I do a fair number of rental for clients who have investment property or are moving away from the area for a few years. One thing I have noticed recently, especially with condominium associations, is a “move in fee.” What this fee really covers is anyone’s guess but it’s there and it has to be paid.
If you are the property owner, talk to your real estate agent about how you want to handle the fee. Will you pay it or will you include it in the listing along with security and pet deposits?
A client of mine moved into a condominium rental property just yesterday. Today he called because the association was trying to collect a $150 move in fee.
A few phone calls later, it was determined that the fee was not included in the original paperwork, a mistake on the part of the listing agent, and she ended up paying the fee out of her commission.
If you are the renter, ask the agent to detail the upfront fees before making a final decision or signing a contract. If the property has languished on the market for awhile, this may be a item for negotiation – and it never hurts to try. One thing you should never have to pay however is the monthly condominium fee – that is the responsibility of the property owner.
The Northern Virginia/Washington, DC area has some of the highest rental rates in the country and you need to know exactly what you are paying for.
Give me a call at 703.927.4554 if you have any questions or need to rent.