Originally Posted On: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/apartment-hunting-questions
Trying to find a great apartment as a student can be tough so we’re answering some of the most commonly asked apartment hunting questions for student.
If you are a college student looking for off-campus housing, you probably have a lot of questions. It is a big decision to sign your own lease for the first time!
Before you put your John Hancock there on the dotted line, you should ask some questions about the terms and conditions. Here are five apartment hunting questions you should ask so you understand everything about your new home and don’t jeopardize your credit rating.
1. Location, Location, Location
If you are searching for apartments at school while you are living at home, try to arrange a time to visit in person. The website photos may look great, but you really need to walk around the neighborhood to see how far you are from classes and if you feel safe there.
Apartments near campus are always in high demand, so start your search early. In addition to proximity to school, you also want to know how far it is from stores and restaurants, or if there is a bus stop nearby.
The location will make a big difference in many aspects of your life. If you are very far from campus, you may be late for class and not do as well. If you live in a noisy neighborhood, that may affect your sleep and study time too.
2. How Much?
Price is probably the most important factor in choosing your off-campus apartment. Make sure you discuss with your potential landlord the monthly rent, plus other fees. Does he require a security deposit? Some places ask for first and last month’s rent upfront!
You will also want to know how he or she expects payment. Many ask for a direct deposit to be set up, on your credit card or Venmo. Make sure you use a method that provides you with proof of your payment every month in case you have a dispute later on.
3. What’s Included?
When you discuss price, find out what is and is not included. If heat, water, and electricity are not included, those costs could a lot to your monthly budget.
You may also have to factor in internet or cable fees, and parking.
If the apartment has amenities like laundry machines, a pool or a gym, ask if those are included as well.
4. What’s Prohibited?
A lease is a contract, and if you break any of its conditions, the landlord may be able to ask for more money or even kick you out. Therefore it is critical to know what is not allowed on the premises.
Can you have a roommate, or sublet to someone to take over the place over the summer? Is smoking permitted? How about guests, pets or parties?
Some rentals even require that you obtain permission to paint the apartment or put up bookshelves.
5. Do I Need a Co-Signer?
Many students do not have full-time jobs or an established credit rating. Landlords need to know that their rent will be paid, so they may ask for a co-signer.
Parents frequently will co-sign for their kids’ apartments. That means if you break the lease, break something in the apartment, or otherwise incur any liability, your parents will have to pay. If you want to stay on good terms with the family, it is best to stay within the rules of the lease so long as your parents are the people making it possible!
Apartment Hunting Questions: What You Need to Know
There are many apartment hunting questions you need to ask as you embark on this new stage in life. Besides a place that is comfortable and where you can have a good time, you want an apartment that affordable, convenient, and fitting for your lifestyle.
Keep checking back for more tips on how to succeed in college, work, and life!
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