Checking that Rent is Market Rate

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Checking that Rent is Market Rate

Oh My Apartment · Nov 30, 2009

There are many factors that play into how much rent is charged for an apartment. The neighborhood, amenities, and even whether you have a pet can all affect the rent for a particular place. These variables can make it hard to be sure that a landlord is asking for a fair rental amount for an apartment. How can you tell how much rent is fair for the market you’re living in?

Just having a general idea of what other apartments are going for in the area you’re looking at can be a good starting point. Try browsing Craigslist to find something comparable to the apartment you’re considering renting to help be sure that the rate is fair. If you want to find a more precise comparison, however, there are several websites that can give you a good idea for your area. Rentometer.com is one such site. By entering the address of the apartment you’re considering, as well as the rent you’re being asked to pay, the site will tell you how your rent rates in your area. Rentometer will gauge your rent based on how many apartments have a lower rent than the one you’re looking at in your area, as well as point out the apartments yours is being compared to on a map.

The downside to relying on Rentometer is that it’s hard to see how apartments with different amenities stack up. After all, a two-bedroom apartment with access to a pool or with pets allowed is most likely going to be rented at a higher amount than a bare bones two-bedroom apartment. For that reason, it can be practical to browse through apartment listings on a site like ThatRentalSite.com. Here you can check out what’s offered in each apartment and see at a quick glance how each is priced.

If you have the opportunity to talk to anyone already renting in the complex or area that you want to move into, it can be very helpful if you can find out the rent they’re paying. It may not be a perfect indicator of the market rate for rent, but you can see what other people are willing to pay to live in the area, instead of just relying on the amount that a landlord wants to charge.

No matter where you get your information, it’s important to have a clear idea of what appropriate costs for your apartment are before you sign a lease. Right up until that point you have some room for negotiation, as well as the ability to walk away from a bad deal. Afterward, though, you’ve committed yourself to sending in a set rent check every month.

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