Renting your first student apartment can seem like an extremely daunting task. This is most likely your first time living somewhere that isn’t your university residence or home and we know how scary that can be. To help, we’ve come up with a list of things to consider in your search. Now the only thing you need to worry about is convincing your mom that everyone’s GPA is that low.
1. Do your research.
Searching the landlord or property management company online is a good way to get an understanding of the kind of experience you’ll have there. The bad landlords, or slumlords as they are nicknamed, will often have negative reviews online. Review My Landlord is a great site that allows you to read and write landlord reviews. Reading about other people’s nightmarish experiences might just save you from a bad year!
2. Look carefully at the places you visit.
Don’t feel like you are rushed when you are touring an apartment or home. You’re going to be the one who will be living there so it’s important that you like it. Note how clean the place is. If you notice anything that looks broken or needs to be repaired, you can mention it to the landlord to ensure it’ll be fixed before you move in.
3. Location makes or breaks student housing.
Location is very important because a majority of the time you’ll either be walking or taking the bus to school. Whether or not you’d be close to local amenities like grocery stores, pharmacies, and restaurants is also something to consider. Living close to a grocery store doesn’t seem all that important, but it will when you are walking home with a million heavy bags.
4. Ask questions.
Renting an apartment for the first time can be very overwhelming, and it’s easy to forget to ask the important questions during a viewing. The good questions to ask cover details like what is included in the price, whether or not the building has laundry facilities, and any extras the building has like special locks or security cameras. Before moving in make sure to review our first apartment checklist so you’ll never be missing the essentials.
5. Shop around for apartments.
Lots of schools have housing offices that offer a lot of information about off-campus housing in the area. Craigslist or Kijiji are also great because they frequently update new listings for apartments and student houses. Don’t say yes to the first place you see. It’s actually better to tour a bunch to figure out what you like and determine what suits your needs.
6. Act quickly.
Once you find the place that is right for you, you should speak with the landlord immediately and schedule a time to sign the lease. When everyone is searching for a student apartment in a relatively small area it’s not uncommon to have five or six groups interested in the place.
So remember these tips and go out and find that perfect apartment! School is already stressful, finding a place to live shouldn’t be.