What are Leasing Fees?

Leasing fees are payments made by a lessee to a lessor for the use of an asset, typically property, for a specified period. A lease is a legal contract that outlines the terms under which one party agrees to rent an asset owned by another party. The lease guarantees the lessee’s use of the property and guarantees the lessor regular payments for a specified period in exchange.

Understanding leasing fees is important for both lessors and lessees. For lessors, leasing fees are a source of income, and understanding how to set appropriate fees can help maximize profits. For lessees, understanding leasing fees can help them negotiate better lease terms and avoid overpaying for the use of an asset. 

Additionally, understanding leasing fees is important for accounting purposes, as leases are a common way for companies to finance the acquisition of assets.

6 Reasons Why Leasing Fees Vary

Leasing fees, also known as rental commissions or tenant placement fees, can vary depending on various factors. Here are some reasons why leasing fees may vary:

  1. Location: Leasing fees can vary depending on the location of the rental property. In areas with high demand and low supply, such as urban centers or popular vacation destinations, leasing fees may be higher due to the competitive rental market.
  2. Property Type: The type of rental property can also impact leasing fees. For example, leasing fees for luxury apartments or high-end vacation rentals may be higher than those for more modest rental properties.
  3. Rental Price: Leasing fees are often calculated as a percentage of the rental price, so higher rental prices can result in higher leasing fees. However, some property management companies may charge a flat fee instead of a percentage-based fee.
  4. Services Included: Leasing fees may vary depending on the services included. For example, some property management companies may offer additional services, such as tenant screening, lease preparation, or move-in inspections, which can increase the leasing fee.
  5. Competition: The level of competition among property management companies in a given area can impact leasing fees. In areas with many property management companies, leasing fees may be more competitive, while in areas with fewer property management companies, leasing fees may be higher.
  6. Negotiation: Leasing fees may be negotiable, depending on the property management company and the specific circumstances of the situation. Tenants or landlords may be able to negotiate a lower leasing fee or additional services in exchange for a higher fee.

It’s important to note that leasing fees can vary significantly depending on the property management company and the specific circumstances of the situation. Tenants and landlords should carefully review the terms of any leasing agreement and ask questions about any fees or charges that are unclear.

Difference Between Leasing Fees and Lease Charges

Leasing Fees

  • Leasing fees are charged to tenants to cover the costs associated with advertising and showing the rental property, reviewing applications, screening tenants, processing lease paperwork, and preparing the property for move-in
  • Leasing fees usually cost 75-100% of the first month’s rent and are sometimes referred to as placement fees
  • Leasing fees can also include other charges, such as credit check fees, application fees, and administrative fees

Lease Charges

  • Lease charges are additional fees that may be included in the lease agreement, typically covering other costs related to the rental property
  • Lease charges can include utilities, maintenance fees, and other miscellaneous charges
  • These charges are usually specified in the lease agreement, and the landlord is responsible for ensuring that they are accurately billed and paid by the tenant

What are the Types of Leasing Fees?

What are Leasing Fee

Security Deposit

Security deposit is a payment made by the lessee to the lessor at the beginning of a lease term, aimed at protecting the lessor from financial loss due to default or damage. Deposit is typically refundable at the end of the lease term if the lessee fulfills all terms and leaves the property in good condition. The amount of the security deposit is determined by the lessor and is based on factors such as the property’s value and the lessee’s creditworthiness. 

Deposit is typically paid at the beginning of the lease term and held by the lessor until the lease term ends. The refund process for a security deposit varies depending on the lease agreement terms. Lessor inspects the property at the end of the lease term to ensure it is in good condition and all terms have been fulfilled. If no damages or unpaid rent are found, the lessor will refund the deposit to the lessee. If damages or unpaid rent are present, the lessor may use the security deposit to cover costs and refund the remaining amount to the lessee.

Application Fee

An application fee is a fee charged by a lessor to cover the costs of processing a rental application, including background checks, credit history checks, and time spent by the landlord or administration staff member reviewing the applicant’s information. The purpose of the application fee is to protect the landlord from the costs associated with processing rental applications. 

