Sooner or later every student faces the problem of renting. How to talk to the landlord? What rental period to choose? What are your rights? What documents do you need? These and many other disturbing questions are there in your head, right?
Therefore, here is a guide for all college students to facilitate the process of renting and minimize the level of stress.
There are different types of rental periods: 1-year lease, 6-month lease, 3-month lease, and month to month lease. Typically, it is cheaper when you agree to rent longer. However, if you want to end the leasing agreement earlier, there might be serious financial loses for you and your roommates. Let take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of the 1-year lease as well as the month to month lease in order to compare and make a final decision.
A 1-year lease protects you against an increase of rent. It is also the easiest lease to find along with the perks and benefits you might get from a landlord. In spite of that, the 1-year lease provides less flexibility especially when some unexpected education opportunities arise.
Month to month lease gives you more flexibility and independence, though. Potentially you can convert it into a longer leasing agreement. And what is the most important, you have time to live at the place and decide whether it really suits your needs. On one hand, month to month lease sounds better, but on the other hand, landlords can easily increase your rent and, consequently, you may be forced to move. On top of that, this type of lease is the hardest to find.
If you don’t have a car, you need to rely on buses, bikes, or walking to get to your destinations. The easiest way to get an idea of local transport is to use Google Maps. Undoubtedly, it is ideal to find the place not far from your school or at least the one that provides good transit options.
In order to protect their interests, many landlords take precautions when they deal with college students. Here is a short list of what they might expect from you: rental history, social security number, bank statements (or other proof of income), personal references, criminal history, etc. Make sure you have all these documents.
It is strongly recommended to read the entire lease so that there no misunderstandings will occur later. You need to know every detail, for instance, penalties if you break a lease, charges you are liable for, pet policies, etc. You should also clarify whether you are allowed to sublet your place when you are away during summer holidays.
Take your lease agreement seriously and consider all the above-mentioned points so that you avoid stressful situations afterwards.