It’s here – the year you go off to college or university. Along with securing student loans, saying goodbye to your friends from high school and nailing down the perfect first-year schedule, you’ll need to also squeeze in searching for a student rental to call home. Don’t let the excitement and big life changes overwhelm you – use our top ten tips to score the best student rental apartment for your needs with ease.
1) Decide on a Budget:
First and foremost, you’ll need to figure out how much money you can afford to spend on rent and utilities each month. Take into account if you’ve received a student loan, a scholarship or bursary or if you will be working a part-time job during school. Once you know how much money you will have on hand, you can determine how much you rent you can afford for your student rental.
2) Land the Perfect Roommate:
Don’t worry if you can’t afford to live on your own. Find the best roommate for you by putting up an ad on your school’s student rental housing message board (both online and on campus). Your program may even have its own Facebook page where you can immediately network with students who will be entering their first year, just like you.
3) Inspect Your Student Rental:
Think you’ve found the place for you? Before you sign the lease, do a walk-through of the student rental with the landlord or property manager to ensure everything is in working order. Kitchen appliances, door locks and windows should all be checked out. It might help to bring someone with you, like one of your parents, who has rented an apartment before and will know what to look for.
4) Come Prepared with a Deposit:
When you’re looking at student rental apartments, competition can be fierce. Bring with you the rental deposit – depending on the province you live in, this can either be first and last month’s rent or a damage deposit. Once you’ve found the place you want to call home, you’ll be able to secure it immediately.
5) Check Out Nearby Amenities:
Before you sign on the dotted line, scope out the neighbourhood you will be living in. Does your student rental have a grocery store nearby? What about public transit? Can you walk to campus from your apartment? Also of importance – make sure you feel safe and comfortable in the neighbourhood.
You may have seen ads for student rental apartments that state they are “all-inclusive”. This means that your monthly bills, like heating and electricity, are already included in your rent. It may also mean that cable and internet connections are included, too. Check with the landlord to see what is included in the rent. All-inclusive can make your life all the more comfortable.
7) Pet Policy:
Bringing your beloved pet with you into your student rental can make the transition to post-secondary life a little easier. However, not all apartments will accept pets. If you plan on bringing an animal with you, make sure that it is permitted and, if it is, ensure it is written into your lease.
8) Laundry Time:
Unfortunately, laundry is a chore that no one can escape from. Check what the laundry situation is in your student rental. Older homes may not have a washer and dryer on site, meaning that you will want to make sure a laundromat is easily accessible.
9) Finishing Touches:
If you want to make any modifications to your student rental, such as painting the walls, you will need to speak with your landlord or property manager before doing so. While these touches can make your student rental feel like home, undertaking them without permission can mean a loss of your damage deposit.
10) Know Your Rights and Responsibilities:
If it’s your first time living in a student rental, you may not be familiar with what is permitted and what is not, both on your behalf and the behalf of your landlord. Take the time to read and understand the Residential Tenancy Act for your respective province, which can be easily found online.
By following these ten tips, you’ll be well on your way to experiencing tenant bliss in your student rental in no time. Take the worry out your search with RentSeeker.ca!