With the cost of real estate soaring beyond affordable means, more and more American households are deciding to rent. As of 2015, 37% of American households rented their home, whether it was a single-family home, a condo or an apartment. If you're interested in renting an apartment, the listed rental price may not be all that you'll have to shell out of your own pocket. To determine whether an apartment is affordable or not, consider these 3 additional expenses.
The Cost of Renter's Insurance
While most renters are quick to tack on the cost of utilities and luxuries, like WiFi, with the rent, not many consider the cost of renter's insurance before they sign the rental contract. Some rental contracts specify that renters must purchase a certain amount of renter's insurance. Renter's insurance isn't something you should skimp out on. It can protect you in the event that the apartment becomes damages from a natural disaster or an unexpected event that is beyond your control, like a pipe bursting. The insurance covers the value of your items. Unfortunately, renter's insurance can be rather costly depending on where you live, the amount of coverage that you need and many other factors.
Whether Maintenance Fees Are Included
Before signing the dotted lines on the rental contract, it's vital to consider whether you or the landlord will be responsible for paying the maintenance fees for the apartment. Almost all apartment buildings will charge a monthly maintenance fee for the upkeep of the building. You can usually expect to tack on a couple extra hundred dollars if you're living in a decent apartment building. Over time, the maintenance fees can quickly add up.
The Bylaws and the Fines for Violations
Another important thing to consider is whether there are any bylaws of the apartment that might interrupt with your quality of living. You'll also want to consider how lenient the board is and the fines that are charged for each violation. While you'll avoid these fines as long as you avoid violating any bylaws, it's still important to consider whether the bylaws and the fines are reasonable or not just in case you find yourself on the wrong side of the bylaws.
There are a lot of expenses that you need to add on top of the rent. Renting in an apartment can be a lot more costly than you've imagined. It's important to consider all of the hidden expenses that you will or might face before signing the rental contract. Remember these tips as you start looking at rental apartments.