What is Prorated Rent?

Moving into a new house or apartment is always a fun and exciting time. You may have spent a few weeks or even months finding the perfect home for you. In a perfect world you would ideally move in on the 1st day of the month, but that is not always possible. You may only be able to move in halfway through the month. The big question is do you have to pay rent for the entire month when your first month only consisted of 15 days for example. The answer is no you don’t, well in most situations. This is what is known as prorated rent.

What is prorated rent you may be asking yourself? Well prorated rent is when a landlord charges a tenant when he/she is occupying a unit for a partial term, a week or a few days for example. Prorated rent is great for you as a tenant because it would be a waste of money to pay a full month’s rent when you were only in the home or apartment for a couple weeks or a couple of days. This allows tenants to freely move into a new unit without the unnecessary expense of having to overpay for their stay. You will be able to move in on any day of the month, pay for the amount you occupied the unit for in the first month and then continue with the regular rent cycle starting from the second month.

How To Calculate Prorated Rent

Prorated rent is calculated by taking the total cost of a full month’s rent and then factoring in how many days a tenant occupied the unit in the first month, that is what the tenant will be liable to pay for their first month’s stay. So for an easy example, if your rent would be $3,000 for a full month but in the first month you only occupy the unit for 15 days, then you would calculate the prorated rent by dividing $3,000 by 30 days which comes out to $100 per day. Then multiplying $100/day by the 15 days you occupied the unit in the first month which comes out to $1,500 that you would have to pay for your first month’s stay. Pretty easy, right?

what is prorated rent

You can do this calculation for however many days you will occupy a unit in the first month to calculate how much you would have to pay in prorated rent for that month.

This first calculation that we just made was based on a full banker’s month which is 30 days. But there are different type of monthly periods to look at such as:

  • Number of days in the current month
  • Number of days in the average month
  • Number of days in the year

Let’s now take a look at how to calculate your prorated rent in these different scenarios so that you have a good understanding of the process.

Scenario 2

If you are moving in on a month that has 31 days then you will take the total rent cost which is $3,000 in this example and divide it by 31 days to get the daily rent price which will be $96.77. You then take that daily rent price amount and multiply it by how many days you will be occupying the unit in the first month which is 15 days in this example. So your prorated rent that you would have to pay for the first month will come out to be $1,451.

Scenario 3

Next we will take a look at the amount you would have to pay for an average month. An average month has 30.42 days in it, so by doing a quick calculation we can come up with the prorated rent amount. Again take the total rent of $3,000 per month and divide that by 30.42 days and you get $98.61 per day then multiply that by the 15 days you occupy the unit in the first month and you get $1,479

Scenario 4

This last scenario will give the most accurate prorated rent price so to do this you would take the monthly rent price of $3,000 and multiply it by 12 which is $36,000 per year then divide that by the 365 days in a year and you get $98.63 per day then multiply that by 15 days which comes out to $1,479 as your prorated rent price.

The only thing to take into consideration when calculating your rent with this method is a leap year which has 366 days, however it will not change the prorated rent amount by all that much.

These calculations were based on a pretty high monthly rent, but this is just an example using a nice round figure.

There is also a much easier way to calculate this and that is by using an online calculator. Here are 3 that we think will help you out:

  1. RentVine Prorate Calculator
  2. Good Calculators Prorated Rent Calculator
  3. Omni Prorated Rent Calculator

Now you may have some other questions regarding prorated rent so we will dive into some key topics right now so you can have a good understanding of everything that goes into the idea of prorated rent.

Is Prorated Rent Required By Law?

what is prorated rent

If you dig a little deeper into the rent laws of most states in America then you will find out that prorated rent is not actually required by law. Prorated rent will be offered to you by most landlords because they know that if they offer it then it will make acquiring tenants into their properties much easier. But with that being said while most landlords will offer prorated rent, a few of them will actually have a problem with it and will want you to pay a full month’s rent in the first month no matter how many days you occupied their unit for. 

A good best practice as a tenant is to always check with the landlord first to see if they offer this option for rent and then have them draw up a document saying that they agree to it. This will ensure that you have something in writing in case the landlord decides to change their mind after you have moved in. The last thing you want to happen is to find yourself in a sticky situation with your landlord in your very first month of moving in. Always get important things like rent agreements in writing before you move in, to cover yourself in difficult situations in the future.

What Is The Process of Getting Your Rent Prorated?

Ideally you would want mandatory prorated rent in the law of your state if you are planning to move into a home/apartment on any day of the month other than the first. But this is not always the case. Your landlord may straight out of the gate offer it to you but sometimes you have to ask for it and in most situations your landlord will be more than happy to comply with your request for prorated rent. However before you ask your landlord, you will want to give your lease agreement a good thorough read through to see if it is not covered in the agreement.

Always remember that sometimes a landlord is not required by law to prorate your rent for the first month so being on good terms with your landlord will make it easier for your landlord to offer this. The last thing you want to happen is for your landlord to cancel your prorated rent agreement in your first month because you were on bad terms with them from the very beginning. This is why it is of utmost importance to get everything in writing prior to moving into your new home/apartment.

In What Situations Do I Not Qualify For Prorated Rent?

what is prorated rent

Typically it all comes down to what is the most fair to both you and the landlord. If for example your landlord allows you to stay in your home/apartment for the full month, but for whatever reason you decide that you want to move out early. It will not be entirely fair on the landlord to only pay a portion of the rent, because it is a last minute decision made by you and your landlord would have been expecting the full rent amount. In this situation it will be a good thing on your part to just pay the full rent amount for that month.

If on the other hand you have given your landlord a heads up that on a specific month you will be moving out on a certain day that doesn’t fall on the last day or the first day of the month you can then ask for prorated rent as your landlord will be expecting the move on that day of the month.

But you also just want to double check everything in your lease agreement before making the request to only pay a portion of the rent. Prorated rent is not always a requirement that your landlord needs to offer, but in most situations your landlord will be more than happy to comply with your request for partial rent.

The Process of Asking For Prorated Rent

So you have found your perfect apartment or home and you are ready to move in, but you have noticed that you are moving in on a day that does not fall on the last or first day of the month. So what do you do? In this situation you want to ask your landlord if you are able to pay for the time that you will be occupying the unit in the first month.

One thing you will always want to do when asking for prorated rent is get everything in writing. This will help you in the circumstance that your landlord goes back on their word. You never want to demand this partial rent but rather ask for it in a way that is polite and respectful. You will have to deal with your landlord for the duration of your stay in your new home so having a good relationship with them from the very beginning is important.

Once your landlord has calculated your rent for the first month, you can both sign the agreement and you will be good to go to move into your now home. The following will also apply if you want your landlord to give you prorated rent when you move out. You will just have to come up with an agreement on that because rent due when you move out can be a little bit more tricky.

Asking for prorated rent doesn’t always guarantee that you will get it, as we have mentioned in this article. If it is not required by law, your landlord is not obligated to give it to you just because you asked. With that being said, landlords do try and keep the both of you in mind when calculating rent so there is a pretty good chance that you will be able to get prorated rent when you move in or when you move out.

We have mentioned some pretty good resources in this article for calculating the rent so be sure to go ahead and check those out when you are done with this article. Having this rent option available to you when you first move into a new home/apartment unit will be very advantageous to you as you will be able to take the money that you saved on the first month’s rent and put it towards other essentials like food and bills.

We hope that all your questions regarding prorated rent were answered within this article, but if you have any further questions or concerns then feel free to get in contact with us here and we will be more than happy to assist you with whatever you need regarding rental properties and rent. With years of experience in the field we are more than qualified to assist you and we will get back to you as soon as possible.