If you’re planning to rent an apartment, there are a few financial line items you need to consider in addition to your monthly rent. This guide will take you through some of the basic items you could be expected to pay in addition to your base rent.
What bills do you pay for in a rental apartment?
Some of the standard bills you will need to pay each month likely include
- Base Rent
- Gas (if applicable to your building as not all buildings have gas)
- Electric – this is for your lights and can also be for your appliances and heating and air conditioner, depending on if you have gas or not in the building
- Internet/Cable/Phone (you can usually bundle these together)
- Pet Fees (if applicable)
Some of the less common apartment bills include:
- Amenity Fees
- Valet trash – where trash is brought your door
Though you are generally expected to pay for utilities, to whom you pay will vary from building to building so it’s best to find out exactly what you need to pay for and to whom. For example, in some instances, Internet may be included in your rental cost.
Be sure to check the lease to get a detailed idea of what costs are included as part of your rent and what are not, so there are no surprises later. Do not have any verbal agreements – always get everything in writing to eliminate the chance of any disputes with your landlord.
If there are specific amenities in the building like fitness centers and swimming pools, then those might be separate costs too. If you rent a house, you may have to pay for services like lawn care and yard maintenance.
Before you sign the lease on any rental agreement, be sure to find out exactly what you need to pay for and get an estimate of how much each item costs so you can better plan your overall rental budget by taking all outgoing costs into account. The leasing agent should be able to give you some rough estimates based on past history of the property.
Should you take renter’s insurance?
In addition to all the costs mentioned, renter’s insurance might be another one you need to consider. Renter’s insurance can be a good way to protect your personal belongings in case of an issue like a theft or flood that is typically not covered under the Landlord’s insurance policy. Not having this type of insurance could leave a large dent in your savings if you need to replace damaged or stolen items.
Renter’s insurance is a security blanket to help make sure you don’t have to pay significant out-of-pocket expenses. It is relatively affordable and costs between $10 and $40 per month depending on what you intend to cover. Naturally, the more items you choose to cover, the more expensive your insurance premiums will be.
To summarize, rent is not the only expense you need to consider. There are other fees including utilities renter’s insurance that must be considered. Though they are not included in your rent, they must be part of your monthly budget.