December 19, 2014

6 Apartment renting tips for college students

If you are a college student attending a school some distance from your home, you will need to find an apartment close to campus. You may even be looking for a new apartment over the summer or need to move closer to that new internship you just landed. While it is exciting to venture out on your own for the first time, there are some renting tips that all students should follow to make the experience a fun and successful one.

6 Apartment renting tips for college students

1. Start your search early. You will not be the only student in search of an apartment close to campus so you will have keen competition for all available units. The best time to start searching is the summer (or semester before you will begin) to leave yourself plenty of time to look around and find the apartment that best meets your needs in terms of location and budget.

Start by visiting the neighborhood and walking around making note of both appealing and unappealing areas. By visiting the neighborhood, you may also come upon “For Rent” signs posted by landlords. You will also have the opportunity to pick up community papers, which often list apartments for rent. In either case, you will be able to avoid costly broker fees.

2. Visit at least three to four apartments. To get a good idea of the range of apartments available in your budget, try to schedule at least three or four views on one visit. This will enable you to obtain some perspective of what’s available in your price range. You may also find that the apartment you fell in love with was rented to a prior applicant so it’s always good to have a backup or two.

3. Make a checklist as your view apartments. Before venturing out to view apartments, make a list of things to look. Questions include whether the apartment has working plumbing and electric? Are the refrigerator and stove in working order? Is the apartment located in a commercial district or otherwise noisy area? Does it provide sufficient light? What, if any utilities are included? Are pets allowed?

4. You will also want to examine how the complex is managed. Is there peeling paint in the walls or broken light bulbs in the hallways? Does the building provide ample security? Do the grounds seem well tended to? You will need to weigh the factors that are most important to you as not all apartments will meet your every need. For example, it may be a great apartment in terms of your budget, space, and overall condition but faces the back of the building with not much light.

5. Be ready to leave a deposit. Since competition is keen, you want to be sure you can leave a deposit when you find the place you want. As per Corcoron.com, one of the largest brokerage firms in the country, most landlords that rent to college students will require co-signer willing to put their name on the application.

Since most college students do not have an established credit history, the co-signer will need to have strong credit since this person will assume responsibility in the event you are unable to pay the rent. In most cases, the co-signer will be a parent, other family member or family friend. Once you rent the apartment you can build your credit by researching student credit card deals offered by most major banks.

6. Read the entire lease carefully before signing. When you find an apartment and have been approved it will be time to sign the lease. Make sure you and your co-signer read it thoroughly before committing. Chances are that it will be a boilerplate document but make sure you know the terms as many landlords insert specific languages such as “no pets” “no shares” or “no sublets.” Other important items include when rent is due, amount of security deposit, penalties for late rent, and who you should contact for help with maintenance issues. You may also want to request one final walk-through before signing to ensure the apartment is in the same condition as when you first viewed it.

 Guest Blogumnist Daniela Baker helps parents and college students evaluate student credit card offers at CreditDonkey.com.

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COMMENTS:

  1. Great tips you have shared over here, which helps the college students who are looking the best and reliable apartment to stay on rent. I have to say that when you book an apartment, then you should check their facilities and rent price which is the most important things.

  2. This tips are useful to students for searching “Augusta Apartments,Georgia state student housing,college student apartments,Georgia state housing,”
    these are available at http://www.csaaugusta.com
    We specialize in off-campus housing and we are committed to provide you with high-quality living environment and customer service.

    Campus Side Apartments, LLC is a family own business that has been providing quality off-campus housing since 2002. We expanded our vision to Augusta, GA in 2012 and we spent a full year to complete renovations.

  3. Thanks for the tips! When I was moving to New York I also started me search early. You know it’s better to come to the place that you have found beforehand and not start looking for it at the last moment. When you begin looking through some variants at different classifieds at least you have enough time to thing everything over, to talk to your parents. Also you have time to look through other variant that appeal you, search according the price limits and find something that you can afford. I found my rental flat at http://new-york.localmart.com/apartments-for-rent/ but I spent so much time on looking through different advertisings. You should also think about the location so it wouldn’t take long to get to the university, this way you can save some money. Or you can find a roommate (it can be your friend) with whom you will share you apartment.

  4. Do you have any advice for my situation : there is a beautiful apartment complex I would like to sign a lease to, however I am reluctant because their rates often fluctuate and signing so late in the semester (for next year) there rates are extremely high. If I sign a lease now I will be paying almost $100 more than the people who signed back in August. I feel it’s not fair and I have even known some people to have inside connections and/or haggle the price down.

  5. A “For Rent” sign and community papers are great, but if you’re not familiar with the City in the first place (usually true when you’re going off to college) most people start online so you can see the pictures and the rent amounts to get an idea about the areas to check out.

    Then you use the app with maps, so you don’t waste gas driving around wondering where you are. And forget dealing with broker fees because if you use Rent.com to get a place then you can claim a $100 reward card, which really helps with moving costs.

  6. One of the ordeals of being a college student, studying away from home, is finding that perfect apartment that will be favorable for your studies. It is certainly very difficult and needs a lot of preparation. These tips are indeed very helpful. Thank you for sharing and may you continue posting such useful materials.

  7. Thanks for these tips, you have covered almost everything which helps the college students who will be looking for apartments for long term rent.

  8. Search for reviews on line about particular housing complexes or apartment buildings. There are plenty of websites that let renter and other tenants post reviews about their experience living in a particular building. Not every building will have these sorts of reviews available, but it doesn’t hurt to check. Who better to give insight as to the quality of a residence than someone who has resided there?

  9. Great tips for college students looking for an apartment.

  10. Great tips on finding an apartment while you are in college. I will definitely pass this along to my clients.

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