlord’s although rent is due on the 1st, will give a grace period of a few days.
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