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You may run into a number of expenses when hunting for an apartment or other rental property that seem minor when isolated but can quickly add up. Your time investment alone can seem costly when you are taking time off from work to shift through the many possibilities on the market. However, due diligence at the time of property seeking can also save you a substantial amount in the long run. One aspect you will want to carefully consider, taking into account whenever you develop serious interest in a property, is the lease application fee.

There are numerous fees that can be associated with securing a new residence for yourself, and perhaps your family. Of them, the lease application fee is simultaneously one of the less expensive and one that you could encounter frequently. As with other aspects of rental searching, making certain that you approach application fees armed with knowledge of market norms and potential points of negotiation can prevent you from paying more than necessary so you can start to think about growing plants in low sunlight.

Selective Rental Property Hunting

The application fee is meant to compensate for a landlord's expense when it comes to processing your background information. When you apply, most landlords will perform a check that includes information related to your credit history, any criminal background activity, and more. Because there is legitimate cost involved in checking this data, the application fee is not a frivolous expense. However, the specific amount of this fee can vary from one place to the next and can range anywhere from (roughly) $25 - $60. With each one falling in this range, fees can add up quickly if you find yourself applying at multiple locations.

So that you don't find yourself remitting this payment time and again, it is wise to research property as thoroughly as possible prior to the point of application. Online comparison tools, phone calls, and reading testimonials from past and current tenants of a given community can help you feel more or less inclined toward a particular place. You may also want to learn of crime statistics of a certain area along with finding out as much as possible about general lease offerings ahead of time. By doing so, you can ensure you only pay this application fee when you are serious about a probable right match for you.

The Details of Application Fees

It helps to know the common range of fees for lease applications in your area. Most, regardless of what region in which you live, should not fall far out of the $25 - $60 range. If a property owner is charging a fee significantly above the upper limit of this range, you might be leery of doing business with this person. The fee should only compensate a landlord for his or her processing; it should not be an independent source of revenue. Knowing what to expect helps ensure you will not be taken advantage of.

Additionally, you will want to check on the property owner's policy regarding refunds when dealing with application fees. Many will state plainly at the point of application that all application fees are nonrefundable. Even if you see this information printed, it does not hurt to find out what will happen if you are approved and choose to rent the property. Some landlords have been known to apply your fee toward either security deposit or first month's rent. Regardless of whether doing so is a typical practice of a given landlord, you might be able to arrange it simply by asking, particularly if you are still considering other properties and the landlord wishes to gain a competitive edge.

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