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Apartment Rent and What You Need to Know

Understand your rent and financial questions for your new Shreveport or Bossier City Apartment home


Apartment Rent and What You Need to Know

Since your apartment rent is likely the largest bill you will pay every month and is a major factor when choosing an apartment, in this article, we will take a closer look at rent payments and what they involve. 


Rental rates in large apartment communities are typically determined by a software program.  This program bases rents on factors such as the square footage of the apartment, how many bedrooms, current occupancy of that apartment community, and market conditions.  Using these factors the program then calculates a rental price per apartment unit.  These programs can calculate the rental rates on a daily basis which in return may cause rental prices to fluctuate.

Private landlords are those with a smaller apartment building or houses for rent.  These landlords will often study rental comps.  Rental comps are analysis used to compare rental properties that are similar to one another to determine the going rental price.  Many private landlords are willing to negotiate the rental price if you consider paying a higher security deposit or signing a longer lease. 


In your lease agreement the methods of paying your rent are clearly outlined.  Some landlords might insist on certain types of payments methods.  Listed below are several possible methods of paying your monthly rent. 


Always get a receipt from your landlord if you are paying by cash or money order.  Never allow the landlord to take your money order or cash and give you a receipt later.  You have no proof of the transaction if that cash or money order suddenly disappears.  NEVER make a money order or cash payment without a dated and signed receipt.  You might find that larger management companies are resistant to accept cash.


Personal Check. Paying your rent by personal check provides you with proof of payment once the check is cashed and cleared by your bank.  It’s still a good idea to get a receipt for every rental payment, but you could use your cleared check as proof of payment if needed.  Even if the check is lost before making it to the bank, you can issue a stop payment on it and issue a replacement.  Paying by check does have its drawbacks. It is less secure due to the fact is has your full name, address, bank information, and signature.  If you are mailing the check, it could get lost.  It’s best to hand-deliver your check to your landlord every month if possible. 

Cashier’s Check. As opposed to a personal check, you may opt to use a cashier’s check.  A cashier’s check is drawn up by your bank and sent to the landlord.  If your landlord loses the check before depositing it, you can cancel it with your bank and write another one. 

ACH or  eCheck. Another method of payment is by an Electronic Check known as eCheck.  An eCheck is an electronic check that is a digital version of a traditional paper check.  Using an eCheck, money is electronically withdrawn from your checking account, transferred over the ACH (Automated Clearing House) network, and deposited into the landlord’s checking account.  Payment must be authorized by the customer, either by signed contract, a recorded voice conversation, or acceptance of website’s “Terms and Conditions”.  Instead of you manually filling out a paper check for your rent and sending it to your landlord, this technology allows the process to happen electronically.  This saves time as well as paper waste.


Using a debit card is quick and easy.  36 percent of renters are using this method to pay their rent.  The transaction is most often through an automated system.  The money comes directly out of your personal checking account.  Also, one of the benefits is you can set up automatic payments from your account every month to pay your rent. 


There are benefits to paying with a credit card.  The credit card payment is applied to your credit balance instead of it being deducted from your checking account.  Only drawback is you must pay off your credit card in full each month to avoid having interest added to the amount.


Getting Approved to Rent

Now you know the different options of making rental payments and how the amount of rent is determined.  Additionally you have the tools to see if you are making enough money to afford an apartment and have an adequate credit history. Also keep in mind all the extra expenses that will come with renting that will make your rental experience more stressful.  Make sure to read over your rental agreement before signing it and comply with all terms of the lease while you are a tenant. 

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