By Lea Mercado
Web Content Contributor
Student apartments are designed to be a college student’s heaven. Apartments with gyms, giant pools, and affordable rates, what is there not to like? As a student residing in one of Texas’ most prominent college towns, I have rented student housing ever since I moved out of my dorm.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when you are looking for student housing apartments.
Don’t apartment hunt by yourself!
Leasing agents are an incredible resource. Since students typically market student apartments, it is easy to fall into a contract without considering all of your options. Under the guise of gift cards and various incentives, it is always a good idea to have an unbiased voice of reason.
Talk to friends about leasing agents they have used. If they have had a good experience, they are likely to recommend one. You can always contact one online or call an office, but keep in mind that they are paid off of commission, so don’t let it sway you.
After I moved out of my first student apartment, I received a parting gift of $300 in move-out charges. Despite trying to reason with the complex, I had no proof that I did not cause the damages I was being charged for. Ever since then, I created a separate photo album dedicated to move-in pictures.
Before you set any box down, do a walk-through of the unit to complete the move-in condition form. As you’re completing the form and noting any and every defect, be sure to take pictures as well.
Whether there are any holes in the wall from picture frames or the slightest fray in the carpet, it is better to be safe than sorry. Hold on to these pictures up until the apartment processes your final payment. The final payment typically occurs after move-out.
Set clear boundaries with roommates.
Whether they are random roommates or close friends, living together can often be a very… enlightening experience, to say the least.
Shortly after moving in, it is helpful to sit down and establish some boundaries that can range from chores to having guests over. It is always better to endure a short period of awkwardness rather than an entire leasing period.
Texas State’s Student Attorney office has put together a helpful contract to guide you. If you feel like a contract is too strict, you can use the document to lead the discussion.
Overall, student apartments can be an incredible experience, but it is crucial to be cautious and well-informed when leasing. While there are many great management groups locally, some are also looking to make the most significant profit. Do your research, talk to residents, and once again, take pictures!
Featured image by Lea Mercado.