Having found yourself a new place to stay, it is only natural that you would be excited about the move. The problem is that this move is going to cost you money. Yes, you know about having to pay the movers, and having to buy all those new things that go with a new house, but do you know about the move-in fee that your new landlord expects from you?
In the past (and in many places still), renters had to pay a security deposit. This was typically an equivalent of about a month’s rent or at the very most, two months’ rent. This money was meant to act as an insurance policy for your landlord just in case you didn’t take as good a care of their property as you were supposed to. Upon your moving out, they would take into account all damages caused and repairs needed and deduct that cost from the security deposit and give you back what is left.
Move-in fees are really like security deposits only, this time, you will not be getting any refunds. A move-in fee is a certain amount charged by the landlord or letting agent cover any wear and tear the apartment suffers as a result of your move. From scuffed floors to damaged ceilings and even ruined paint jobs, movers can be quite destructive. Other issues may include changing locks, replacing windowpanes and so on. These are all things that your landlord is supposed to do to make the apartment move-in ready for you. Only this time, you are paying for it.
This, of course, has brought about mixed reactions from renters with some thinking it a complete scam and many saying that it is a creative gimmick for landlords to make extra money. Whatever your stance, soon you may have no choice but to contend with these fees. With that in mind, here are some ways through which you can avoid extra moving in fees.
Find apartments that charge security deposits instead
Most landlords still charge refundable security deposits. When shortlisting the place in which you can live, find those that still offer this option instead of non-refundable move-in fees.
Find apartments being rented out by owners
Most of these fees come about when apartments are being rented out by property management companies. The good side of renting from an individual owner is that the two of you can always come to some sort of agreement. You could offer to make any necessary repairs yourself once you have moved in. You will find that many of these repairs are simple DIY projects that wouldn’t cost that much anyway. But this kind of discussion is only possible when you are dealing with individual owners.
Make sure you read the lease agreement thoroughly
Unless it is clearly stipulated in your signed lease agreement, you are technically not legally obligated to pay any move-in fees. Make sure that you have read the lease agreement thoroughly before signing anything. Although you are advised not to take a hardline stance against your landlord (for the sake of peace and a cordial relationship) sometimes you might actually need to call in a solicitor to fight any extra charges not expressly stated in the lease agreement.
Move-in fees are becoming commonplace. As time goes by, more and more tenants will have to cough up more cash if they want to move into their new homes. For the sake of saving money, it is best to learn how to avoid any extra move-in fees.
As always, you can fish for this type of info in Property Network Meetings like Simon Zutshi’s PIN meetings or the We Buy Houses Meetups of Rick Otton. These are events that happen more than once a month in different locations. Just chat around with the investors and you’ll be surprised at how much you can learn in terms of going rates, availability etc.Tags: how to avoid move in fees, how to minimise rental costs, rental property