Apartment Rental Terminology

The most important thing you have to do before renting out your first apartment or condo is to make a budget. Look at how much cash you’ll be getting each month then determine how much of that will go to utilities, miscellaneous bills (cellphone, cable TV, internet), groceries, entertainment, and personal items. From there, you should be able to figure out how much you can spare for the rent. Remember though, that there are more costs to renting than the rent!

Remember that there is a difference between a reservation fee and a security deposit. The amount of the reservation fee usually varies from landlord to landlord but they’re usually the equivalent of a month’s rent. The difference between the reservation fee and the deposit is that the former is non-refundable. This is because the reservation fee is an indication of financial stability and serious commitment about renting the place.

The security deposit is refundable and is usually given when you move in or sign the lease. Any damages done to the property will be deducted from the security deposit. If the apartment is still in the same condition when you move out, you should get the entire deposit back. Before signing the lease, make sure you ask the landlord what items in the apartment are covered by the security deposit.

Other fees that you might have to pay besides the rent are a monthly parking fee or amenities fee if your apartment has a swimming pool or gym area. Late payment fees are standard for apartments but like other fees, they vary from building to building.

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