The first of the month can sneak up on you, and if your bank account isn’t ready to pay up, you could be seeing red. How much does it actually cost to pay your rent late?
Know the fees.
Your lease agreement will list the late fee charged by your landlord if you pay after the designated grace period (also noted in the lease).
Cost: 5%-10% of rent amount
Know the deadlines.
If you still have not paid rent after the late fee, your landlord will most likely begin the eviction process. Depending on your state’s laws, the landlord will send a written demand to pay rent or move out (also known as a notice to “pay or quit”) with a deadline of 3-10 days. Landlords usually charge a filing fee that covers the court’s fees and processing.
After the period of time in the notice expires, your landlord can file for eviction or dispossessory, which is a legal notice to the court that you have not paid rent and the landlord wants to take back possession of the property. The sheriff’s office or a designated process server will notify you in writing (via USPS mail or posted on your front door) that the landlord has filed eviction. Pay attention to any court deadlines such as filing your answer.
- Filing an answer means you are officially responding to the court’s notice of eviction. In most counties/states, filing an answer automatically places your case on the court’s magistrate calendar. This also means that your landlord may charge an additional attorney fee for attending the court date.
- Failing to show up to your court date will result in a “default judgment” in the landlord’s favor. A writ of possession will be taken out right away, which means the landlord is allowed to take back possession of the home once the sheriff’s office completes the eviction.
- Attending court may allow for a court-ordered payment plan, but it may be risky depending on your state’s usual process. If you miss any court-ordered payments, the landlord can file the writ of possession.
Costs: $100-$250 Filing Fee
$200-$300 Attorney Fee
$50-$100 Writ of Possession
Know how it affects your credit.
Did you know that civil court filings are part of your credit score? Every time a landlord files for eviction, the case is reported to the credit bureaus. Future landlords and creditors will see the eviction filings, even if the eviction was cancelled by a payment made in full. Too many filings will disqualify you from some rentals. It’s a good idea to use free credit reporting sites yearly so you’re not surprised by your score or history in the future.
Cost: Negative rental history and/or lower credit score
Know your options.
Till now offers a rental loan that may be cheaper than your late fee! Depending on your state and application, using a rental loan that can be repaid bi-weekly over several months may be your cheapest option. Paying back the loan actually helps improve your credit score by building credit history! To apply for a rental loan visit: https://tillsavings.com/loan_application
Plan ahead whenever possible and research your options so you’re not hit by surprises later. Happy renting!
Summer is on the horizon, and with it comes hotter temperatures – and higher utility bills. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015 the average amount spent on utilities by consumers was $3,885!!
Did you know saving energy can also save you a lot of money? Follow these tips below and you’ll be seeing green!
Change Out Lightbulbs
Did you know that swapping your 5 most frequently used lightbulbs in your home with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) can save $65 per year? As a bonus, they are also brighter and last 6-10 times longer!
- Always turn off lights when leaving a room. Turning off just one 60-watt incandescent bulb that would otherwise burn eight hours a day can save about $15 per year! (Energy Star)
Phantom Energy Sucks
Electronics like cell phone chargers use electricity even when on stand-by mode. This “phantom” power load accounts for 15% of household electricity usage. Unplug electronics when not in use, or use a power strip to help avoid unnecessary energy use.
Showers Over Baths
A ten-minute shower can use less water than taking a bath. Limit those bubble baths whenever possible and switch to a low-flow shower head that can also save you up to $150 per year on electricity.
Cold Water Laundry
Hot water accounts for about 90% of the energy your washing machine uses to wash clothes — only 10% goes to electricity used by the washer motor. Switching to cold water-only laundry can save more than $40 per year!
Don’t Touch The Thermostat
Summer months cause a strain on your AC and your wallet. Cut costs by setting the thermostat between 74 and 78 degrees. Change the AC filter regularly and shut the blinds or drapes to keep the sun’s rays out.
- Setting your thermostat too low can actually freeze your unit, which makes it stop working altogether. If your AC isn’t working, turn it off and give it a few hours to thaw before turning back on.
Even small changes like these can make a big difference with your monthly utility bills. What energy-saving habits do you practice?
We’ve all been there: Your lease is expiring very soon, and you only have a few days to notify your landlord if you’re moving or renewing your lease.
Use these guidelines to determine your all-in, out-of-pocket cost of moving.
New Security Deposit – $1,000 (usually equal to 1 months’ rent)
First Month’s Rent – $1,000
Application & Admin Fees – $350
Pet Fees – $300 (if applicable)
New Utility Deposits – $350
Moving Company or Truck Rental – $200
Moving Boxes/Supplies – $100
Groceries – $150
Unexpected Expenses – $100
Total Moving Budget = $3,250 – $3,550
Creating a budget is the first step to determine if you’re ready to move. Although new groceries and utility deposits seem excessive, remember that starting over often means starting from scratch on both fronts. Be sure to add a cushion for unexpected expenses like gas for the 20 trips between your old & new places or your car needing repair in the middle of the big move.
Not ready to fork over that amount of dough? Ask yourself why you want to move in the first place.
- If it’s related to maintenance or unit condition, contact your property manager to discuss possible resolutions.
- Does the rent increase bother you? In truth, rents usually increase about 3% per year to keep up with inflation. Talk to your property manager if you think there’s room to negotiate a better rate. Remember, rents will increase everywhere, so moving doesn’t guarantee a fixed rental rate for the future.
- Switching jobs and need a better location? Your community manager may have other properties closer to work, so ask! You may be able to transfer your security deposit or negotiate your rental amount just for being a loyal renter.
Renewal perks are becoming pretty common, so find out if there could be a free carpet cleaning or unit upgrade offer for renewing your lease. The more years you sign on for, the bigger your bargaining power.
If your landlord participates in Till’s Loyalty Program, your monthly on-time cash incentive may increase to $20, $30, or even $40 per month! Wow!
Total up your costs versus any potential savings or perks to renewing before making your ultimate decision. Happy renting!