You’ve found the place of your dreams within your budget and you’re ready to sign the lease. But what if you have to move in after the first of the month? In many cases, you will not pay the full rent for that month; instead, you’ll pay what’s known as pro-rated rent.
What is the prorated rent?
Prorated rent means that you calculate your payment based on the number of days you lived in your unit in a rental month instead of paying rent for the full month as you normally would. Life can be complicated, and you can’t always move in on the first day of a billing cycle. This is where the prorated rent comes in.
When will a tenant receive prorated rent?
You might need prorated rent for various reasons:
- Your previous lease expires in the middle of a month
- Looking for short-term accommodation
- You want the move-in date to a new location to match the start of a new job or school year
- You must leave a unit before the end of a month
However, prorated rent is not actually required by law in most places. While most landlords will agree to prorate your rent if you move in at some point after the first of the month, many may have an issue with prorating your rent for a moving date before the end of the month.
You have a few options if you are going to move in or out of the unit after the first day or before the last day of the month:
- You might have a prorated rent section in the rental agreement you sign
- Laws in your area may cover pro rata rent
If none of these things apply to you, you can always ask your landlord for a prorated rent price. If they agree, you should get that agreement in writing. Keep in mind, however, that your landlord is not required to prorate rent if it is not covered by local laws or stated in your lease.
Again, while most landlords tend to agree to prorate rent for the move-in date, they are less likely to prorate rent if you move out before the lease expiration date. You can let your landlord know if you plan to move out earlier, but since you have already signed a lease, you likely won’t receive a refund of the prorated amount. Your landlord may ask you to pay the full amount of the rent for the month you committed to when you signed your lease.
How to use a prorated rent calculator
If you pay rent on the first of the month, you can use a prorated rent calculator that relies on a few key information:
- Your move-in date
- Your monthly rate
- The day of the month your rent is due
A simple prorated rent calculator uses the following 3 steps:
- Determine how many days in the month you need to prorate rent for. For example, if you move in February (28 days), you will end up with a slightly different calculation than if you move in July (31 days).
- Take the monthly rent rate, then divide that number by the number of days in your current month. This will give you the cost of your unit per day.
- Multiply that cost per day by the number of days remaining in your billing cycle.
This complete calculation gives you the total amount of prorated rent you will need to pay. Let’s say your monthly rent is $ 1,500 and you move into your home on April 12th. If your billing date is the first day of each month, you’ll prorate your rent as follows:
- $ 1,500 divided by 30 days in April equals $ 50 per day
- $ 50 per day multiplied by 19 billable days (the remaining days until you reach the first of the following month) equals $ 950
In this example, you owe $ 950 of your monthly rent of $ 1,500 for the month of April.
How to prorate rent when you don’t pay on the first of the month
The simple steps that go into a prorated rent calculator need to be adjusted if your rent isn’t due on the first of the month. For example, your rent may be due on the 10th or 15th of each month.
If so, you’ll pro-rate your rent by following a few additional steps:
- Divide your total monthly rent by the number of days in your current month to get the cost per day for the first month.
- Multiply the cost per day for the first month by the number of days remaining in that month. This gives you a prorated amount for the days of that first month.
- Repeat the process with the days of the following month.
- Add the prorated amount for the days of the first month to the prorated amount for the days of the second month. This gives you the total amount of your prorated rent.
Other methods of prorating rent
While prorating your rent based on the number of days in the current month is the most common way to do this, you will find a few other ways to prorate rent. After all, the rent amount will vary slightly depending on the month (think February vs. April vs. July). Here are other ways to prorate rent:
- Using the number of days in an average month.
- Using the number of days in a “bank month” (30 days).
- Using the number of days in a year.
Now that you understand how to prorate rent, you can approach your landlord with the confidence you need. Ready to find a new place? Search thousands of apartments on Zumper and find the one that’s right for you.