Prorated Rent Is the Secret to Saving Money on Your Lease

published Jun 12, 2024
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Owner giving house keys to tenant after filling rental forms
Credit: Kentaroo Tryman / Getty Images

Imagine this: One day you move out of your rental home early — maybe even unexpectedly. In the midst of all the chaos of moving, you may be wondering how to handle the rest of your rent payment for the month. Because you’re moving out early, are you still required to pay the full month of rent, even though you won’t live there? Or what do you do if your lease begins on the 1st, but ends on a 15th? With rent prices these days, you really may want to make sure that you’re getting the most bang for your buck. That’s when you should consider asking your landlord for prorated rent. 

Prorated rent is a powerful tool in the renter’s arsenal. But when do you ask for it? What is it? And how do you calculate it? Here’s what to know.

What is prorated rent?

Prorated rent, like other prorated bills, is when your rent only accounts for the days you’ve actually signed the lease for, or will be living in the apartment for. According to Seamus Nally, CEO, TurboTenant, it’s “a type of adjusted rent for someone who is occupying a unit for less than a regular rental period.” 

This type of rent can work well if you move in or out on a day other than the first of the month, but some landlords may also use this system if they rent a property out for a week or just a couple of days.

How do you calculate prorated rent?

To calculate prorated rent, landlords will take the total amount of rent for the month and the number of days you occupied the property and calculate the total rent owed.

For example, if you rent an apartment for $1,000 per month, but you move in on June 10, you would take the total rent per month and divide it by the number of days in the month — in this case, 30 days. The daily rent breaks down to $33.33. Then you multiply that by the days you’ll occupy the property — 21 — and you will owe $699.93, which will likely be rounded to $700. You save $300 off the rental.

To make this calculation even easier, TurboTenant and other sites even offer a calculator to help with the calculations.

When should you ask for prorated rent?

If you move in on a day other than the first, you should make sure that you’ll only be paying for the days after the day your lease begins. While some landlords offer prorated rent as an option, some don’t, so it’s important to ask for it upfront to make sure you’re only paying for the days that you have access to the property. Landlords may offer prorated rent as an incentive to get someone to move in and fill the unit without having to pay the full month’s rent. In this case, everyone wins.

Your lease will typically be good for a year — at which point, you can renew it or move out. But what if you need to move out early? Depending on your lease, you may have early move-out penalties, but in some cases you may be able to talk with your landlord about early termination and even pay the prorated rate. 

Nally says, “Tenants can ask for their rent to be prorated if they move out before the end of the last month of their lease.” They can ask — but landlords don’t have to agree to it.

The bottom line is that good communication with your landlord, understanding the terms of the lease, and asking for prorated rent when you think it’s appropriate can save you some money in the long run.