Venturing out into the world and renting an apartment room for the first time is such a momentous step in every person’s life. When you first received your acceptance letters from colleges, your excitement was probably through the roof!
Eventually, you may have realized that before you can even set foot in a classroom, there is so much that must get done. Aside from using online platforms to search for available apartments and rooms, you can take other steps to ensure that you are not running into any issues when renting your first place.
Below is our breakdown of five things that you should know when renting an apartment room for the first time as a student.
Using a reputable apartment finder
Before you do anything else, ensure you are using a top-rated platform to find the best apartments in the city where you plan to live. When you begin to search for a ‘room for rent near me’, hoping to find a great deal, you’re likely looking for the perfect space to live as a student. The best online tools are the ones that you can use to find apartments of various sizes and price ranges in different parts of the city.
You should also be able to see different living arrangements, such as renting an entire studio yourself or finding a room to sublet within a larger apartment or house.
The advantage of using such a platform is that you do not have to search ten different websites to find the most interesting listings. You only have to go to one website and then check out the places that fit within your budget and criteria.
Picking the ideal neighborhood
The beauty of living in a big city in the United States is that you can tailor your experience depending on your preferences. Cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, New York, and Chicago are all about the neighborhoods.
You could be in one part of NYC and find that life is entirely different compared to living ten blocks east or west. Such differences may sound dramatic if you have never lived in these areas, but picking the ideal neighborhood can make all the difference.
Aside from demographics, price ranges of apartments in the area, and the general vibe of a neighborhood, you must also consider the commute. If you are taking a full load of classes during your first year of college, you will want to have a place that is within walking distance of your college campus. If walking distance is not an option, a convenient and short subway or bus ride is imperative.
Know your rights
Before you sign any lease, ensure you are aware of all your legal rights as a subtenant. Look at the entire lease for the apartment, as it will show you the total rent and how much each person is paying.
Then look at any terms that the landlord is setting. Are you allowed to move out within 30 days of providing notice? Is there leeway for paying rent a few days late or after a month? If you are heading away from the city for the summer holidays, can you get someone to sublet your room?
These are the questions you should get answered before you are putting pen to paper on the dotted line.
Understand the benefits and drawbacks of a room
Every living arrangement has its pros and cons. When you are seeking out a room as a college student, budget and location are often the two most important priorities. But you should not ignore the feelings of community between yourself and everyone else who lives in the apartment.
When you first meet everyone, do not be afraid to ask questions! Get a sense of the advantages of living in the unit with that particular group of people. Ask if there are any rules they have set for each other and if there are any specific behaviors they expect from you after moving in.
Make friends with your new roommates
When you move into a unit with two or three roommates, do not make the mistake of staying in your room all the time. After you are finished with classes and other commitments for the day, spend some time in the common areas of your apartment talking to your new roommates and getting to know them a little better.
You would be surprised by how much fun you can have with a group of young people who share your goals, passions, and interests. As you all navigate this new city as college students, you can lean on each other for support and guidance.
The experience of living with roommates, especially for several years, is a lot more enjoyable if you get along with each other. Taking those extra steps to get to know your roommates will come in handy in the future.