When you want to rent an apartment, you need to consider all the costs involved in renting, including rent, utilities, parking, and even admin fees.
An admin fee is a type of one-time fee that landlords charge to cover some of the overhead involved in preparing and renting the apartment.
What is It?
In addition to your application/credit fee, an apartment complex may charge a one-time admin fee or administrative fee.
This admin fee is a one-time fee and is usually between $150 to $300, owed after you are approved but before lease signing.
It is a fee to cover overhead or expenses the landlord has related to leasing and preparing the apartment, including paperwork, tours, temporary utilities, marketing, and other fees.
Does the Admin Fee Get Credited to Your Rent?
No, the admin fee is usually not credited to your rent. It is one time fee that goes directly to the landlord.
Are Admin fees for Apartments Refundable?
No, admin fees are usually not refundable.
Make sure you understand all the fees that are owed up front as well as once you move in.
Are Admin fees one-time or on-going?
Most admin fees for apartments are one-time (and not charged each month). Ask your building to confirm.
Why Do Apartment Complexes Charge Admin Fees?
Apartments charge admin fees for numerous reasons:
- It helps the landlord cover any expenses while your application is in process.
- It helps offset other costs the landlord incurs while trying to rent the apartment
Is an admin fee the same as an Amenity fee?
No, not usually.
In addition to an admin fee, an apartment may also charge an amenity fee (which could be a one-time fee of say $500), or it could be recurring (in which case it is usually about $50/month).
Is an admin fee the same as Security Deposit?
No, admin fees are not the same as a security deposit. A security deposit is money that belongs to tenant but held by landlord in case you cause damages or otherwise violate your lease.
Is an admin fee the same as Application Fee?
No, application fees are usually referring to the fees you pay for background/credit checks. Having said that, some people may use the terms interchangeably.
What About Waived Admin fees?
It’s possible your admin fee could be waived as a concession or perk to get you to rent. It can’t hurt to ask.
What other fees do I owe?
The actual definitions of are not as important as understanding:
- what fees you owe that are one-time?
- what fees you owe on-going?
What is the summary?
Admin fees are one-time fees of $150-$300+ that have become the norm across many states, especially in newer construction apartment buildings. Find out what the cost is ahead of time so you’re not surprised during the application process.
It is also worth noting that the lingo of admin fees may mean different things in different parts of the country, so it is best to confirm your understanding ahead of time. There may be also restrictions in some states.
Be an informed consumer and understand what costs you owe upfront and what costs you owe on-going.
Clarify what fees are refundable and what fees are not.
At Fidelity Managment, we currently do not charge for admin fees. However, many apartments do charge for this and therefore it is important to understand. Hopefully this article gives you a nice start.