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Pro-rated Rent Question?


I've got a quick question for you lawyer types out there.

My g/f and I just signed a lease together that is going to start on the 20th of December. For the prorated amount, the apartment complex insists on using 30 days to calculate the daily rate.

This is bullshit to me since there are 31 days in December, making the actual daily rate lower.

Might not sound like much, but it ends up being about $50 more using their calculations than ours. I can easily afford it, but I don't want to give these money grubbing assholes more than they are entitled.

This is in Virginia, as I'm sure it varies state by state. Anyone familiar with individual state laws on what landlords are allowed to charge for prorated amounts? I'm determined to fight this bullshit.


Thirty days is always used. Well, in california thirty days is always used.


I'm not a lawyer, but I am a landlord.

I wouldn't be surprised if the law were silent on this, it would seem to be negotiable like other parts of the lease.

If it were me, I would insist on actual days. If it were February, I'd be willing to be they would be singing a different tune.


I have worked in property management, and 30 days is almost always used with prorating rent.

Is your lease silent on this though? A good lease will state something like "Rent Commencement shall be prorated on a 30 day basis..." Bla, Bla, Bla... Or "All amounts due under the Terms of this Lease shall be prorated on a 30 day basis...."

It makes accounting easier. Also, most other notices are supposed to be done on a 30 day basis and it just helps with consistency.


Well there is nothing in the Virginia Landlord Tenant Handbook about pro-rated rents at all:


I just called our local Department of Community Planning, Housing, and Development and they said there is unfortunately no official guidance or laws mandating how many days are used for the pro-rated amount. So it is basically up to the tenant and landlord to work that out.

Dr. P: Thanks for the reminder about February. I will ask them that. If they don't flinch and say that would be 30 days as well, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and pay. Otherwise I will probably still pay just not be happy about it!

Thanks all


Christine: We actually haven't officially signed the lease yet, just got the acceptance and all that jazz. I'm going to be signing the lease today, which is why I wanted to clear this up beforehand.



Um . . . not trying to be negative here, but isn't the difference (between 1/30th of a month and 1/31st of a month) literally going to be, like, a couple bucks or so?


This is pretty standard. It makes the math easier. Has nothing to do with law.

If you look at your bank accounts, interest is almost always based on a 360 day year for this same reason.


Maybe where you live? I suspect you reside not in NYC and actually in one of the lower rent places of New York?

Edit: I think i see what you were trying to say. On a $2500/month apartment, it comes out to about $3/day. So multiple that by how many days you are prorating for and it compounds.

Like I said originally its more about the principal of the matter than the actual amount.


Blargh...we aren't exactly dealing with string theory here. Certainly not outside the realms of a basic calculator and a little bit of common sense. I concede that you're right about this being standard practice, but the whole "easier math" thing is just a way for them to justify hosing people for more money.


Just think that if they are basing the rent on 30 day months you are actually getting 1 day free rent 7 months out of the year, but you should definitely pitch a fit in February (except 2012 is a leap year so 1 more free day for you)


I prorate my rentals based on the days in that particular month, but every other lease I have seen just bases is off of 30 days. I don't think I've ever had to do it in February, but I'd probably just figure 30 days if it came up. Keep in mind I'm a small fry and I care much more about having happy tenants that will respect the property than I do an extra $20-$30.


This. A 360 day year is very common, but only used when it is beneficial to the user.

The the collector will get a better deal with a 365 day year, they use that.


But the 360 really is normal course of business. I can't imagine (unless the landlord is small and broke) they won't split the difference, or otherwise haggle with you.


This is a very good point.


Right, that's what I'm saying. For the $3/day for those few days, probably not worth starting off the relationship with the new landlord by bickering over that and having them already get the idea in their head that you're going to be the problem tenant. Just part with the $3-times-a-few-days and be done with it. Keep everything on the level.

Some fights ain't worth picking.