Alan Fraser Houston
Finishing Your Degree
Finishing Your Degree

Do Renters Pay Property Taxes | ApartmentSearch

Hundred dollar bills fanned out in persons handsSo you just signed a new lease, huh? Congratulations! Renting an apartment equals freedom. You’re free from landscaping responsibilities, maintenance costs, and mortgage payments!

However, there’s one expense that confuses renters and homeowners alike—property taxes. If you’re like most, you’ve probably wondered, “Do renters have to pay property taxes, too?” ApartmentSearch is here to explain.

What Are Property Taxes For?

Real estate owners must pay property taxes to support their municipalities or townships. Local leaders direct property tax income towards community needs such as:

  • Maintaining infrastructure and amenities like roads, libraries, parks, hiking trails, etc.
  • Paying the salaries of city workers and public safety officers

Since renters use roads and receive protection from the same police force that protects homeowners, then tenants pay property taxes, right?

Not exactly. To understand if renters pay property taxes, you must first understand what rent covers!

What Renters Pay

At the start of every month, apartment tenants across the country hand over their hard-earned money to a landlord. Those funds cover their rent for the following month.

The amount of rent you pay isn’t an arbitrary number made up by your landlord. When determining how much to charge for monthly rent, landlords and property managers usually consider the following costs:

  • Maintenance supplies and salaries
  • Landlord insurance
  • Cost of utilities for shared spaces
  • HOA fees
  • Local property taxes

The amount of property taxes your landlord pays depends on the home or apartment’s assessed value and the local tax rate. That’s why many property owners calculate rent as a small percentage of the property’s market value (usually 0.8% to 2%). Accordingly, in cities where home values are rising, rent is increasing, too!

So, while your landlord factors property taxes into your monthly rent, you are not personally on the hook to the local municipality. The legal obligation belongs to the property owner and not to his or her tenants.

A Quick Tour of Property Taxes

A look at some recent property tax data published by USA Today underscores the squeeze landlords can feel—and subsequently pass along to you.

Here’s a snapshot of average annual property taxes around the country:

  • Texas – $4,660
  • Minnesota – $2,752
  • Missouri – $1,923

The state with the highest average property tax of them all? Homeowners find it in New Jersey—along with a bill for a whopping $8,477. If you’re in New Jersey and wonder why your rent is so high, taxes could be to blame.

Find Rent That Fits Your Budget

From Seattle to Washington D.C., rental housing prices are on the rise! However, cheap rent isn’t impossible to find. Use ApartmentSearch to sort and filter apartments by monthly rent and find the right place at the right price.


Finishing Your Degree

How to Interview & Pick a Trustworthy Roommate | ApartmentSearch

Two friends sit in a cafe chatting over coffeeWhether you’re the interviewer or the interviewee, the roommate search can be awkward. Rest assured: living with a bad roommate is even worse.

ApartmentSearch is here to help. We’ll walk you through the best way to interview a potential roommate so you can find one that you like and trust.

1. Attract potential roommates with a great roommate ad.

The first step to finding a wonderful roommate is attracting the right people through a roommate ad. This is your chance to spell out exactly how nice the apartment or room is (if you’ve already got a place), why you’re such a great roommate yourself, and what you’re looking for in a roommate.

By posting a thorough roommate ad, and knowing how to respond to one, you’ll narrow down candidates before it’s even time to start interviewing.

2. Ask questions about the topics you care about most.

You’ve probably got a long list of questions you want to ask your potential roommate, but prioritize the things you care about most. Consider the things you want in a roommate, as well as the things that would be absolute deal breakers for you—then ask multiple questions about those topics!

If you care about cleanliness, ask them:

  • How often do you clean your current space?
  • How do you feel about splitting up chores in the apartment?
  • How tidy are you on a scale of 1 to 10?

If you want to become friends, ask them:

  • Are you still friends with your old roommate?
  • What do you like to do for fun?
  • What does your average weekend look like?

If you want your home to be relaxing and quiet, ask them:

  • What does a typical day look like for you?
  • How often do you plan to have guests over?
  • Do you have a significant other who will spend a lot of time here?

Everyone is looking for something different in their living situation, so the more questions you ask, the better idea you can get about a person, their intentions, and what it would be like to share a space with them.

3. Look for red flags.

Keep your eyes peeled for little things that could become big things over time.

Is this person abruptly breaking a lease because of a fight with a roommate?
Are they unemployed or currently homeless?
Do they talk over you or interrupt you?

These might seem minor during a roommate interview, but they could foreshadow problems down the road like a volatile relationship, late rent payments, or disrespect.

4. Keep an eye out for good signs, too!

On the other hand, note the good signs, too.

  • Do they watch all the same TV shows as you?
  • Does the conversation flow smoothly?
  • Do they seem responsible, mature, and warm?
  • Is their work schedule compatible with yours?

If you want to find a roommate that you can trust and befriend, these are all great signs. Don’t overlook them in the interview!

A great roommate can make your apartment living situation so much better. Once you interview the perfect roommate, search for the ideal apartment together on ApartmentSearch. Start building your roomie bond today!