What Are Common Expenses When Renting?

Moving into your own place is a thrilling feeling. It’s a step towards being an independent adult and having your life together. 

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But it can be hella expensive. 

Paying the rent itself is probably one of the largest costs of renting a home, but it’s not the only one. There are lots of little costs along the way.

These add up into bigger ones and before you know it you’re left with exactly $0.01 in your bank account at the end of the month. 

The best thing to do is to budget your money. Budgeting is a great way to stay in control of your finances. But before you do that, you need to figure out what expenses are affecting your finances.

Here we have some of the most common extra expenses, when it comes to renting, that you should be factoring into your budget.

Application Fee

This is probably one of the most annoying costs out there. When you start looking for a place to rent, you have to fill in an application. Usually, this application will come with a fee attached to it.

The fee will cover the cost of a background check and credit score check.

Generally, these are around $25, however, application fees vary a lot depending on how many checks need to be done, and the kind of apartment you’re interested in renting. 

The more expensive properties can sometimes have a more expensive application fee. It’s one of the more irritating costs when it comes to renting. It’s like you have to pay for people to assess whether you can pay.

Luckily these are one-off fees, and you won’t need to keep paying. However, if you’re looking at more than one apartment at a time, which ideally you should be, then there will be multiple application fees, one for each place. 

Security Deposit + Month’s Rent

When it comes to renting, most first time renters don’t realize that paying the rent itself isn’t the only overhead expense. When you initially find a place and want to move in, the landlord is going to ask for a deposit.

Specifically, it’s called a security deposit. This is because this deposit is like a guarantee that you won’t destroy the place.

If you move out you will receive your security deposit back, so long as the apartment is in the same condition you began with and there are no damages.

Along with a security deposit, some landlords might even ask you to provide the first and last month’s rent too. But this will depend on the landlord.

Some might not ask for that at all and just be happy with a security deposit. Be sure to ask and get clarification on the payments that are expected. 

Pet Deposit

Alright, this is one of the nicer fees. Because if you’ve managed to find a place that requires a pet deposit, that means they allow pets.

And if you know anything about the renting industry, allowing pets is rare. On the off chance that they do then you’re a lucky duck. 

Not so lucky when it comes to actually having to pay it. Pet deposits are can be any amount and are subject to the whim of whoever is renting the property.

But the average fee is around $300, remember this is variable. 50% of the fee is not refundable, but the other half usually is. This provided that your pet causes no damage. 

Tenant Facilities

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This typically applies to apartments, because an apartment lacks a lot of things you might be able to get in a house, some of them provide tenant facilities.

Tenant facilities are things like gyms, swimming pools, playgrounds, any sport courts, saunas, even parking spaces.

This isn’t always applicable, and you should be sure to double-check whether your place of rent requires this fee. You also have the option not to opt into these with the adage that you won’t be able to use them. 

The parking fee is a separate type of tenant facility and a bit more expensive. The other fees may be lumped together, but parking is typically separate as it’s the one facility most people are in need of.

Parking fees are usually charged either monthly or yearly and vary.


Utilities are basically all the little things you need to be able to call your place a home. Without them, it would be very difficult to survive.

Some utilities are cable, gas, electricity, trash, water, sewer, snow removal etc. Utilities are a lot of little things that can eventually add up as they’re paid on a monthly basis. 

However, some places cover the cost of certain utilities in their monthly fee. This is a massive help when it comes to keeping your finances under control.

Be warned though, sometimes it can actually be cheaper to find a place where utilities aren’t included. This is because when utilities are included then the price may be overinflated…

Moving Expenses

Ah, moving expenses. The crème de la crème of hidden rental expenses. People can get so focused on rental costs involving their new place that they forget the cost of moving out of their old place.

Luckily there are ways to minimize this expense as much as possible. 

When it comes to moving one of the biggest expenses is hiring a moving service. Though this may cost more, you don’t have to break your back trying to haul your massive couch up the stairs into your new apartment.

But for those of you with decent strength and the back of an Olympic gymnast, you could always move your stuff yourself.

Nowadays, it’s easy to rent your own van, or haul the stuff in yours and a bunch of friends cars. Then all you’ve got to pay for is gas and ‘thank you’ pizza.

Final Thoughts

There you have it. Renting is a tricky business with plenty of hidden costs, but we’ve done our best to list out the ones you’ll face. 

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Fred Combes
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