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Making it in San Diego: Renters can pay thousands per year in extra costs

Posted: 12:35 PM, May 13, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-13 21:25:40-04
Rent spike in San Diego cities

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Rent isn't the only thing in San Diego on the rise - so are the costs and fees associated with it.

A recent study from HotPads, a Zillow-owned site, says San Diegans can pay $4,270 per year in overlooked costs and fees that come with moving. The includes security and pet deposits, pet rent and parking.

The biggest chunk comes from the security deposit, which is typically one month's rent. In all, it works out to an additional $356 per month.

"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.

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April Steingrebe, who owns New West Property Management, said it's vital to read your lease thoroughly before renting a place, looking for any additional responsibilities.

"There's all kinds of things they might charge you for at move-in, so you want to be sure to check before you sign anything," she said.

Steingrebe focuses largely on downtown, renting out privately owned condos. She says some buildings even require tenants hire move-in coordinators to make sure things go smoothly and not disturb other residents.

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Steingrebe said in addition to security deposits and fees, downtown condo living comes with living under a homeowners association's rules. Renters don't pay the HOA directly, but landlord's can pass along any sort of fines or violations they commit.

"Unauthorized moves, these buildings downtown, you can't just walk in with your couch, you have to schedule it," Steingrebe said, adding dumping trash inappropriately can also lead to fines.

The biggest financial issues that arise for renters come at the end of a lease, when it comes to getting a security deposit refunded, Steingrebe said. She said the best defense is to document with photos and text any damage or issues that occur throughout the year, starting with an initial move-in inspection.

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"A lot of times if you have that documentation and you show your landlord, they go, 'okay, we're not going to mess with it, it's not worth it,'" Steingrebe said.

She said it's typical for landlords to deduct for carpet cleaning at the end of the lease. Renters can hire their own company to do it and leave the receipt, but if the job is sub-par, they could end up paying twice.

Renters do have the right to use their property and not be charged for normal wear and tear. For instance, it's totally fine to nail a picture to the wall. Doing something bigger, however, such as a mounting a large TV to a wall, could lead to extra withdrawals from your security deposit.