It varies depending on the location and the landlord, with most rental application fees costing around $30 per person. In some markets, fees can be as high as $200, especially in desirable neighborhoods with limited units. Application fees are typically non-refundable, but some states may require landlords to refund the fee if the application is denied. It is crucial to check the laws in your state to determine if application fees are refundable.

Administrative Fee

Lease administrative fee is a fee charged by a lessor to cover costs associated with administrative tasks, such as processing paperwork and preparing the lease agreement. It is a best practice for landlords to disclose all fees associated with a lease, including administrative fees, upfront. This transparency is crucial for building trust with tenants and avoiding misunderstandings. While there is no legal requirement for landlords to disclose administrative fees upfront, it is considered a best practice.

These are often negotiable, especially if tenants have good credit and a strong rental history. Tenants should ask the landlord if the fee is negotiable and provide evidence of their good credit and rental history. However, not all landlords are willing to negotiate administrative fees.

Pet Deposit

Pet deposits and pet rent are fees charged by landlords to tenants with pets. Deposits are a one-time, refundable deposit that covers pet-related property damage, similar to a traditional security deposit. Pet rent is a monthly fee added to the rent payment to cover the cost of having a pet in the rental unit. The amount of pet deposits and pet rent varies depending on the landlord and the rental market. 

This typically range from $150 to $500, while pet rent can range from $10 to $50 per month. Some landlords may charge both pet deposits and pet rent, while others may only charge one or the other. Some landlords may also have restrictions on the type or size of pets allowed in the rental unit. When considering pet deposits and pet rent, landlords should consider potential damage caused by pets, such as carpets, walls, furniture, and noise complaints from neighbors. 

Additionally, landlords should consider the benefits of allowing pets, such as attracting a wider pool of tenants and increasing the value of the rental property. Tenants should be aware of pet-related fees and restrictions before signing a lease agreement.

Maintenance Fees

Maintenance fees are a fee charged by landlords to cover the costs of maintaining common areas of a rental property, such as hallways, elevators, parking lots, and shared spaces. The purpose of maintenance fees is to ensure the common areas are kept in good condition for the benefit of all tenants. Maintenance fees are ongoing, covering the cost of regular maintenance such as cleaning and upkeep of common areas, while repair costs are one-time costs that cover the cost of fixing broken or damaged items.

The responsibility for paying maintenance fees is typically outlined in the lease agreement, with tenants paying a share based on the size of their rental unit. Landlords are responsible for ensuring that maintenance fees are used appropriately and that common areas are kept in good condition. Tenants should be aware of their responsibility for paying maintenance fees before signing a lease agreement.

What are the Factors that Affect Leasing Fees?

Leasing fees can be influenced by various factors, including location, property type, property management companies, and market conditions. Urban areas have higher leasing fees compared to rural areas due to higher demand and limited supply. Regional price differences also impact leasing fees, as each market and submarket has baseline tenant expectations for what is generally included with rent or what the tenant preferences are for the market.

Property types, such as apartments and condos, also impact leasing fees. Apartments tend to have lower fees compared to houses due to their smaller size and lower maintenance costs. Condos tend to have lower fees compared to single-family homes due to shared amenities and lower maintenance costs.

Placement management companies also impact fees, with the cost of a property manager varying depending on the size of the rental property. The reputation and quality of services provided by a property management company can also impact leasing fees.

Market conditions, such as supply and demand, can also impact leasing fees. Higher demand and limited supply can lead to higher leasing fees, while lower demand and excess supply can lead to lower fees. Economic factors, such as interest rates and inflation, can also impact leasing fees.

In conclusion, leasing fees are influenced by various factors, including location, property type, management companies, and market conditions. It is crucial to consider these factors when determining leasing fees for a property.


Understanding leasing fees is crucial for both tenants and landlords. These fees play a significant role in the rental process, impacting your budget and overall rental experience. By comprehending the various types of leasing fees, factors influencing them, and your legal rights, you can make informed decisions when entering into a lease agreement.

For a hassle-free rental experience and expert guidance on leasing fees, consider reaching out to Eagle Property Management today. Our dedicated team is here to assist you in finding the perfect rental property and navigating the intricacies of leasing agreements. 

Contact us now to get started on your journey to a stress-free rental experience.

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