Paying for Your Apartment: Rent, Fees, and More

Looking for a new place to live? Apartment living can be easy, convenient, and cheap—but there’s more to it than just rent. Let’s take a look at some of the most common expenses to expect from your new apartment community.


The most obvious expense when getting a new apartment will be the cost you pay each term to live there. In nearly all cases (though there can be some exceptions), you will pay rent on a monthly basis. Rent can be anywhere from a couple hundred dollars per month to thousands of dollars per month, and that will primarily be determined by your geographic location and the standard of living you want to have.

Rent rates are agreed upon at the time of lease, and may be renegotiated at the time of lease renewal. Once you’ve signed a lease, the rate listed there is what you will pay each month for the duration of the contract. Monthly rent is usually due the first day of the month, though some apartment complexes offer a short grace period before any fees are assessed. You’ll want to be sure to confirm your apartment complex’s own policy regarding due dates and fees!

Renter’s Insurance

Many apartment complexes require their residents to show proof of renter’s insurance. This can also vary based on local mandates. Renter’s insurance protects your own possessions and personal property, as well as your liability. The owners of the complex should have their own insurance policy to cover the structures or dwellings, but in case of fire, vandalism, or other damage you are responsible for your own stuff.

Renter’s insurance policies are typically underwritten for one year, with premiums paid either annually or monthly. Because they don’t cover the dwelling itself, they are much cheaper than a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.

Other Fees

There are a number of other fees you might see when renting an apartment. You may be required to pay a small fee with your application in order to be considered as a potential resident. Many apartment complexes charge additional fees for the use of amenities outside the apartment unit itself. These can include reserved parking spaces; covered parking; use of fitness, leisure, or other common areas; and use of laundry facilities (either renting equipment in your individual unit or sharing of services with other tenants). It is also common for some or all utility fees, like those for water, trash, and sewer, to be assessed through the apartment complex rather than directly by the utility provider. Always make sure to confirm what services are included in the cost of your rent and which items cost extra!

There can be a lot of costs associated with renting an apartment, besides just your monthly rent. Make sure you read all the fine print and ask questions about anything you don’t understand. Always pay on time and you should have a successful renting experience!

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