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Renting A Student Apartment? Know What To Look For

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Are you going to be renting your very first student apartment while away at college but aren't sure what to look for? Here are some things to consider when narrowing down your selection.

Lease Terms

Most times when you sign a lease you are signing up for a whole year of renting the apartment. However, student apartments can be a bit different. They may have different lengths that match the school year, either offering a full-year rental or a shorter period that allows you to move out soon after the semester ends. Make sure that you pay attention to the lease options so that you can find a place that best meets your needs. 

For example, you may want an apartment with a 12-month lease so that you can take classes in the summer and work a summer job. You may also want a place that allows you to rent for only one semester because you are doing student teaching or studying abroad the next semester. You may even want the option to sublease during those months you are not living there.


Pay attention to how utilities are handled in the building since it can make a big difference in your monthly bills. Apartments that have a central boiler and radiator heat will essentially have the cost of heating worked into the cost of rent since it is common for water usage to not be monitored. However, an apartment with a forced-air furnace running on natural gas will have additional expenses for heating that you need to factor in.

Parking And Distance

Where you park your car and your daily commute to campus is going to be a big factor to consider. Do you want a place that is close enough where you can walk to campus each day because you don't have a car? Are you okay with driving to get to class? If you do drive, how much is it for a parking space? It's really a personal preference that you need to consider since everyone's commuting situation is different. 


Ask if there are going to be any inspections as part of living in a student apartment. This is more common for first-time renters in student apartments because the landlord wants to make sure that the property is being cared for. If there are inspections, the number of inspections and lease time should be made clear so they are not a surprise.