4 Cost Considerations When Renting Your First Apartment

Posted on: 30 March 2016

If you are in the process of renting your first apartment, there are multiple costs that you need to take into consideration before you sign a lease. Here are four:

Upfront Rental Costs

The first thing you need to take into consideration are all the upfront costs you are going to have to cover before you step foot into your first apartment. It is not as simple as finding an apartment with a reasonable month-to-month fee. 

Most rental companies will require you to put down a security deposit. A security deposit will cover any damage to your unit during your time there. For a first time renter without a rental history, you should expect your security deposit to be equal to at least a month's rent. 

Many rental companies, especially with new renters, will also require you to provide both the first and last month's rental fee up-front. That way, the rental company knows you can afford the monthly rent, and it gives them assurance of rent if you leave early for any reasons.

That means you are going to need to pay up to three times the amount of the monthly rent to the property owner or property management team before you even get the keys to your apartment.

Upfront Utility Costs

The second thing that you need to take into consideration are your upfront utility costs. If you have never had a water, electrical or gas account before, your utility company may require a deposit from you before they even set up your service. This deposit is to ensure that you are capable of paying your monthly utility bills. Additionally, many utility companies will also charge you one-time installation or set-up fees.

If you need to set up internet, cable or phone service, you will also have to pay installation fees for these services and you will have to purchase or rent the necessary equipment for these services as well.

Moving Costs

The third thing you need to take into consideration are moving costs. If you have a lot of belongings that you will be moving into your apartment, you will need to rent a U-Haul or moving van to transport your belongings. If you don't have friends or family nearby, you may also need to pay for people to help you move your belongings. 

You will also have to include some money in your budget for moving boxes, packing tape and packing padding material.

Monthly Costs

Finally, you need to factor in monthly costs. You will be expected to not only pay your rent every month, but all of your bills as well. You will need to pay for utilities such as gas, electricity and water. Depending on your rental contract, you may have to pay for  garbage and sewer as well. You should also purchase renter's insurance.

Don't forget about your student loans, credit card bills and any other monthly expenses you have.

Moving into your first apartment is about a whole lot more than just being able to afford the ticket price of your desired apartment. You also need to take into consideration all the additional money the rental agency will expect from you, your upfront utility costs, moving costs as well as recurring monthly costs.