Moving into your own apartment in college is a right of passage. There’s so much more freedom than living in dorms.
Having your own place, either by yourself or with roommates comes with its own responsibilities. Before you commit to signing a lease, there are a number of questions you should ask to make sure that it is the right place for you.
Are there any upfront fees?
When you’re browsing for apartments, they’ll usually include the monthly rental price but not much else. When making your budget, you may also have to factor in extra costs such as first and last rent deposits, security deposits, and contract fees. You may also need to pay a holding fee to secure the apartment while all the necessary checks are being made. Always check with the person or company renting out the apartment.
What are the monthly utility costs?
Are there any utilities included in the monthly rent, or do you have to pay everything yourself? Ask them how much electricity, gas, broadband, and water typically cost for the property.
There may also be installation costs for cable or broadband too, so don’t forget to add these into your budget.
What is the length of the lease?
As a college student, you may not be in town for the entire year, so a long-term lease might be a waste of money. Properties aimed at college students often have shorter lease terms to accommodate this, but be sure that you ask before signing a lease, or you may end up paying for an apartment you’re not living in. Come click here to learn more about renting an apartment.
If you’re renting from a private landlord, they may sometimes let you negotiate a more flexible lease.
Can you make changes to the apartment?
You want to make your apartment feel like your own. You might want to make some changes such as painting the walls, putting up a few shelves or other improvements. Some landlords are happy for you to do this, others are very strict about what you can and can’t do in the apartment.
What is the policy on late rent?
One thing you probably don’t have a lot of in college is money. So there may be an occasion when you might be a few days late with the rent. You need to know what to expect if this happens. Often, you will get a few day’s leeway before they will give you the warning and add an administration charge for late payment.
In order to make the most of your newfound freedom at college, you need to ensure you’ve found the perfect apartment. As you’re new to renting, you may not realize how some things work or the questions you need to ask landlords. Don’t be afraid to ask about anything you’re not clear about so that there aren’t any surprises and disagreements later on.
Then you can concentrate on making your apartment look fantastic and enjoying yourself.