If you start the lease for an apartment or rental house anytime except the very first day of the month, you’ll pay prorated rent. Prorated rent is a good thing; it means you only pay for the days that the lease is actually in your name rather than for the entire month.
As a renter, you need to know how to prorate rent so you can budget accordingly. This calculation is not to be used for when you move into an apartment or rental house, only when you actually have possession of the apartment. Often, your lease begins before you can actually move your stuff into your apartment. If your lease term begins on the first of the month, but you choose to move in later, you’ll still owe rent for the entire month. When you signed the lease, you agreed to pay a full month’s rent in return for a full month’s use of the apartment.
To prorate rent, you need your lease start date, which you and your landlord will agree on. Then:
1. Determine how many days are in the month in which your lease begins. For instance, if your lease starts in June, there are 30 days in June.
2. Divide your monthly rental payment by the number of days in the month to find the cost of rent per day. If your rent is $600 per month and your lease starts in June, for example, divide $600 by 30 days ($600/30 = $20 per day).
3. Determine your lease start date. For example, say that it’s June 14, which means that for the month of June, you will pay rent for 17 days (June 14-30). At $20 per day, you will pay $340 for the month of June ($20 per day x 17 days = $340).
Or, visit Mr. Landlord for a prorated rent calculator.
Keep in mind that in some cases, particularly if your credit isn’t good or if the landlord has never rented before, the landlord may choose to prorate the second month’s rent rather than the first. From a landlord’s perspective, it may be best to receive a full month’s rent and deposit upon move-in and then prorate the second month’s rent, unless the tenant has extremely good credit and references. In other words, in some landlords’ eyes, if a tenant can afford the full amount up front, the tenant is more likely to continue paying rent.