In Australia and European countries, temporary lodging is often calculated on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. This breakdown of rates is perfect for backpackers or newlywed tourists needing a few weeks of affordable accommodations without a long-term lease. If you're searching the housing ads and come across a rental unit offering to rent PCM, it means that the owner rents out the unit per calendar month, or 30 days at a time.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
When an owner mentions that the rent for a unit is PCM, this means he rents out the place on a monthly basis, which is usually for 30 days. The term can also refer to how an owner calculates your rent for a long-term lease.
What PCM Means
Apartments, houses and even rooms in a hostel are often rented PCM, or per calendar month. When the landlord or leasing agent quotes this rate, he does so assuming you will occupy the property for 30 days. This 30-day period need not begin on the first day of the month. Your month can start on any given day and will last for the next 30.
PCM can mean something slightly different in a long-term lease. If you rent an apartment for a year, the landlord will usually calculate the PCM rent by dividing the annual rent by 12. This means that you will pay a bit more per day in February, which has only 28 days, but a bit less in months that contain 31 days rather than 30. Landlords don't typically make you pay extra for the 31st day in an annual lease but may ask you to do so in a temporary lodging situation.
Before signing either type of contract, you will pay a deposit and a cleaning fee. You may get both of these fees back at the end of the lease if you met all the lease terms and conditions and left the property free of any damage. Read all rental contracts carefully, especially if you're in a foreign country, before signing.
Benefits of PCM Rent
From families and students to ambitious young graduates traveling the world, anyone can benefit from PCM rental options. A month-long stay in one region is perfect for summer school students attending workshops or anyone immersing themselves in a new culture. A 30-day PCM lease is the perfect short-term solution when you want to keep traveling through a new country and not get tied to one place for long.
Limitations of PCM Rent
Since rental properties offered on a monthly basis have new tenants up to 12 times each year, they typically come unfurnished. Plan on renting or buying basic necessities, such as beds, chairs, tables, bathroom supplies and cooking supplies. When signing a rental contract, ask if the property contains any furnishings so that you'll know what you need. Sometimes a previous tenant will leave basic furniture behind for the next person to use.
Paying PCM Rent
Short-term rentals may require a specific method of payment. Cash, a cashier's check or electronic debit withdrawals are common. Since bank checks can take up to two weeks to clear – or even longer if drawn from a foreign bank – landlords may not accept them as payment. If they do, you may have to wait until your check clears to move in, so it is important to factor this delay into your plans.
You can sometimes pay with a credit card as well. But whatever payment method you and the landlord agree on, you should expect to show identification.
Angela Tague writes marketing content and journalistic pieces for major brands including Bounty, The Nest, Lowe's Home Improvement and Hidden Valley. She also provides feature content to newspapers and writes health and beauty blogs for Daily Glow, Everyday Health and Walgreens. Tague graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications in 1999.