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What fees are involved with moving and leasing?

Moving homes and signing a new lease involve a ton of different types of costs. Make sure you’re aware of all the following fees and start saving well before your first move!

Security deposit

A security deposit is a (usually, required) payment that a new tenant gives to their landlord or property management company as part of the advanced payments. It’s essentially insurance — or a “good faith deposit” — for future payments and any damages. If you leave the apartment the way you found it, you’ll get this amount refunded to you, sometimes with interest. The laws around security deposits vary from state to state, but they are generally one or two months’ worth of rent.

*How to avoid paying security deposits*

At Common, you can avoid this extremely costly up-front fee. Moving into our Chicago or Washington, DC homes only require a small move-in fee with no security deposit. If you’re considering our other homes across New York, LA, San Francisco, and Seattle, you don’t have to worry about paying a security deposit before you sign your lease.

Through HelloRented and Obligo, our homes are “deposit-free,” meaning that you can pay a monthly fee — as low as $10 a month — instead of swallowing the huge up-front cost. The applicant can simply submit a billing pre-authorization through these services and only pays if there’s an actual claim.

First and last month’s rent

When signing your lease, expect to pay the first month’s rent, and possibly the last month’s as well. Your lease has started, so you’re just paying your monthly rent. If you owe both months, think of it as you’ve taken care of ⅙ of your annual rent, meaning you only have to pay for the remaining 10 months as they are due!

*How to avoid paying more than first month’s rent up-front*

At Common, you only pay up-front for the first month of rent. No last month’s rent, plus you get a little discount on your second month’s rent (keep reading for “application fees”).

Broker fees

If you used a broker to get your apartment, the broker’s fee is now due. Make sure you know from the start of your relationship how much a broker will charge, which is most commonly an amount equal to 10% of a year’s rent or one month’s rent but may vary.

*How to avoid paying broker fees*

There are no broker fees involved at Common!

Application fees

When signing a new lease, there’s usually an application fee involved. This fee is most often applied to run a background check and credit check authorization. The landlord or property management company needs to verify your credit rating, employment, rental history, and more.

In New York, this fee averages between $60 and $150 per person for a rental apartment. Every person on the lease (aka each of your roommates) needs to pay this fee.

*How to avoid paying ridiculous high application fees*

At Common, the initial fee is $300. This puts your room on hold and covers your credit and background checks (only $45). The rest counts toward your second month’s rent, so you essentially get it right back! No broker fees, no security deposit.

Renter’s insurance

Renter’s insurance is recommended for all tenants to protect their personal belonging in case of fire, theft, power surges, water damage, vandalism, damage, or any other events out of your control within your home. Renter’s insurance costs around $10 to $15 a month.

If any of these unfortunate instances occur, your renter’s insurance policy allows you to receive a reimbursement for the replacement cost of any affected property (the limit varies) and covers living expenses (hotel, food) if you are to evacuate after an incident. Not to mention, there is also liability coverage for property damages and medical bills caused by negligence. That means you don’t have to pay the costs of your neighbor’s stitches if your dog gets loose or for repairs if you overflow your neighbor’s apartment.

*How to find affordable renter’s insurance*

At Common, you can easily get renter’s insurance from Lemonade, which is one of the many brands we partner with for exclusive discounts for our members. You can get covered for as low as $5 a month.

Moving costs

Getting all your stuff from your current home to your new place will cost anything from a couple of hundred bucks to a nice dinner, whether you hire a professional moving company, rent a U-Haul truck, or just ask some friends for help.

*How to avoid paying moving costs*

You won’t have to pay any moving costs at Common. Our fully furnished, beautifully designed homes mean you won’t have to worry about furniture or purchasing appliances. Simply pack your personal belongings and move in in just 30 minutes.

Miscellaneous costs

There are also a few other hidden costs that you should keep in mind.

If you have a pet, for example, you may have to pay a pet deposit. Depending on the city and neighborhood, it could cost between $100 to $500 per pet, which is used to help the landlord pay for any damages that your pet may cause. Of course, it’s refundable if there aren’t any such problems!

Pet deposit at Common

Pets are accepted only at Common Baltic’s traditional suites and in our Seattle studios. For New York, there is a refundable $500 pet deposit, and in Seattle, there is a $250 pet deposit and $50/month additional pet rent.

Free high-speed Wifi at Common

Another costly detail in moving is setting up WiFi in your new home. Most installations come free with the purchase of a plan, so be prepared to pay around $50 to $100 per month for WiFi. At Common, we provide free high-speed WiFi in all of our homes. It’s installed, and ready to connect from the day you move in.

Furnished spaces at Common

Let’s not forget that making your new place feel like home will be another burden on your wallet. Luckily, we know some places where you can buy cheap, high-quality furniture. If you’re not one to invest in high-quality furnishings, however, consider Common. Our fully furnished, beautifully designed coliving homes ensure that your private bedroom, kitchen, and entire home come with the best furniture and brand new appliances.

Take a free tour of our no-fee homes today.

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