So you did it! You survived your first year of school, living away from home in residence. What now though? Students looking for their first apartment for rent sometimes get so caught up in the excitement that they often don’t realize how overwhelming it can be. To try to help limit the stress, here are some particularly useful tips.
Secure Your Rental Apartment Early
Start searching for a place a few months before you need it. Just because school starts in September doesn’t mean there will be a suitable place available in September. Some students start looking for apartments to rent as soon as classes are done or even before.
Choose Your Roommates Wisely
Everybody wants to live with their friends, but choose roommates that will still be friends after your lease is over. Even the best of buddies can kind of bug you sometimes. Make sure to choose your roommates wisely and don’t let the excitement of living with friends cloud your judgment. They should be trustworthy and responsible too. You don’t want to be stuck with an apartment for three and have one or two of your roommates bail on you just before move-in day.
Determine How Much You Can Afford
Before you decide on a place, it’s good to know how much you and your roommate(s) can afford in rent. Otherwise, you could be left footing the bill if one of your roommates realizes mid-semester that they can’t afford their rental payments anymore. There are a number of good budgeting tools you can use to help put your budget together. We also have a rent calculator that will show you which apartments you can afford.
When looking for an apartment for rent, if you fall in love with the first place you see, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Generally, it’s a good idea to have backups though. You probably won’t be the only person that falls in love with a particular apartment. Look at multiple rental apartments and order them in terms of favourite to least favourite. That way if your first choice falls through, you won’t be scrambling to find another place.
Take a Tour
Seeing multiple rental apartments might be a difficult task if you are attending school somewhere that’s not your home city. But this is an important step in making sure you are satisfied with the first apartment you rent. This is actually a benefit of going with a property management company as they have people that are made available for tours anytime. With private landlords, you’ll have to coordinate around both your schedules. This is doable, but definitely less convenient for you.
Look Over the Lease
Before signing that dotted line, take the time to go over the lease agreement so that there are no misunderstandings. For the most part, leases are fairly similar, but to avoid any misunderstandings in the future, it’s a good idea to know your lease. Don’t wait until an issue arises to get familiar with the terms. By then it’ll be too late. A few key things to note are late rent penalties, security deposit conditions, and maintenance concerns.
Be Prepared to Have a Guarantor
Not all, but the majority of full-time students do not have the credit history or the income to be able to sign for a rental apartment on their own so this is where the guarantor comes in. This is not to say students are irresponsible and will not pay their rent. It’s a way for the landlord to be assured that rent payments can be met so they don’t have to go through the process of evicting a resident; never a fun thing to have to do. Parents usually co-sign for rental apartments for their children when they go to college but if for whatever this can’t be done, make sure you get somebody you trust to be your guarantor. Co-signing a lease is a binding legal contract.
Arrange for Tenant Insurance
Once you’ve secured a rental with CLV Group and InterRent REIT, don’t forget to arrange for tenant insurance. For less than your monthly coffee bill, tenant insurance will give you the peace of mind you need if your personal property is ever stolen or damaged. The insurance would kick in to cover the cost to repair or replace your belongings such as your laptop and clothing. Tenant’s insurance also includes liability coverage that can protect you from paying out of pocket if you were held legally responsible for injuries to others or damage to their property.
And of course, you should be having fun while looking for your home for the next year or more! Need help? Get in touch with us and we will gladly assist you in your apartment search.