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Overlooked Expenses Can Cost Renters an Extra $3,400 a Year
Deposits, application fees, pet rent and parking costs add up to more than two months' rent.

SAN FRANCISCO, March 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Beyond the listed rent, U.S. renters can spend $3,420 a year on costs associated with moving into and living in a rental, according to a new HotPads® analysisi.

Nationally, the median rent is $1,530 per month. However, renters often pay more than that to move into and live in their home – security deposits, application fees, pet deposits, pet rent and parking can all require additional payment. In total, a typical renterii can spend $3,420 on these costs in a year, essentially increasing their housing expenses by $285 a month.

The total added costs are highest in San Francisco, where renters that move can spend $7,370 a year in addition to their rent. In New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., renters can spend more than $5,000 a year on these costs.

Rental affordability remains a challenge as prices rise, and these extra costs can impact renters' ability to save. According to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report, only 52 percent of renters say they could afford to cover an unexpected $1,000 expense if needed.

"As rent prices continue to rise and rent affordability remains a concern, it is important for renters to consider all their potential expenses before planning a move," said Joshua Clark, economist at HotPads. "Moving to a new apartment comes with a lot of one-time expenses -- rising rents demand equally large deposits, and saving can be an obstacle for renters considering a move. Those with cars or pets may also have to plan for additional payments that may not be reflected in the list price of a rental. Not all renters pay for parking, have a pet or move into a new place every year, but many do, and these recurring expenses can add up quickly over time."

About 35 percent of renters find it challenging to save for common upfront costs of moving, which can include the security deposit and application feesiii. Because the security deposit is typically equivalent to one month's rent, renters in expensive markets like San Jose and San Francisco typically spend the most on security deposits, while the typical application fee is highest in Washington, D.C., Austin and San Antonio.

However, the optional costs renters face – including pet deposits, pet rent and parking costs – can add up. Nationally, renters typically spend $650 a year on pet deposits and pet rent, and $1,200 a year on parking. San Francisco renters typically spend the most on pet deposits and pet rent, followed by San Jose and Los Angeles. Renters in San Francisco also typically spend the most on parking, followed by renters in Boston and New York.

HotPads is a Zillow® Group-owned apartment and home search platform for renters in urban areas across the United States. For more information on the U.S. rental market, visit HotPads.com.

Metropolitan
Area

Total Hidden 
Costs of
Renting

Median
Security
Deposit

Application
Fee

Pet
Deposit

Annual
Pet Rent

Annual
Parking
Costs

United States

$3,420

$1,530

$40

$350

$300

$1,200

New York, NY

$5,320

$2,380

$40

$500

$600

$1,800

Los Angeles, CA

$5,285

$2,950

$35

$500

$600

$1,200

Chicago, IL

$4,220

$1,785

$35

$300

$300

$1,800

Dallas, TX

$2,255

$1,675

$50

$350

$180

NA

Philadelphia, PA

$3,585

$1,685

$40

$360

NA

$1,500

Houston, TX

$1,875

$1,585

$50

NA

$240

NA

Washington, DC

$5,090

$2,185

$65

$500

$540

$1,800

Miami, FL

$3,480

$2,040

$50

$250

$240

$900

Atlanta, GA

$2,185

$1,485

$50

$350

$300

NA

Boston, MA

$4,865

$2,425

$40

NA

$600

$1,800

San Francisco, CA

$7,370

$3,525

$45

$500

$900

$2,400

Detroit, MI

$2,565

$1,305

$50

$250

NA

$960

Riverside, CA

$2,670

$1,980

$40

$350

$300

NA

Phoenix, AZ

$2,105

$1,510

$45

$250

$300

NA

Seattle, WA

$3,795

$2,245

$50

$300

$300

$900

Minneapolis, MN

$3,265

$1,695

$50

$500

$420

$600

San Diego, CA

$4,270

$2,740

$40

$350

$420

$720

Saint Louis, MO

$2,215

$1,205

$50

$300

$300

$360

Tampa, FL

$2,330

$1,490

$50

$250

$240

$300

Baltimore, MD

$3,605

$1,750

$45

$250

$360

$1,200

Denver, CO

$3,435

$2,125

$50

$300

$360

$600

Pittsburgh, PA

$1,920

$1,110

NA

NA

$240

$570

Portland, OR

$3,840

$1,950

$50

$400

$300

$1,140

Charlotte, NC

$1,725

$1,400

$45

$100

$180

NA

Sacramento, CA

$3,435

$1,995

$40

$500

$300

$600

San Antonio, TX

$1,930

$1,390

$60

$300

$180

NA

Orlando, FL

$2,012

$1,540

$55

$225

$192

NA

Cincinnati, OH

$1,675

$1,250

$35

NA

NA

$390

Cleveland, OH

$1,605

$1,210

$35

NA

NA

$360

Kansas City, MO

$2,315

$1,260

$40

$175

$240

$600

Columbus, OH

$1,785

$1,450

$35

NA

$300

NA

Indianapolis, IN

$1,830

$1,240

$40

$250

$300

NA

San Jose, CA

$4,860

$3,720

$40

$500

$600

NA

Austin, TX

$3,210

$1,760

$60

$250

$240

$900

Virginia Beach, VA

$2,125

$1,485

$40

$300

$300

NA

Nashville, TN

$2,055

$1,515

$40

$200

$300

NA

Providence, RI

$2,510

$1,790

NA

NA

NA

$720

Milwaukee, WI

$2,005

$1,385

$20

NA

NA

$600

Jacksonville, FL

$2,005

$1,405

$50

$250

$300

NA

Memphis, TN

$1,290

$1,050

$40

$200

NA

NA

Oklahoma City, OK

$1,705

$1,120

$45

$300

$240

NA

Louisville, KY

$1,165

$1,140

$25

NA

NA

NA

Richmond, VA

$1,960

$1,470

$40

$150

$300

NA

New Orleans, LA

$1,485

$1,450

$35

NA

NA

NA

Buffalo, NY

$1,820

$1,280

NA

NA

NA

$540

Raleigh, NC

$1,770

$1,480

$50

NA

$240

NA

Birmingham, AL

$1,355

$1,060

$45

$250

NA

NA

Salt Lake City, UT

$2,810

$1,625

$35

$250

$600

$300

HotPads

HotPads is an efficient rental search platform for urban areas across the United States, with features designed for competitive markets such as map-based search, real-time notifications and detailed information on landlords and property managers that help renters spend less time searching and more time feeling excited about their next home.

Launched in 2005, HotPads is based in San Francisco and is owned and operated by Zillow Group, Inc. (NASDAQ :Z and ZG).

HotPads is a registered trademark of Zillow, Inc.


i Includes one-time costs of moving and annual totals for recurring costs
ii According to the 2018 Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report, about half of renters live with at least one pet. Most renters also keep at least one vehicle at home, according to the 2013-2017 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.
iii 2018 Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report

SOURCE Hotpads, Inc.

For further information: Lauren Thompson, HotPads, press@hotpads.com