What Do I have to Pay Before and After Signing a Lease?

expenses signing a lease


As a first time renter, you will have a lot of questions about living on your own. You may want to know about what signing a lease involves, what fees you have to pay or how your deposit will be calculated. One of the most important considerations before signing a lease is calculating the total expense you will incur both before and after signing the lease.

Before Signing the Lease

There are a number of fees and payments you will have to cough up before you sign the lease for your new apartment. MA law has very specific details on the rights and responsibilities of a tenant and landlord. Here are some of the mandatory fees that you might be required to pay before signing your lease.

Application Fee

By law, landlords are allowed to charge a basic application fee for processing your application for renting a property. This fee will be different depending on the location of your desired apartment. Remember, you will have to submit an application fee for each application you submit. If an average application fee is $30 that number will multiply with every application so, three applications will set you back by $90.

While Signing the Lease or Rental Agreement

Once your application has been approved, you will be asked to sign the lease or rental agreement within 24 hours. The signing will require you to pay certain deposits upfront.

How is a Lease Different from a Rental Agreement?

One thing you need to know here is that rental agreements and leases are different in regards to the time they cover.

A lease is set for long term rentals for example a year or more and the landlord cannot raise the rent or lease items before the lease period expires. On the other hand, a rental agreement is better for people who are temporarily renting an apartment. For example, you may have applied for a place at the university dorm and could be required to move there any time so you will not need to lease an apartment for a year. In this case, you will sign a rental agreement that works month by month. However, in this case, the landlord has the right to raise the rent every month if he so wishes, though they probably won’t do that.


You will be required to submit one month’s rent in advance in addition to a security deposit which is usually equal to a month’s rent. You might also have to pay a deposit for keeping pets which the landlord uses to repair any damage caused by your pets during your stay.


These may be included in your rent or not. In the latter case, you will be required to pay for them yourself. These might include heating, water, cable, interne etc.

While living in your apartment you might also be responsible for any additional facilities provided by your building or condo for example fitness centre etc, but more on that later.

If you have any questions about your lease or rental agreement or just want our help in finding your new apartment, give us a call.

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