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What You Must Pay During Your Lease Term

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You've found the perfect place, signed a lease, and are settled in to your apartment. You'll now have certain monthly expenses, large and small, that you'll need to meet in order to keep using and enjoying your rental for the remainder of your lease term.

Here's a breakdown of what you should expect to pay once you become an apartment dweller.

Common Payment Items During Your Lease Term

  1. Rent. Of course, you'll owe the rent each month, which entitles you to stay in your apartment. Make sure to pay your rent on time, or you could owe late fees -- plus put your tenancy at risk.

  2. Facility fees. If your landlord offers optional amenities or services, you may need to pay a fee for its use. Common examples include a fitness center, a laundry room, and a parking lot or garage.

  3. Furniture. You'll need to get enough furniture to fill your new space. If you're renting a furnished apartment or already have furniture from a previous home or generous friend or relative, your new furniture expenses may be minimal.

  4. Renter's insurance. It's usually not required, but renter's insurance is highly advisable. A renter's insurance policy protects your belongings, shields you against liability, and gives you peace of mind -- at a price that's probably lower than you think.

  5. Utilities. Some utilities, such as heat and hot water, may be included in your rent. But you'll need to pay for all the others, such as cable, telephone, and electricity.

  6. Miscellaneous expenses. Short of purchasing luxury items, you've got to keep your refrigerator stocked, make sure there's enough toilet paper in the bathroom, and take care of other weekly expenses needed to keep your apartment livable.

  7. Limited maintenance. Fortunately, much of the maintenance of your apartment is your landlord's responsibility. (That's one major advantage of renting over buying.) But if a chair breaks or you need professionals to take out that horrible wine stain a party guest added to your carpet recently, you'll need to spend a bit of money.

  8. Additional security deposit. If your rent goes up when you renew your lease, you might have to add to the security deposit that you gave your landlord at lease signing. For example, if a landlord may legally charge up to one month's rent as a security deposit, then you can expect a savvy landlord to ask for a little more money to reflect the rent increase.

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