Is my rent prorated? Usually, no…

Posted on January 20, 2011

It seems like I’m not staying 12 full months, are some of my months prorated? No, usually not, because usually you are making 12 monthly installments (not 12 payments for 12 months of rent).

This is a common confusion. The bottom line is that you are making installment payments on the entire amount of your lease. The pro rata discount is already factored into those installments.

Here’s how it works:

If you are leasing a place for “a year,” as most of your are, then your term, in your lease, has specified start and end dates.

You are actually leasing the apartment for that period of time, a period typically of approximately 350 days (again, the period is fully specified in your lease, look it up!). You agreed to pay a specific amount (again, see your lease) for that entire period of time. The entire amount could be paid before you move in—we’d love for your to do that by the way! However, for most leases, we allow you to make 12 equal monthly installments on that full amount. These are not rent payments for the month, instead they are installment payments. If you actually had a lease for the entire year, which is never the case, then the cost, and the related monthly installments, would be higher.

Let’s look at an example. Let’s say you lease a 1 Bedroom Unit in Apartment Complex Istanbul (which is really nice, by the way, but a bit far from campus).* You agree to lease the apartment for a cash discounted total of $9600 for the duration of the lease (approximately 50 weeks). A monthly installment on this amount is $800 ($9600/12). You would also, of course, owe a security deposit equal to 1 monthly installment. If the lease had actually been for all 52 weeks, then the total lease amount would be approximately $9,984. Again, we do not offer such full year leases.

You will find that this is how practically all leases are handled here in Bloomington. This allows time for you to move out, for us to fix the place up as needed, and to move someone else in.

So, this comes up most often in a couple of situations:

“Hey, I’m moving in in the middle of the month, is my rent pro-rated?” No. Installments are divided evenly to cover the full amount of the lease, NOT based on the period you are in the place each month.

“Hey, I’m moving out in the middle of the month, is my rent pro-rated?” No. See above! Installments, not monthly rent.

Now, when might your rent be pro-rated?

Under some circumstances, you might either get a pro rata refund OR owe additional pro rata rent. Those will always be when we mutually agree to change the start date or end date of your lease. You might move in early, and there would be a per day charge equivalent to a pro rata rate of the full term (i.e. take the amount of the lease, divide by the number of days in the term, and you get a guestimate of the prorata early move in charge). This charge is always based on the entire rent for the location regardless of the number of people wanting to move in early because your account is jointly and severally liable and there is no “my share” involved, its one big bucket, not individual accounts per person.

Similarly, you might be want to stay longer, and you would have a holdover fee in those cases. These and other changes to start and end dates might incur pro rata charges or refunds because the requests extend beyond the scope of the original lease.

* Where’s Complex Istanbul? I’d like to see it. Hmmm. Istanbul was Constantinople, which is also mentioned in a song by They Might Be Giants. It’s not really an Elkins Apartments complex. See Google Maps.