What does PCM rent mean?

What does PCM mean rent?

If you’ve seen PCM written on your rental agreement and wondered, what does PCM mean in rent? You’re not alone. PCM is a tricky acronym because it has different meanings across all different industries and fields. In Business, PCM means Project Cycle Management. In Education, it’s Physics, Chemistry, and Maths. In Pharmacy, PCM is shorthand for paracetamol…But what does PCM mean in the housing market?

Well, PCM stands for per calendar month. Simply put: it’s about how often you pay rent to your landlord and how much. There are a few other bits it’s good to bear in mind when it comes to answering the question of “what is PCM rent”, so stick around and we’ll take you through those next:

PCM meaning rent

If you’ve got a PCM, or per calendar month, arrangement with your landlord, the first thing you need to do is check over your tenancy agreement. It should give you the answers to these questions:

  • How much is your rent each month?
  • What bills does your PCM rent include?
  • What day of the month is your rent due?
  • How would your landlord like to be paid each month?

How much rent you pay each month is decided when you first sign a rental agreement with your landlord or estate agent. The PCM rent should reflect the size, condition, and features of the property, as well as its general location. For example, if you’re wondering what is PCM London rent, then the average is around £1,750 according to GOV.UK. That’s about 40% higher than the UK national average.

The second thing to check out is what your PCM rent includes. PCM agreements can be made for rooms, houses, flats, garages, office spaces, and more — so your tenancy agreement should mention what exactly it is you’re paying for each month.

This is particularly useful if you’re wondering whether your PCM rent includes both the house and the use of a parking space. Or if your PCM rent includes the service charge for a shared building, or household bills such as water, gas, and electric — if yours doesn’t, you might need to pay for those things on top of your monthly rent.

Check out this article for some quick ways to cut costs: ‘12 easy ways for renters to reduce their utility bills’.

Lastly, if you pay PCM rent, then you’ll have a set day of the month in your rental agreement when the rent is due. You might, for example, pay your rent on the 1st day of every month — so you’ll need to send the funds to your landlord on the 1st January, 1st February, 1st March, and so on.

It’s a good idea to set up a direct debit (automatic bank transfer) for this so you never have to worry about forgetting to pay your rent on time. You might find your landlord has included specific instructions on how they’d like to be paid in your tenancy agreement — bank transfer, credit card, cheque, etc… If that’s the case, it’s always best to go with whatever they’ve asked for.

PW meaning rent

You might have seen PW rental agreements mentioned alongside PCM, so let’s run over those quickly too. PW rental agreements are more common with short-term tenants, such as university students or seasonal workers looking for flexible accommodation. That’s because PW, as you might have guessed, means per week. Much like a PCM rental agreement, PW means you pay your rent on a rolling basis, but it’s every week rather than every month. Usually, there’s a set day of the week when rent is due — normally Monday or the day you moved into the property.

But from weekly to monthly rent, the most important thing to note is that how often you pay rent will affect both how much notice you need to give your landlord before you move out, and how much notice they need to give you. To find out more about notice periods, check out: ‘How much notice to give landlord’.

Advantages of PCM

So now we’ve covered what’s PCM rent — you might be wondering, what are the pros and cons of renting in this way? Well, let’s take a look:

  • Most PCM rental agreements in the UK use the same day of the month for rent payments — that means if you move homes, you shouldn’t have an overlap where you’re paying for two properties at once.
  • Most landlords will accept your rent via direct debit (automatic bank transfer) so you won’t need to worry about organising a new payment each month.

Disadvantages of PCM

  • Much like any rental agreement, that money you spend on rent PCM is gone, zip, finito. Unlike paying a mortgage, it’s an investment you’ll never see any return from.
  • Your PCM rent might not include council tax, the building service charge, or any household bills — so make sure you can afford the total monthly cost before you commit to anything.

A few final tips…

If you’re considering renting a property and you’re unsure about the PCM terms laid out in your agreement, it’s always best to have a chat with your landlord before signing. They might be able to set things out more clearly so you can refer back to it later, or explain anything you don’t understand. At the end of the day, your landlord will want you to feel properly informed before entering the agreement — it’s the best way to avoid any confusion later down the line.

Looking to get further informed? Why not read up on: ‘Your rights as a renter’.

If you’re thinking of getting started as a landlord, check out: ‘Can I rent out my house’.