How to Calculate Prorated Rent - Everything You Need to Know

The Myndful Investor Podcast

How to Calculate Prorated Rent - Everything You Need to Know

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When a tenant occupies a room for only a partial term (month, week, day, etc.), the amount a landlord charges is known as “prorated rent.” 


Prorated rent is charged only for the number of days the unit is occupied. It’s based on a monthly rate rather than daily since a daily rate tends to be pricier. 


Here’s everything you need to know about prorating rent.

Why prorate? 

If your tenant moves in or out in the middle of the month or sublets to someone else, then it’s practical to use prorated rent. For example, if your tenant moves in on the 15th, which they often do, you can charge them a prorated amount for those days and then set the regular rent due on the first day of their first full month.

Explaining prorated rent to your tenant


Prorating rent isn’t a landlord’s legal responsibility, but it does help establish a good relationship with your tenant. A good relationship is essential. It makes your tenant more likely to re-sign (reducing the likelihood of vacancies), recommend other potential tenants to your properties, be a good tenant, and follow any rules you may have (like your fire prevention tips). 

How do I prorate rent?

There are four methods to calculate prorated rent. 

A Quick Math Lesson

Prorated rent at a rental property

Before moving on to the actual formulas for calculating rent, here’s a quick high school math lesson about performing the proper order of operations for mathematical equations. You’ll need to know this because the formulas for calculating rent tend to require multiple operations.


  1. Parenthesis
  2. Exponents
  3. Multiplication
  4. Division
  5. Addition
  6. Subtraction


The mnemonic device for this is PEMDAS, or “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally.”

Method 1: Number of Days in the Year

This is the most accurate way to prorate rent when dealing with a year-long lease. Here’s the formula. 


((Monthly Rent X # Months in a Year) ÷ Number of Days in a Year) X Number of Days the Tenant is Paying For = Prorated Rent


Here’s the formula with a move-in date of September 15th with a rent of $1,500.


( ( $1,500 x 12 ) ÷ 365 ) X 15 = $739.73


This formula is slightly more confusing than the monthly one, so your tenants may require more explaining. The extra amount of money you'd make isn't worth the effort because a confusing formula may make your tenants feel like something fishy's going on. Best to keep things simple.

Method 2: Number of Days in an Average Month


This formula is based on the number of days per month, given that 365 days per year divided by 12 months is 30.42 average days. Here’s the formula:


((Rent ÷ 30.42) x Number of Days Occupied) 


Here’s the formula for when your rent is $1,200 per month, and the tenant is staying for ten days.


($1,200 ÷ 30.42) x 10 = $394.50


Method 3: Flat 30 Days (Banker’s Month)

This method entails diving the monthly rent by 30, no matter how many days are in the month. In some states, like California, this is the exclusive method used to calculate prorated rent. Here’s the formula.


((Rent ÷ 30) x Number of Days Occupied) 


Here’s the formula for when your rent is $1,200 per month, and the tenant is staying for ten days.


($1,200 ÷ 30) x 10 = $400

Method 4: Monthly Rent

Monthly calculations at rental properties for prorated rent

This is the formula for prorated rent based on the number of days in the month. Here’s the formula:


(Monthly Rent ÷ Number of Days in the Month) X (Number of Days of Rent Being Paid For) = Prorated Rent


Here’s the formula with a move-in date of September 15th with a rent of $1,500.


( $1,500 ÷ 31 ) X 15 = $725.80


In addition to requiring less explanation formula, the monthly formula has the advantage of making your tenant feel like they’re getting their money’s worth since it frames their rent in the short-term rather than the long term.

Considerations for Prorating Rent

These are some things to keep in mind when calculating prorated rent. Which of these influences your calculations will impact how many days you divide your rent by in your calculations.


  • The number of days in the month.
  • Months with 30 days: September, April, June, and November
  • Months with 31 days: January, March, May, July, August, October, and December
  • Month with 28/29 days: February
  • Is it a leap year?
  • What day of the month are you billing your tenant?
  • What’s the number of days in the first month?
  • What’s the number of days in the second month?
  • How much are you charging per day for the first month?
  • How much are you charging per day for the second month?
  • What’s the number of billable days in the first month?
  • What’s the number of days in the second month?
  • What’s the official start/end date of your tenant’s lease?

Tips for Prorating Rent

Your prorating policy should be in writing or your lease agreement


If it’s a leap year, divide your prorated calculation by 366 days if you plan on using the yearly formula.


It’s not your responsibility to prorate rent if your tenant signs a lease for the first of the month but moves in on a later date. Similarly, it’s not your responsibility to prorate rent if your tenant chooses to move out earlier, but their lease runs to the end of the month.


Offer a prorated rent calculator on your website. 


Find out if your state requires you to use the flat 30 method for prorating rent.

Bottom Line on Prorating Rent

Keep your tenants happy when calculating prorated rent

Prorating rent is easy to do and an easy way for a landlord to start or maintain a good relationship with their tenant. It makes tenants feel like they’re getting their money’s worth and like the landlord is on their side. 


Unless you have to use the flat 30 option, the monthly method of prorating rent is a landlord’s best bet because it’s easiest to explain to the tenant. 


And a happy tenant is the best bet for a happy landlord.


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