If you move into an apartment on any day except the first of the month (or the beginning of the rent billing cycle), it makes sense that you should pay prorated rent. In other words, you shouldn't owe your new landlord a full month's rent. Prorated rent accurately and fairly reflects only the portion of the month during which you have the right to occupy your new place. Calculating prorated rent requires only a few simple math equations, but it's even easier to use online calculators designed for prorating rent.
Why You Should Calculate Prorated Rent
Landlords should calculate prorated rent and identify it as such in your lease. It's also smart for you to have an idea what your prorated rent will be so you can be sure your landlord has it right before you sign the lease. And knowing your rent amount is a critical part of determining all of your upcoming apartment-related expenses. If you find that there's a discrepancy (in the landlord's favor) between the results you get using one or more online calculators and the amount the landlord says you actually owe in prorated rent, it's worth asking for an explanation and showing how you calculated the prorated rent you believe you owe.
Online Prorated Rent Calculators
Although these calculators are aimed at helping landlords calculate their tenants' rent accurately, there's no reason you can't use these tools to determine the correct amount of partial-month rent payments:
- Mr. Landlord's Rent Prorater. This calculator asks you to input the monthly rent and the move-in date. After clicking the "Calculate" button, you'll learn the amount you should expect to owe in prorated rent, along with the per diem (or daily) rate for that month, based on the number of days in the month.
- Rentvine Prorated Rent Calculator. This calculator works like the above except it also allows you to choose the billing date. In other words, if your landlord wants each month of the lease to begin on, say, the 15th day of the month (rather than the first), the prorated rent would be determined based on that occupancy date. What's especially handy about this calculator is that it provides prorated amounts for more than one month. For example, if you plan to move in on January 18, and the billing cycle is on the 15th of each month, the calculator will tell you how much you owe for January 18–31 as well as how much you owe for February 1–14. After the 14th, you'll simply owe a full month's rent at every billing cycle.
The simplest way to prorate rent yourself is to calculate the cost of rent per day. You can use this method to confirm the amount given by an online calculator or simply to understand how proration works. To calculate the rent per day, divide the total monthly rent by the number of days in the month, then multiply by the number of days you'll be paying for. For example, if the rent is $800 per month, and the month you will move in has 31 days:
- 800 divided by 31 = $25.81 per day.
If you plan to move in on the 17th of the month, you will pay for 15 days of rent:
- 31 - 16 (days you will not pay for) = 15
Therefore, your prorated rent for the month is:
- $25.81 x 15 = $387.15.