12 Overlooked Costs of Renting an Apartment

Photo (cc) by Mikhail Golub

Getting your first apartment can be exciting. It’s the start of a brand-new, independent life. However, there are costs of renting that tend to catch new apartment dwellers off guard.

Before you put the money down, don’t forget to include the following 12 costs in your budget.

1. Moving fees

The costs of relocating to a new apartment can add up quickly. For example, you may have to:

  • Spend money on the packing materials you can’t find for free
  • Hire a moving company unless you plan to do it yourself
  • Purchase all the extras needed in your new place

To soften the blow, take a look at “8 Ways to Save a Bundle on Moving.”

2. Storage rentals

Unless your apartment is spacious, you may have to place excess goods in a storage unit. CostHelper.com says the monthly cost of renting a unit can range from $40 to $230, depending on unit size.

3. Security deposit

The initial deposit isn’t a surprise to new tenants, but not getting it back may be. Some apartments charge nonrefundable move-in fees that can add up to hundreds of dollars.

If the security deposit is refundable, be sure to carefully inspect the apartment with the property manager and document its condition in writing before you move in so your deposit will not be at stake when you are ready to leave.

4. Application fee

The application fee covers the administrative costs associated with the qualification process, including a background and credit check. These fees are usually nonrefundable, even if you’re not approved.

5. Parking fee

If parking is available on-site and you don’t mind searching for a space in a crowded lot, it may be free. But if you prefer a garage or covered space that’s reserved and eliminates long late-night walks, you’ll have to pay for it.

6. Laundry

Is there room for a washer and dryer in the unit? If not, prepare to pay to use a coin-operated laundry.

7. Renters insurance

If your apartment’s contents are damaged by circumstances beyond your control, you’ll want to be compensated for losses. You need renters insurance. In fact, some apartment complexes mandate that you carry a policy.

Fortunately, renters insurance is far less expensive than homeowners insurance, often costing less than $200 annually. However, it can run much higher, depending on the value of your belongings.

8. Amenities

Is your complex equipped with a conference room, gym, pool, sauna or any other desirable amenities? Even if you don’t use them, you may be required to pay an access fee.

9. Maintenance fee

Do you receive on-site trash pickup or frequent lawn care? These come at a cost, and the landlord may pass them on to you in the form of a monthly fee.

10. Pet fees

Will your furry friends be moving in? Expect added costs in the form of a monthly fee or one-time deposit.

11. Utilities and other fees

This may seem obvious, but new renters often forget that they likely will need to pay monthly fees for water and sewer, trash, Internet and cable services.

12. Home improvement projects

Assuming the place isn’t up to your standards but you plan to stay for an extended period of time, you bring it up to par with a few renovations. But what happens when it’s time to move on?

Your investment in the paint, flooring materials and additional supplies is lost. And in some instances, the landlord may require you to transform the apartment to its original state or fork over a hefty amount of cash.

Were you blindsided by any of these fees when renting your first apartment? Sound off in our Forums. It’s the place where you can speak your mind, explore topics in-depth, and post questions and get answers.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
Watch This: Organize Your Home With Dollar Tree Products
Watch This: Organize Your Home With Dollar Tree Products

Here’s how to organize every corner of your home using only items from a dollar store.

5 Ways to Put an End to Junk Mail
5 Ways to Put an End to Junk Mail

Here’s how to keep unwanted mail from clogging your mailbox and trash can.

10 Expenses You Should Not Put on a Credit Card
10 Expenses You Should Not Put on a Credit Card

Sometimes it’s simply safer to keep the plastic tucked away.

70% of Older Adults Botch This Basic Retirement Question
70% of Older Adults Botch This Basic Retirement Question

Can you answer this fundamental retirement income question?

21 Purchases You Should Never Skimp On
21 Purchases You Should Never Skimp On

With some items, it makes sense to pay a little more rather than hopping on the lowest price.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020
The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020

Based on dozens of metrics tied to affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

This Is Your Last Chance for Prime Day Deals
This Is Your Last Chance for Prime Day Deals

You still have until the very end of the day to take advantage of Amazon Prime Day 2020.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

This Is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car
This Is the Cheapest Place to Buy a Used Car

Looking for a good deal on a set of wheels? This should be your first stop.

10 Things That Really Are Free on Amazon
10 Things That Really Are Free on Amazon

These freebies are available to anyone — no Prime membership necessary.

Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?
Could You Give Up These 7 Expenses to Save Thousands of Dollars a Year?

You could save more than $30,000 by setting aside these costly expenses for just one year.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing food supply. Is your pantry prepared?

15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.