With the spiraling rentals rates today, most tenants are preoccupied with calculating how much they can afford to pay every month. In the process, they often fail to plan for unexpected or hidden costs. Quite often these can be substantial, adding significantly to the monthly rental. While some of these may be stated upfront, such as the security deposit, some may not be as expected.
This article explores the expected and hidden costs of renting an apartment.
Some of the expected costs when renting a home are:
Security deposit: Rent is only one part of the payment. The security deposit is the first and most substantial expense you will have to fork out. Equivalent to two to ten months of rent, the security deposit is the first roadblock in getting a home. Many prospective renters often fail to count on this or to make adequate arrangements for their total liability.
Brokerage and other fees: Typically, the brokerage is equivalent to a month’s rent. In addition, there are stamp duty and registration fees that can further inflate your liability. Some gated communities also charge a moving-in fee. Combined with the security deposit, these additional charges can again raise the financial liability for the tenant.
Relocation: When moving to a new home, we often forget packing and moving charges. This amount can increase substantially depending on the distance and scope.
The hidden costs of renting an apartment are not always factored in, especially by the unaware renter.
Maintenance charges: Maintenance charges may or may not be included in the rent. In some cities like Mumbai, the quoted rent will include these charges. It is the landlord’s responsibility to pay the monthly or quarterly fee. The practice may vary in cities like Bangalore and Delhi. Premium gated communities have high maintenance charges, adding to the monthly rental.
Repainting & repairs: Minot repairs and maintenance are the tenant’s responsibility unless otherwise stated in the rental agreement. The landlord is expected to hand over the home in optimum condition. This includes furnishing and appliances in good working condition. However, you may soon find that the bathroom exhaust is not working or the stove needs servicing.
Parking: You may end up paying additional parking charges if your apartment or home does not include the space. Additional parking charges can also apply when you have more vehicles than your parking space. It is also best to check if there are any additional parking charges to be paid to the housing society.
Utility bills: Payment of utilities like electricity, water, and garbage collection charges can vary. These can depend on the terms of the rental agreement or the scope of the society maintenance charges. For instance, water and garbage collection are often included as part of the maintenance fee. However, it is best to check your total liabilities.
Penalties: Very often tenants fail to check if there are any penalties in the rental agreement and how these are decided. For example, what is the penalty if you want to vacate your flat before the lease ends? Similarly, gated communities often have certain rules and regulations with penalties for violations.
How to avoid hidden charges?
When minimising the hidden costs of renting an apartment, it is always advisable to check every little detail. This includes:
- Find out the security deposit. Negotiate if it is higher than what you expect or the prevalent rates in the market. Learn more about How People are Arranging for a Rental Security Deposit.
- Lock down all the details through the rental agreement. Most agreements specify each party’s liability for maintenance and repairs. Usually, minor wear and tear is the responsibility of the tenant. But major repairs have to be taken up by the landlord.
- Ensure the house is repainted and cleaned before you move in.
- Ensure that appliances like ACs and gas stoves have been serviced.
- Inspect the apartment or home thoroughly to make sure that electrical fittings and plumbing are working properly. Check for any damages like water leakages or broken windowpanes.
- Does the rent include maintenance charges? Find out what falls under maintenance, particularly in terms of utility charges.
- Check the rules and regulations of your housing society. This can help you avoid penalties later on.
How can ApnaComplex Rentals help?
ApnaComplex Rentals offers all-inclusive rental management services. Apart from extensive listings, tenants can also benefit from specialised services, including negotiation support in deciding on rent and security deposit. Find out more in our article Everything you Should Know about Rental Security Deposit.
You can also get support with finalising the rental agreement. Our Estate Portfolio Manager can help you with the details about the rules and regulations of the community.
Tenants can also be vulnerable to rent & lease scams. Learn What they are & How to Avoid them. To know what else you should be aware of, read our article on Things to keep in mind when looking to rent a flat
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